Whose Is It, Anyway?


This week students learned about plagiarism from Commons Sense Media’s Digital Citizen unit.  The lesson was adapted from Unit 1, Lesson 5 titled Whose Is It, Anyway? Students learned about plagiarism and its consequences through an activity where they voted with their feet.  Students were given four different scenarios where they had to vote “Okay” or “No Way” and explain why they voted the way they did.

Students were presented with the four scenarios below.  If they believed it is okay, they moved to the left side of the room; if they believed it is no way, they moved  to the right side of the room.

Scene 1:  David had basketball practice last night and didn’t have time to do his homework.  Justin offers to let him copy his, and sends it to David in an email.

Scene 2: Manny has to write a paragraph about water resources for science.  He finds a paragraph on a website that is just right.  Manny copies it in his own handwriting.

Scene 3: Samantha copies a webpage into her book report and adds her own first sentence.

Scene 4:  Ming spends a lot of time on the Web.  She finds a great drawing on a site.  She prints it for the cover of her social studies report and gives credit to the illustrator in her report.

After much discussion, students logged in to the Common Sense Media’s Digital Passport to create a music video through the activity Mix and Mash.  The activity allowed students to understand how to give credit when using someone else’s creative work.  To continue the discussion at home, parents may want to download the fact sheet “Respecting Creative Work” from Common Sense Media.

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