Get students thinking and talking about how to be safe and responsible digital citizens.

Image of young kid on an ipad

From an early age, it’s important for students to start learning healthy media habits. More and more, digital citizenship skills like balancing screen time with other activities, being kind to others online, and knowing what’s OK and not OK to share online are essential at the elementary school level. But working digital citizenship lessons into an already-packed daily schedule can be a challenge for most teachers.

For Digital Citizenship Week, we’ve put together a series of quick video discussion activities you can use to kick-start your commitment to digital citizenship. These can fit into a short, 10-minute window of time -- be it planned or unplanned. It’s easy -- just show the video to your students, then use the questions to lead a class discussion! And if you find time to take it further, each video has a free lesson plan linked on the video page, complete with slides, student handouts, family activities, and more.

Activities for Grades K–2

Media Balance Is Important

Through this fun song, students will start to think about how to find a happy balance between their online and offline activities!

Discussion Questions: What was your favorite part of the song? What was one thing you learned from the song? Why should you take a break from your device when a friend says "hi"?

Pause & Think Online

From our head down to our toes, and our feet up to our nose, the Digital Citizens inspire students to be safe, responsible, and respectful online.

Discussion Questions: Which character do you relate to most when you go online? Why is it important to be kind online? Why shouldn't you open a message from someone you don't know?

We the Digital Citizens

Students explore the amazing possibilities that come with using technology and learn from the Digital Citizens, who take a pledge to travel safely on the internet.

Discussion Questions: What was one thing you learned from the Digital Citizens? Why is it a good idea to set a time limit when using technology? Why shouldn't you share your username or password with other people?

Pause, Breathe, Finish Up!

Students learn a simple routine for how to deal with being interrupted while using media.

Discussion Questions: Do you ever have a hard time pausing when you’re in the middle of watching a show or playing a game? If so, why do you think it’s hard to pause? Why do you think it's important to stop what you're doing and pause for people even if you don't want to?

My Online Neighborhood

In this video, students learn three rules for keeping their online experiences safe and fun.

Discussion Questions: What did Arms like about the internet? What kinds of things can he do online? What three rules does Arms follow when going places online?


Activities for Grades 3–5

Rings of Responsibility

Students learn about a framework -- the rings of responsibility -- to understand how to balance their responsibilities as digital citizens.

Discussion Questions: How could throwing a bottle out of your window be similar to something you do online? What are the Rings of Responsibility? Have you ever heard the term "digital citizen"? What comes to mind when you hear that term?

Private & Personal Information

Students learn about what type of information is or isn't OK to share online.

Discussion Questions: What type of information about you is OK to share? What type of information isn't? Why shouldn’t you share private information?

My Media Balance

Through this video, students learn a framework for making informed media choices to help them find media balance in their lives.

Discussion Questions: According to the video, what is media balance? How are some media choices more or less healthy than others? What does media balance look like for you?

What's Cyberbullying?

Students learn what is -- and what isn't -- cyberbullying, and get some strategies they can use to respond to it.

Discussion Questions: What is cyberbullying? What are some things you can do if you see cyberbullying?


Reading News Online

With this video, students learn how online news articles are structured. This is the first step in helping them get better at interpreting what they see online.

Discussion Questions: Why do you think it's important to know the different parts of an online news article and website? What are some things to look out for when reading a news article online? How do you think knowing more about the parts of an online news article can help you?

Eisha B.

As Director, Education Programs & Development for Common Sense Education, Eisha oversees education programming and content strategy for the Digital Citizenship Program. She has over 10 years of experience working in the K-12 education sector, starting out as a middle and high school teacher, and then focusing more deeply on curriculum development, teacher professional development and training, and program evaluation. Eisha develops research-based curricula to ensure the digital well-being of all students, with dedicated efforts to helping promote a positive learning culture around media and technology within schools. Eisha holds a B.A. in economics and political science from the University of Michigan and a M.A. in education from St. John's University.