Monday, 26 November 2012

Lesson plan - Copyrights: whose rights?

I'm sharing here a lesson-plan on copyrights I've created with friend & eTwinner Paola Arduini during the eTwinning Ambassador course 2012.
Since at school I'm at the moment addressing this kind of topics, and in the web-age we're all involved in sharing vs protecting ownership, I think it can be useful to others as well.
Title of the lesson: Copyrights: whose rights?

Age range of pupils targeted by this lesson plan: students 10-12 years old (last year of Primary School, first year of Secondary School)

Description:- First steps in the world of Copyrights.
The students at this age are usually already familiar with the web. They can work on their own assignments/homework, both alone or in a team, using ICT tools. Anyway, they don’t know anything about copyrights: for them, what’s online has no owner. When they need an image, or music piece, or video, they just google it, copy and paste. And then forget it. At the same time younger students may not know how to find images, music and videos and just copy what their older friends do.
This lesson, that can also suit the beginning of any eTwinning or international project (the “introductions” part) can trigger a discussion and reflection on the use of web materials and the importance of copyrights.

At the beginning of any international project, the partners usually introduce themselves. That’s when we ask our students to create a video, or a ppt, about our school and area, in order to share it on the TwinSpace.

We can start from here, following these steps:

1. divide the class into four groups (approximately, 6 students each)

2. the first three groups are asked to prepare a presentation, in video or ppt, respectively of their country, town, and school

3. the fourth group will be the judges: they will evaluate their classmates’ work; for this reason, they are asked to agree on a set of parameters in order to assess their classmates (they will probably agree on: text, visuals, music, presentation… or sth of this kind)

4. the groups work on their assignments (at school or at home, it depends on how much time you want to devote to this part)

5. the presentations are showed and the judges give a mark from 0 to 5 in all of the chosen parameters to the presentations

6. the best presentation is proclaimed

7. the teacher gives to the first three teams a paper to fill in, asking the groups
- where did you find the images?
- did you take the pictures yourself?
- if not, do you know who did?
- how did you choose the music?
- who is the artist?
- etc.

8. the answers are read and a debate on copyrights, guided by the teacher, follows. Is the best presentation as good in respecting copyrights? What about the others? (most likely, they won’t as well).

9. At the end of the debate, the teacher asks the students “now, do you think we can publish those presentations online (in the public TwinSpace/blog, etc)? What can we change?”

10. Let the students make the changes – hopefully, they’ll think about choosing materials more carefully next time

11. After the changes the members of the jury vote the presentations again: are the updated presentations guilty or innocent of stealing copyrights? :)

Materials needed:
Computer lab, electronic board of projector, a reliable internet connection

You can check if the students have understood by looking at the changes they make to their presentations. Also consider the jury’s vote: by the end of the lesson, they should be able to double-check their classmates’ work.

Time allocation:
You’ll need about 4 lessons, 1 hour each.

Students won’t forget for sure (unless they choose to forget, which may happen). Next time you give them any ICT-related homework, they’ll probably choose to produce their own materials (paintings, drawings, pics etc) instead of just downloading them.

Final notes:
It can be interesting to compare different behaviour in primary and in secondary school: mainly children at primary level like to draw and use their own drawings. A follow up can be organized with older pupils who help younger ones in editing their original material (drawings, photos, music played by themselves) and creating a folder where useful material can be shared and used., just try it and let us know, there's aways room for improvement!


  1. Well I sincerely enjoyed studying it.Cottage Home PlanThis subject offered by you is very effective for good planning,hard work and a great team always make a spotless work..i read your article and find that you make nice point on the service..thanks

  2. Looking forward to trying together this one as well!

  3. Dear Laura,
    Just now I've found this post. I must tell you I like its being clear-cut and effective. At our school too we're interested in the copyright issue and I reckon the steps you and Paola have devised can turn up to be very useful at any stage of schooling.
    Thank you!