High School Curriculum

The following lessons and videos are designed to help you teach essential digital citizenship concepts of copyright and creativity and to get students thinking and talking about how these concepts relate to their own online activities. The lessons have been scripted in detail to help presenters feel confident as they communicate copyright concepts, including fair use and other copyright limitations. 

Each lesson contains:

  • A short, in-class introduction to the topic with video for you to play in class.
  • Independent Learning Videos that can be assigned as homework or played in class, as time permits.
  • In-class wrap up dialogue to review concepts and give students an opportunity to share their experience.

For teachers wanting more background in copyright and fair use, our professional development course is free and available on demand. 

We may also be able to offer a free training in your area. Inquire at: [email protected]

LESSON A: Creativity in the Online World — Copyright Basics and Our Roles as Creators and Consumers

This lesson asks students to reflect on their own roles as both consumers and creators of creative work. Students are introduced to:

  • The purpose of copyright and the protections it provides to creators.
  • Copyright’s limitations—what copyright doesn’t cover, such as facts and ideas, fair use, and public domain works.

LESSON B: Acquiring and Sharing Content Legally and Ethically

As consumers we go online to find music, movies, games, images, software, and more. When we find the media we love, we often want to share it. In this lesson, students learn:

  • How to get music, movies, and other media from lawful providers who respect the rights of artists.
  • How to share media in ways that are legal and ethical.

LESSON C: Using Copyrighted Works in Our Own Creations — Fair Use, Creative Commons, Permissions, and Public Domain

As creators, we often want to use others’ creative work in our own work. For example, we may want to make a collage or mashup, or find an illustration or soundtrack for our latest project. In this lesson, students learn about:

  • Fair use, which allows them to reuse copyright protected work in certain situations without permission.
  • How to find creative works that are free to use with few or no restrictions—Creative Commons and the public domain.

Supplemental Materials


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