6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade lesson plans

  • Who Are You Online?: Many tweens and teens create different or alternate personas for themselves when they’re online and on social media. But what does it mean for kids to “be yourself” or “be real”? Help your students explore both the benefits and drawbacks to posting from multiple accounts.
  • Chatting Safely Online: In this lesson, students can reflect on just how well they actually know the people they’re interacting with online and the kinds of information they’re sharing with others. Help your students learn about “red flag feelings” and the best ways to respond when they happen.
  • The Power of Digital Footprints: Here, students can analyze some sample digital footprints from two characters. They’ll then be able to think critically about how their own digital footprints can lead others to draw conclusions—both positive and negative—about who they are.
  • Being Aware of What You Share: This lesson puts a slightly different spin on the concept of digital footprints, focusing mainly on the data that apps, websites, and other digital tools collect from users when they’re online. Help your students think critically about who’s collecting these types of data and how it’s being used.
  • Social Media and Digital Footprints: Our Responsibilities: When it comes to kids’ digital footprints, social media is ground zero. In this lesson, students can reflect on how the features of various social media platforms affect their and their peers’ digital footprints.
  • Sexting and Relationships: Most middle schoolers aren’t ready for all the risks involved with exploring their sexuality in the digital age. Help your students think critically about self-disclosure in relationships, and give them opportunities to practice how they’d respond in a situation where sexting—or a request for sexting—might happen.

Related: 6 steps to promote good digital citizenship for all students

How to teach your students to think before they post #digcit

 [Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Common Sense Education.]

About the Author:

As senior producer and content strategist for Common Sense Education, Jeff Knutson helps creates and publish content for teachers aimed at helping them learn new, innovative, and effective ways to use edtech in the classroom. Prior to his work at Common Sense, Knutson was an editor and classroom teacher. He’s an advocate for the creative, thoughtful, and responsible use of technology, and he thrives on sharing his knowledge, experience, and perspectives with others.