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Lesson Plan

Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing

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Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Maria Kardick

Collegeville, Pennsylvania


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






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ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Useful for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, this outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information.


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  1. This lesson is designed to be co-planned and co-taught by the classroom teacher and the school library media specialist. Meet to decide responsibilities for teaching the lessons and assessing student work, as well as to arrange logistics for using the library media center.  In advance, agree upon lead and support educator roles for each session. Educators are strongly encouraged to alternate roles depending upon individual strengths and expertise.

  2. Ideally, the library media specialist and English language arts teacher will also collaborate with a willing colleague from the science or social science department for the activities in this lesson.

  3. Choose a section or chapter in the student textbook to use during each part of the lesson and as part of the student assessment. Textbook sections that have not/may not be covered in class work best.

  4. Make copies of the Research Skills KWL handout and Checklist for Fair Use for each student.

  5. Make arrangements to project the Paraphrasing Practice PowerPoint Presentation and the Identifying Plagiarism PowerPoint Presentation, or create separate transparencies for each sentence on the Paraphrasing Practice and Identifying Plagiarism sheets.

  6. If students need additional practice, choose passages from available texts (e.g., an elementary level encyclopedia; student writing; unfamiliar school or college textbooks). Work together to create your own paraphrased and plagiarized versions of the passages to extend student options for identifying plagiarism.

  7. The classroom teacher and library media specialist should test the ReadWriteThink Notetaker on the computers to familiarize themselves with the tool and to ensure the Flash plug-in is installed. Schools can download the plug-in from the Technical Support page.

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