If you're a concerned parent or a teacher in an elementary or middle school, you can be rest-assured that there are plenty of good Internet safety lesson plans available that can help you instill safety and protection in the kids you care about.
Internet Safety is Extremely Important
It's very important to teach the proper skills to kids in regards to the Internet. The Internet can be a useful tool both educationally and socially for kids, but it can also be a dangerous place. This article won't cover all the whys or statistics of Internet safety, but if you're looking for some great resources try reading the following:
Components of Great Internet Safety Lesson Plans
A good lesson plan will include the following:
- Reasons why the Internet can be a great place.
- Reasons why the Internet is also a dangerous place when used incorrectly.
- What sites are good for kids and which ones are less safe or completely unacceptable - kids should learn how to identify a safe site versus a dangerous site.
- All about privacy online. This component includes why giving names, addresses and other identifying information is never OK, not even to someone who claims to be another kid.
- What to do in case of cyber bullying. A great lesson plan will have a strong focus on talking with a trusted adult if there is bullying (or any other trouble) happening online.
- Information kids should understand about what to do if their friend tells them that they're having a problem but hasn't told an adult.
- What to do if someone asks to meet somewhere in person.
- My Space safety, as well as chat and forum safety.
Good Lesson Plan Resources
The NetSmartz Workshop Web site is a virtual plethora of information, well-suited for parents, teachers, kids of all ages and teens. Even if this site was the only site on the Web with lesson plans, you'd be good to go. Some of the Internet safety lesson plans offered by NetSmartz include:
- Activity Cards: These free downloadable activity cards come with a handy teaching guide and come in different age levels:
- Kindergarten through second grade
- Grades three and four
- Grades five and six
- Middle school
- High school.
The cards come with all kinds of tips, time estimates per activity and extra materials needed for each card lesson plan. A great resource.
- Internet safety presentations: These are free online presentations that you order and for which you receive a link to gain access. They cover online risks, details for safe chatting, victim prevention tactics and more. All the skills are interactive and you can order links for different age groups.
- Online and offline activities: This page encompasses a multitude of great learning tools and safety lessons for all age groups. For smaller kids there are mazes, puzzles, quizzes, coloring books, and so much more. Middle school and high school kids can learn lessons through online lessons in computer video form. Check this page out for more than 40 different lessons.
Other Online Lesson Plans
More places to find Internet safety lesson plans include:
- Kid Smart: Offers teacher lesson plans that include full ideas for running an entire course on Internet safety. There are five major lessons and each comes with downloadable instructions, student worksheets, exercise descriptions and key stages for each lesson. Included is a student section where kids can be directed to work alone on skills.
- Lastly CyberSmart has more than 50 different lesson plans, all located in the same place so it's easy to gather your ideas and get a great curriculum together. If teaching
Internet safety is a priority, this is a good site to visit as they cover not only lesson plans for students but also items like professional development, curriculum scope and useful accompanying freebies such as posters and letters to parents.
Planning a useful Internet safety lesson for kids is an important and big job but with the above resources it should be a snap to teach student what they need to know to stay safe while surfing cyber space.