Lesson Plan: An Opinion on Art Censorship
Have students reflect on the following question from the website introduction: "Is art censorship an act thwarting obscenity or an Orwellian control?"
Outline the opportunity
Ask students to read the Artists Busted: Censorship in Canada topic of the CBC Digital Archives website before beginning the exercise. Students should consider carefully the issue of art and censorship so that they are prepared to analyze it.
Have students pose a central question about censorship and suggest two different hypotheses. (For example: Should art be censored? First hypothesis: Art should be censored. Second hypothesis: Art should not be censored.) Do they feel strongly about either of the two hypotheses?
Students will explore each hypothesis in depth. They will use the information from the website, then list and analyze several reasons to support each hypothesis. Students can create a chart, like the one on the download sheet Supporting an Opinion on Censoring Art, to record their work. Encourage students to check their completed charts to evaluate their reasons and be sure that each can be substantiated. Students should also be sure that their thinking is unbiased. Then ask students to draw a conclusion based on their central question. Conclusions may include remaining undecided, as withholding a judgement is also a reasoning skill.
Revisit and Reflect
Students can compare their results with a peer. Have them evaluate the effectiveness of the chart in making a decision on this controversial issue.
Ask students to write a journal reflection that summarizes their decision on the issue of art and censorship and explains how they arrived at that decision.Download PDF