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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 50-minute sessions|
This lesson helps students understand copyright, fair use, and plagiarism by focusing on why students should avoid plagiarism and exploring strategies that respect copyright and fair use. The lesson includes three parts, each framed by a KWL chart. In the first part, focusing on plagiarism, students discuss plagiarism and look at examples to determine whether the passages are plagiarized. Part two introduces copyright and fair use. Students use a Think-Pair-Share strategy to explore questions about fair use, then read several scenarios and determine if the uses described are fair use. In the third part, students develop paraphrasing skills through direct practice with paraphrasing text book passages using an online notetaking tool.
This lesson plan was developed as part of a collaborative professional project with the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
- Checklist for Fair Use: Use this checklist to determine if your use of copyrighted material is considered fair use.
- ReadWriteThink Notetaker: Use this online tool to organize and reorganize notes.
Students need multiple opportunities to practice citing sources and paraphrasing, to see examples of writing that properly uses paraphrasing and citations, and to reinforce these concepts. When students are taught information about these concepts early in their academic careers they are more likely to find success when the demands for research increase with the sophistication of their work. As their work becomes more sophisticated, students must have an understanding of fair use practices concerning copyright. Giving credit for a source is essential, but there are times when just a citation is not enough. Depending upon what part and how much of the text a writer uses, he or she may need to seek permission to use the material. By discussing and practicing paraphrasing and working through some fair use examples in this lesson, students should gain a better understanding of these concepts.
NCTE Executive Committee, November 2008. Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. Online: http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/fairusemedialiteracy.