Lesson Plan

Sticky Note Discussions

This lesson will give students a hands-on, unplugged learning experience for using discussion boards. Customize using your own topic!
Jana C.
Classroom teacher
Eastside Elementary School
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My Grades 5
My Subjects Arts

Students will be able to...

1. Participate in an online discussion board with development and organization of writing appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
2. Use technology to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
3. Follow upon agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
4. Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.

English Language Arts
writing clearly
Social Studies
Grades 4 - 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


TTW show students the Discussion Board Basics/Netiquette video from TeacherTube.  

TTW encourage students to follow the video to identify specific tips for discussions.

Student Instructions

TSW engage in the video and will identify tips mentioned in the video that help move discussions along and keep them meaningful and interesting (see below):

1. Post early
2. Read other's posts first
3. Write clearly and concisely
4. Refer to others' posts
5. Explain yourself
6. Be respectful


Activity: Conversing

TTW show students the "Digital Citizen" and have students respond to the discussion (below) on yellow sticky notes. TTW remind students of the importance of writing clearly and concisely and explaining their posts.

TTW read various posts and expound on posts written well, posts that need more information, etc. Some students may not fully reply to the post, leaving out their explanation of why the particular area is important.

Discussion Topic: 

Choose one part of the digital citizen to discuss. Tell which part you chose and why it is important.

THEN, respond to ONE of your classmates, adding to the information they've already posted, by giving one EXAMPLE of how you can practice that area of digital citizenship.

Student Instructions

TSW reply to the teacher's post on yellow sticky notes. Sticky notes will be "posted" in a specific area (board, butcher paper, etc.) of the classroom.


Activity: Conversing

TTW explain to students that they will now expand the post by adding their own examples of how to practice each area of digital citizenship from the Digital Citizen image.

Students may need help in coming up with ideas. 

*Note: The subject-matter in this particular lesson should be taught following a digital citizenship unit.

TTW remind students that they are not expressing their opinions, but adding to the base of knowledge available in the discussion. It is important that TT also remind students that this is a platform to expand perspective and to teach and learn from each other, not the equivalent of a chat room.

Student Instructions

TSW choose one of the original sticky notes and respond by adding an example of how to practice that area of digital citizenship.


TTW have students open the online discussion forum and show students the various tools available for online discussions.

As students complete the online discussion, TTW point out the correlation of the sticky note discussion and the actual online discussion. Both can be seen by others, both should be clear and concise and well-thought responses.

*See attached suggestions for discussion for ideas or use your school's LMS (i.e. Canvas, Blackboard).

Student Instructions

TSW reply to the teacher's original post (can be the same as their original reply) by choosing one area of the digital citizen and telling why it is important.

TSW then respond to a classmate (just as they did in the sticky note discussion).


TTW have students review the discussion. Emojis and acronyms generally used in texting and chatting should NOT be used on a formal discussion board.

TTW reply within the discussion to students' responses with well-explained responses, including explanations of agreeing/disagreeing and personal experience, in order to model appropriate opinion responses.

Student Instructions

TSW read through the responses of others on the online discussion board.