Digital Footprint Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach your students about their impact on the digital world with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson explaining what a digital footprint is and how they've evolved. Students discuss content, take a quiz and apply content to a fun activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'digital footprint'
  • explain the components of a digital footprint including the difference between an active and passive footprint
  • discuss the evolution of digital footprints


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Digital footprint
  • Active digital footprint
  • Passive digital footprint
  • Social networking media
  • Internet
  • Identity theft
  • Cookies

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


  • Start class by having students make a list of all the activity they had online in the past 24 hours.
  • After students have completed their list have them share with a partner then as a whole class. Write websites and activity on the board.
  • Next write the phrase 'Digital Footprint' on the board and ask students if they are familiar with the term. Have them infer a definition.
  • Explain that they will be learning about digital footprints and exploring their own in today's lesson.
  • Distribute copies of the lesson Digital Footprint: Definition & Facts and read the first section 'Definition of Digital Footprint (DF).'
  • Define vocabulary terms then ask:
    • What active digital footprints do you have? (Refer to the board for guidance if necessary.)
    • What passive digital footprints may you have?
  • Read the next section 'How Our Digital Footprints Evolved' with students, then discuss:
    • Why can passive digital footprints be harmful to our current lives?
    • What can we do to protect ourselves from identity theft or other types of online harm?
  • Now read the section 'Facts about Digital Footprint' with students. Divide students into partners and have them discuss:
    • How do people make a success out of their active digital footprints?
    • Why may colleges be taking a look at students' online profiles?
    • How do privacy laws protect us online?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' together before taking the quiz to check student understanding. Reteach if necessary.

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