Digital Literacy Lessons

Digital Literacy Lessons

We live in a digital world; even very young students need to think digitally. These lessons can help them build the skills and dispositions they need to become safe and savvy internet users. Visit the Teaching Tolerance Digital Literacy Framework to see each lesson sorted by skill.

Grades K-2

Choosing Reliable Sources This lesson, part of the Digital Literacy series, addresses the importance of locating and verifying reliable sources when working with online information. This lesson is aimed at a young audience and operates on the assumption that many students in the class are not yet reading and writing independently.

Part of a Community Online This lesson focuses on helping young children learn to participate in different kinds of digital communities. Students will solidify and work on what they know about being part of any community.

Advertisements and You This lesson starts by showing children some of the kinds of advertisements they might run into online and helping them analyze these ads with a critical eye.

 

Grades 3-5

Evaluating Reliable Sources This lesson, part of the Digital Literacy series, addresses the importance of locating and verifying reliable sources when working with online information.

Understanding Online Searches By learning about search algorithms, students will start to understand that the information they get from searching online does not simply materialize out of thin air! This understanding will enable students to critically evaluate search results.

Participating in Digital Communities This lesson aims to help students learn to safely and respectfully participate in different kinds of digital communities.

Privacy and Security Online Students will discuss basic guidelines for maintaining privacy and security online. To help them internalize these rules, students will illustrate what it would mean to follow each guideline.

Producing Digital Information This lesson focuses on what it means to produce digital content and share information using online platforms.

Sensible Consumers As children use digital media with increasing frequency, advertisers who work with digital platforms continue to understand kids as an ideal target audience. Among other things, this means it is important to help children learn to read online ads sensibly and critically.

Activism Online This lesson introduces children to different ways young people have used the internet to work toward positive social change.

 

Grades 6-8

Analyzing How Words Communicate Bias This lesson, part of the Digital Literacy series, focuses on teaching students to identify how writers can reveal their biases through their word choice and tone. Students will identify “charged” words that communicate a point of view. Students will understand how writers communicate a point of view implicitly by writing their own charged news stories.

Understanding and Evaluating Online Searches In the age of Google and other search engines, this lesson aims to help students navigate how information comes to them through online search tools.

Civic Engagement and Communication as Digital Community Members Just as we engage students in establishing guidelines for building inclusive, safe spaces in our classrooms, it is vital that students learn how to communicate in internet groups and respond to bias online.

The Privacy Paradox This lesson teaches students to understand the impact of online actions on their personal privacy.

Digital Activism Remixed As social media engagement among youth continues to rise, students are becoming increasingly exposed to and involved in hashtag campaigns related to themes of identity, diversity, justice and social action.

Advertising on the Internet This lesson focuses on teaching students to understand the role of identity in the online marketplace and online advertising, and advertisers’ intent to manipulate consumers.

Social Media for Social Action This lesson will engage students in the debate about the efficacy of social media as a tool for social change.

Media Consumers and Creators, What Are Your Rights and Responsibilities? This lesson focuses on the concept of "fake news" and the responsibilities of news and media creators and consumers. Students will explore PEN America's News Consumers' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and read an article about "fake news" that presents strategies on how to approach digital sources.

News Consumers' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities This lesson focuses on PEN America's News Consumers' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Students will read the bill of rights, rephrase some of the rights and responsibilities, and rank the rights in order of importance. Finally, students will work together to construct a short dramatic skit that shows the significance of one right of their choosing.

 

Grades 9-12

Evaluating Online Sources In this lesson, students will locate and verify reliable sources of information.

Understanding How Digital Information Comes to You In this lesson, students will learn how different search engines work.

Constructively Engaging in Digital Communities This lesson will introduce students to the need for practicing inclusivity and empathy when engaged in digital communication.

How Online Communication Affects Privacy and Security In this lesson, students will examine their digital footprints, discuss the positives and negatives of having a footprint, and determine how they can most safely manage their footprints.

How Fair Use Works This lesson focuses on copyright and fair use. Students will discuss these concepts and then complete a project demonstrating what they learned.

You Are the Product In this lesson, students will explore the concept of “going viral” and how advertisers use social media to promote their products and identify potential customers.

Digital Tools as a Mechanism for Active Citizenship In this lesson, students will explore how technology can be a useful tool for active citizenship.

Media Consumers and Creators, What Are Your Rights and Responsibilities? This lesson focuses on the concept of "fake news" and the responsibilities of news and media creators and consumers. Students will explore PEN America's News Consumers' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and read an article about "fake news" that presents strategies on how to approach digital sources.

News Consumers' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities This lesson focuses on PEN America's News Consumers' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Students will read the bill of rights, rephrase some of the rights and responsibilities, and rank the rights in order of importance. Finally, students will work together to construct a short dramatic skit that shows the significance of one right of their choosing.

Return to the Digital Literacy Framework Landing Page