Understanding Copyright Teacher Resources
Find Understanding Copyright educational ideas and activities
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New! Lesson: Copyrights and Wrongs
Ensure that your class knows all about giving credit where credit is due. Engage their interest with a brief conversation about creative work and a quick video about responsible use of the work of others. Then, give them some time in small groups to act as advertisers who need to select a photo for a campaign while considering copyright laws. Close the day with a review and reflection.
What is Plagiarism?
Concerns about how to protect intellectual property rights have grown along with the advancements in technology. This richly detailed two-day lesson examines plagiarism as a violation of intellectual property rights and asks middle and high schoolers to research school rules on the topic from this point of view. After analyzing rules, problems in the application of the rules, and the consequences for rule violations, class member prepare a presentation for invited guests.
The Punishable Perils of Plagiarism
For the purposes of this video, plagiarism is a criminal offense pursued by the Department of Plagiarism Investigation. Each type of plagiarism is given a catchy name, a creative description, and is demonstrated with a cartoon animation. Although the D.P.I. isn't actually real, the narrator encourages viewers to uphold the ideals of this imaginary department. Extend the lesson with the provided additional materials.
Students pretend to devise an Internet based game that is copied and distributed by someone else. With a partner, they role play situations in which their work is copied, and discuss legal and illegal copyright situations. Using Internet sources they research Fair Use and Public Domain.
Respect for Intellect
Seventh graders participate in digital citizenship case studies involving intellectual property and copyright issues such as plagiarism, software installation, Web content and trademarks. They discuss ethical and unethical decisions about the case studies in the context of their homes and schools.
Plagiarism: Avoiding Accidental Internet Plagiarism
Demonstrate how to cite information from Internet sources without plagiarizing. If your class is working on an Internet research paper, and you have observed learners cutting and pasting directly from the Internet, the activities and methods involved here should help your class understand how to properly cite and paraphrase research. The handout attachments are only available if you register, so you might make your own. A cited article is in the additional materials.
Quoting, Citing, and Paraphrasing
Beware! (not only the Ides of March). Warn your researchers of the dangers of plagiarism! After defining the term, viewers are introduced to the consequences of and forms of plagiarism, as well as tips on how to avoid plagiarism. Information is also included on related issues like reusing a research paper and copyright infringement.
Whose Is It, Anyway?
Launch a discussion about plagiarism, the consequences of plagiarism, and how giving credit is a sign of respect for the work of others. Start out by defining plagiarism and sharing your school's official policy. Class members can then be introduced to the Modern Language Association (MLA) format for citing resources. The resource cites many standards. You may have trouble meeting all of them with the lesson.
New! A Creator’s Responsibilities
Want to keep your learners from plagiarizing? Here is one way to tackle the topic and relate it not only to plagiarizing text, but also to pirating music and video productions. Class members discuss the topic, watch a video about pirating, and examine case studies. The instructional activity combines individual and group work to make learners consider their own actions.
What's Mine Isn't (Necessarily) Yours
When we use images or ideas from the Internet, we might be infringing on someone's rights. Give your class the opportunity to understand copyright and creator's rights as they evaluate fair and legal use of media found online. As they explore intellectual property, public domain, and plagiarism, they also explore how media resources can, and should, be cited. The lesson includes two distinct activities, video links, and addresses Common Core standards.
Cross-Genre Lesson: Exploring a Thematic Idea of Informational and Literary Texts
Let the synthesizing begin as your learners trace and explore thematic ideas through informational and literary texts that concern Ramses II and the fall of Saddam Hussein. Learners begin by examining an encyclopedia article concerning Ramses and progress to “Ozymandias” by Shelly, and an article from National Geographic of the same topic but of a different tone. Readers compare the three texts and finalize the persona of Ramses. They also develop a theme from the three texts. Learners connect the themes through a photograph of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue in a Bagdad city square. From that, they analyze hubris of the leaders. Everyone in the class is challenged with argument and synthesis essays.
Please No Posers
How do you reference information correctly? Avoid plagiarism by accurately summarizing a New York Times article with your middle or high schoolers. Young researchers then insert properly attributed quotations and paraphrases into their summaries. Finally, they write opinion pieces about Internet plagiarism.
Don't Get Branded WIth the "P" of Plagiarism
Student identify three consequences of plagiarism by using the Internet. They discuss copyright laws and learn how to paraphrase. They explain the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing.
Plagiarism: Avoid It!
Middle and high schoolers define plagiarism, discover how it has impacted people throughout history, locate ways individuals plagiarize, and identify ways to avoid plagiarism in their own research. They rewrite a paragraph, describing why the revision is the correct way to cite or paraphrase the paragraph.
Debating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Twelfth graders examine copyright issues through research and debate. In this investigative lesson students get into groups and research the pros and cons of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and present it to the class.
What do you need to cite, and how can you avoid plagiarizing? This presentation is aimed at beginning writers, and it details some of the ways people plagiarize (even accidentally) and what sort of information needs to be cited. The best part of this resource is that for each example of accidental plagiarism presented, there's a slide addressing how to cite that information correctly! Specific formats (APA and MLA) are not introduced here.
Chapter 9: Writing Careful Long Reports
Long reports are daunting and they feel impossible to adolescents. Relieve their tension with the thorough and well-organized material in this presentation. The PowerPoint breaks down the major steps of creating a long report, and provides good advice on citations. Some educators might find that there is too much information to present, so do not be afraid to pare down the material to the bare bones.
The War of the Words
“Who’s This Guy Dylan Who’s Borrowing Lines From Henry Timrod?” The basic question in this lesson from the New York Time’s Learning Network is whether artists and authors who use the words of others are stealing from that artist or honoring him/her. Richly detailed, the lesson includes lists of resources, warm-up and wrap-up activities, resource links, discussion questions and assessment activities. Sure to generate interest in the intellectual property/plagiarism debate.
A Way With Words
After reading the New York Times article, “Novelist Says She Read Copied Books Several Times,” class members are divided into groups to explore (in a fishbowl discussion) the different perspectives in the plagiarism case described in the article. List of questions for the consumers, the author, the publishing company, the agent, and the editor are all included in this very detailed plan. A great take on this complex issue.
Plagarism and Crediting Sources
Before the lesson begins, the teacher writes a paragraph about a favorite toy from his/her childhood. The paragraph is read to the class, and each of the sentences are closely looked at for details and support of the topic sentence. Then, young scholars get to write about their own favorite toy and read their paragraph to a partner. The partners try to find words and phrases that they both used to describe their toy which leads to a discussion on plagiarism, or, stealing someone elses ideas and words for a story.