Monday, 4 June 2012

A Great Lesson Plan

I have been looking for resources as well as lesson plans that can be collected and shared.  Common Sense Media has a wealth of resources for parents and educators.

One lesson plan that I really liked is titled Rings of Responsibility and it is designed for students in grades 4 and 5.  DIGITAL LITERACY AND CITIZENSHIP IN A CONNECTED CULTURE
© 2010 

The first reason why this is a great example of a lesson that can be used to teach elementary students about digital citizens is that it builds on what prior knowledge students already have about their own communities. This lesson adds their digital communities to their understanding of communities.

The second reason is the inclusion of the key vocabulary.  This gives educators a base to start with especially if they are just learning about digital citizenship themselves.
                                   Key Vocabulary
                                    • Responsibility: A duty or obligation
                                    • Community: A group of people with a common background or shared interests 

                                    • Citizen: A member of a community
                                    • Digital Citizen: A member of a worldwide community linked by the Internet 

The third reason why is because the introduction is a great way to hook elementary aged students.  The introduction used Spider-Man's motto "With great power comes great responsibility." Students proceed develop their understanding around digital citizenship with an outline of how it is their responsibility.  This creates an ownership within students and reinforces the thought that they have the power to share their ideas and interact appropriately.  The final activity in order to get students to transform what they learned into something they can share with others is creating a comic strip with their own superhero helping out when someone has acted in a way that demonstrates poor digital citizenship. 

Finally, this lesson plan connects to National Education Technology Standards for Students. The following is information listed and cited by Common Sense Media as part of the lesson.  

Alignment with Standards – National Educational Technology Standards for Students© 2007 (Source: International Society for Technology in Education, 2007)

 1. Creativity and Innovation
 a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes 
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression
2. Communication and Collaboration
c. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
5. Digital Citizenship
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
b. exhibit a positive attitude towards using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship 

This is a lesson I would encourage educators to try with their elementary students or look for others that are similar to use with students of a different age. 


  1. Good to get the definitional and standards parts sorted out, and see how resources are tied to guidelines. The NETS standards are from ISTE, so they are purportedly international, but mostly from the USA. Not bad, but you may run into some things you would tweak for our context.

    1. I agree Rick that the standards are not exactly accurate for our context. I appreciated this lesson partly because it made reference to standards that I could understand. There are many more resources available than I ever realized and it takes a lot of time to sort through to find ones that make sense for a particular group of students. I thought I came across some standards in the Western Canadian Protocol before 802 started but I'm struggling to track them down. This is just a reminder of how much time teachers can spend looking for great ideas and resources.