Digital Citizenship Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Do your students understand the concept of digital citizenship? Take them to task with the help of a text lesson and an eye-opening in class activity. If you want to take your instruction even further, consider the optional activities and related lessons.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'digital citizenship'
  • categorize types of digital citizenship
  • apply digital citizenship parameters to personal use of technology


1 hour

Curriculum Standards


Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.


Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.

Key Vocabulary

  • Digital citizenship
  • Digital literacy
  • Digital safety
  • Digital etiquette


  • Begin by asking students to tally up the number of times they have used technology today. Write those numbers on the board.
  • Next, ask the students what 'citizenship' means to them. Once again, write those definitions on the board.
  • Now ask them about digital citizenship. Is it the same as citizenship? If not, what are the differences. Write students' ideas on the board as well.
  • Now have students read the Introduction and Digital Citizenship sections of the text lesson What is Digital Citizenship? - Definition & Themes.
  • When all students have finished reading those two sections, ask them to review their definitions for digital citizenship. Did they miss anything? Also ask them if they are native digital citizens. How about their parents? Grandparents? What kids of differences do they see among these groups in terms of digital citizenship?
  • Have the students read the remainder of the text lesson.
  • As the students are reading, write the following terms on the board:
  • When all students have completed the lesson, divide them into three groups. Group One will cover digital literacy, Group Two will have digital safety, and Group Three will focus on digital etiquette.
  • Each group must come up with three examples of struggles with their topic based on personal experiences with technology. Keeping in mind the content of the text lesson, they must also come up with three solutions for these problems. For example, the digital etiquette group might mention cyberbullying as an example and offer ideas for preventing it.
  • When all groups have their three examples and solutions, have them present them to the class.

Discussion Questions

  • How can we become better digital citizens?
  • Is digital citizenship something that should be monitored and enforced?


  • Have students research recent news stories that involve violations of digital citizenship. What should be or could have been done to prevent these incidents.
  • Ask students to keep a log for a week of examples of good and bad digital citizenship in their own use of technology and social networking.

Related Lessons

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