Lesson Plan

Creative Work and Copyright Discussion Board

In this lesson, case studies from Common Sense Media will be used to generate discussions on a discussion board about the rights associated with creative work and copyright laws.
Kacie R.
Classroom teacher
Schalmont Middle School
Schenectady, NY
Show More
My Grades 6
My Subjects English Language Arts
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

* Collaborate verbally

* Collaborate electronically using an online discussion board

* Understand the meaning of piracy and plagiarism

* Understand that piracy and plagiarism are ethically and morally wrong

* Generate solutions to problems associated with copyright violations

* Understand vocabulary associated with copyright

*Communicate ideas electronically, in small groups, and as a full class

English Language Arts
Grades 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduction: Tell students that we will be using discussion boards to learn more about copyright.

Activity: Other — Discussion

Teacher says: "We will be reading case studies. Case studies are situations in which people face a problem or situation. It will be our job to discuss and analyze these cases. When you are reading the cases, I want you to think about how they can connect to some of the vocabulary terms we have been discussing in class."


* Creative Commons






*Mash up/remix


*Fair use

2 Direct Instructions: Procedures for activity

Teacher tells students: "If you look on your classroom update you will see the procedure we will be following for today's lesson."

Teacher explains procedures to the class.


Student Instructions


Step 1: Each person in the group (of four students) will pick one of the case studies on copyright. 

Step 2: When the teacher tells you to, choose a case study and read it to yourself.

Step 3: When you have finished reading your case study, find the discussion board that matches the title of your case study  in schoology. 

Step 4: Post your answers to the question in the discussion board. Then,  refresh your page and read the comments of your classmates.

Step 5: Comment on at least two of your classmates responses. Comments must be meaningful (don't simply type "good job" or "I agree.") An example of a meaningful comment is: I agree with you, Sally. I also had a time when someone took something that I created and they said it was theirs. It made me upset because that person did not give credit for the work that I did.

Step 6: When the teacher says, "times up!" you will explain your case study to your home group members. You will record your reactions and findings on a poster to be shared with the class.

Step 7: Each group shares their copyright case study poster to the class.

3 Ready, set, go!

You will use the case studies from common sense media under the 6-8 curriculum. The case studies are in the "creator's responsibilities" section.  You must set up a teacher account to access the PDF of this document. 

Teacher tells students to choose a case study and students silently read their case. When they are finished reading, they go to the "Case study discussion boards" folder in schoology and find the title of their case. Students will then comment on their case using the questions associated with the case as a guide.

Teacher should circulate to make sure students are in the correct discussion boards and to help students get started on their comments if they are stuck.

4 Discuss your case studies in your groups and create a poster.

Activity: Drawing

Teacher gives a "Time's up!" call when students are finished commenting. She instructs students to discuss their own cases with their group members.

After students have shared what they learned from their case studies verbally, the teacher tells students that each group will create a poster to illustrate what they learned from the case studies.

Teacher passes out markers and papers.

Student Instructions

For their poster, students can draw pictures that represent some of the events that occurred in their case studies, create a mind map of the connections they found across the cases, or a word cloud of the important things that happened. I like to keep the options open for my students in how they show what they learned, I often find very different representations of similar ideas!

5 Student share out/Wrap up

Activity: Presenting

Teacher facilitates presentation of posters. Each group presents and explains their poster.  Presentations tend to be about 1-3 minutes long per group.