Online Safety & Digital Citizenship from K to 6

As a tech teacher, I consider the most vital part of my job is to teach students how to use technology safely and responsibly.  Last year, in my new role as an Instructional Technology Teacher, I have discussed online safety and digital citizenship with most of my classes and assigned activities related to it sporadically throughout the year.  This summer I have vowed to find and organize appropriate resources for teaching online safety and digital citizenship for every grade level I teach so that I can deliver them in a more purposeful and meaningful manner.  Now the summer is almost over and I’m not nearly done.  There are so many online tutorials, games, and activities to choose from.  Below is what I have managed to gather and organize so far.  Most of the resources I found in this live binder that’s a goldmine of links organized by age groups.  All I had to do is pick and choose the ones I liked and thought would be a good fit for my students.  Many came from MediaSmarts, an excellent Canadian resource for digital and media literacy.  Others are resources I used last year and found effective.  Hope you find this guide useful.


Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • What is private information (full name? phone number? address? school? birth date?) and should it be shared online?  Why or why not?
  • What should you do if you see something online that upsets you?
  • What is a “pop up”?  How do you get rid of it?  Why do they appear?

Online activities:


ABCya Cyber Five: simple tutorial with 5 easy to understand rules, complete the quiz at the end as a whole class activity

Grade 1

Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • use the same as for Kindergarten, plus…
  • emailing/chatting with strangers
  • blocking unknown users who try to contact you
  • preventing computer viruses by not downloading from unknown websites/links
  • selecting a strong password

Online activities:

ABCya Cyber Five: same tutorial as for Kindergarten but have students work with a partner or independently to complete the quiz at the end (audio support provided)


BrainPOPjr: video tutorial with a easy/hard quiz at the end that can be completed online (can print results)or on paper

Grade 2

Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • use the same as for Kindergarten and grade 1, plus…
  • posting pictures online
  • privacy settings/policies
  • respecting the privacy of others

Online activities:


NetSmartKids: easy games in a sequential order, allows to save using a nickname and then go back to complete, can print a certificate at the end


Privacy Pirates: a lengthy tutorial with multiple choice questions embedded along the way (provides hints if needed), can print results

Grade 3

Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • use the same as for Kindergarten, grade 1 and 2, plus…
  • What is spam?
  • How do companies try to convince you to buy their product online? How do we recognize advertising ploys online?
  • Is everything we read online true?  How can you tell if it’s true or not ? What is the difference between fact and opinion?
  • What is stereotyping?
  • What is Netiquette?  Why is it important to follow the rules of Netiquette?
  • What is cyber bullying?
  • What are the dangers of meeting cyber ‘friends’ in person?

Online activities:


Privacy Playground: The First Adventure of the Three CyberPigs: tutorial that teaches kids how to spot online marketing strategies, protect their personal information and avoid online predators. There are yes/no questions along the way that kids answer to check their understanding.


CyberSense and Nonsense: The Second Adventure of The Three CyberPigs: this tutorial teaches kids how to authenticate online information, observe rules of netiquette, distinguish between fact and opinion and recognize bias and harmful stereotyping in online content. There are yes/no questions along the way that kids answer to check their understanding.

Grade 4

Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • review discussion points from K – grade 3, focusing on…
  • digital communication and digital security/safety

Online activities:


Webonauts Internet Academy: an engaging game based tutorial that deals with issues of good digital citizenship such as identity‚ privacy‚ credibility and web safety. Student make choices along the way by clicking on different options provided, can print a certificate of completion at the end.

Share Jumper

Share Jumper: this challenging game has student answer questions about digital citizenship by choosing one of two possible scenarios for each question.

cyber criminal

The Case of the Cyber Criminal: an interactive game about protecting yourself online.

Grade 5

Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • review discussion points from K – grade 4, focusing on…
  • digital literacy and digital law

Online activities:


ThinkUKnow:  a great interactive, with five different tutorials (emails, chat rooms, web browsing, SMS/text messaging, personal online space) and a quiz at the end.


search shark

Search Shark:  this interactive reviews how to conduct a good search.  Students have to choose the best key words to use for a search on provided topics.



Grade 6

Guiding questions and discussion points:

  • review discussion points from K – grade 5, focusing on…
  • digital commerce and digital rights and responsibilities

Online activities:


Passport to the Internet: need a username and password provided through a licence agreement


Top Secret!: comic format tutorial about posting/sharing media and online purchasing, with multiple choice questions embedded throughout (no way to track the results though)

Furthermore, I have recently found a great blog post by Craig Badura (@MrBadura) describing a Digital Citizenship Kit  filled with everyday objects (such as a padlock, toothbrush, sheet of paper, notebook) he uses to draw parallels between the objects and online behaviours.  For example, a toothbrush should never be shared, and neither should a password.  What a great way to start the conversation about responsible online practices – I cannot wait to try this with my students this year.

Finally, as I was recently reminded in Matt Gomez’s (@mattBgomez) post “We Should Be Doing More Than Teaching Digital Citizenship“, it is not enough to teach Digital Citizenship through discussion and online activities, we must also model it and provide students with authentic experiences of it.  So along with trying all the wonderful resources mentioned above, I hope to do a lot of tweeting, Skype-ing, blogging, and online chatting with my students this year.


Posted on August 15, 2013, in Digital Citizenship and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you sooo much for this! This upcoming year will be my first year as a technology teacher for the school district and this webpage is such a great tool for digital citizenship! Thank you!

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