More than ever, young students are online making comments about what they are viewing and/or playing. When talking in person you are able to see facial expressions and body language, but this is not the case when connecting virtually. In this lesson students will watch a video about polite Internet behavior (netiquette). They will engage in a class discussion about proper online behavior.
- Be able to use polite words and comments when communicating on the Internet.
- Be able to differentiate between positive and negative comments.
- Understand that bad manners have consequences.
- Positive comments: Positive comments are good or nice discussion notes.
- Negative comments: Negative comments are bad or mean discussion notes
- Consequence: A consequence is the result of an action.
- Respect: Respect is treating someone kindly with consideration for their feelings.
- Manners: Manners are the polite way to behave.
- Netiquette: Netiquette is online etiquette (good behavior).
To prepare for this lesson:
The teacher may also wish to explore resources included within the Digital Citizenship section of 21 Things 4 Educators in order to fully prepare for this activity.
See Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students.net site in the Teacher Resources.
Directions for this activity:
- The teacher will lead a class discussion about manners. Specifically, focusing on how our words - whether spoken in person or written on the Internet- have power and can affect others either positively or negatively. The teacher will also remind students that when leaving comments online, the other person cannot see the facial expression or mood of the one leaving the comment; thus jokes which are meant to be funny may be offensive.
- Students will discuss the difference between positive and negative comments with a partner.
- Brainstorm a list of situations when students may have the opportunity to post or leave a comment online.
- As a whole group brainstorm several negative comments regarding a specific topic (e.g., What might someone comment/post after watching a video that he/she did not like?).
- The teacher will write these negative comments down on chart paper or the board.
- Working in pairs, the students will rewrite/reword the negative comments in order to make them positive.
- The revised comments will be shared out and the class will discuss the way in which these comments might make someone feel, as opposed to the negative comments.
- The class will watch the video, Netiquette Only.
- The class will participate in a discussion about the video.
- Within small groups, students will discuss the consequences of someone not being polite online (e.g., hurt someone’s feelings, make others feel bad, make others angry).
- Each group will decide on two specific effects.
- Each group will share out the top two effects of not being polite.
- Work as a class to compile a list of netiquette rules for working online and being polite. (For example: when commenting on someone’s video only say nice things, when reading someone’s email or message do not use mean words).
- Students may practice making positive posts within a shared Google Doc or on a class blog entry.
Different options for assessing the students:
- Check for understanding
- Informal observation during discussion using a checklist:
- I can differentiate between positive and negative comments.
- I can use positive comments when I talk to others.
- I understand that my comments have consequences (either positive or negative).
MITECS Competencies & ISTE STANDARDS
MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.
2b engage in positive and safe, behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
Devices and Resources
CONTENT AREA RESOURCES
Students could read their own story on manners and write about being polite on the Internet.
Students could take a survey of their class or the students in the school to see how many leave virtual comments or send emails.
The students might even differentiate between how many leave negative comments. This information could then be graphed and used to provide support as to why this topic needs to be addressed.
Students might discuss ways in which online communities compare to physical communities. Ultimately, we want students to understand that our comments and behavior affect our communities (whether virtual or physical).
This task card was created by Jean Smith, Van Buren Public Schools, February 2018. Updated September, 2022.