Years 3 and 4


Focus: Positive online behaviours
VELS: Level 3
Objective: For students to develop an understanding of respectful ways of communicating online.

Discussion prompts

  • Introduce students to the term ‘respect’.
    • you could enter these terms into a children’s search engine such as Kiddle; or 
    • search for ‘respect’ at PrimaryConnect.
  • Go to the tips on netiquette and use them as further discussion stimulus at Cyber[smart:]

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Middle primary unit – positive online communication

See 'Positive online communication' on: ACMA Cyber[smart:] – The ACMA Units of Work

Selection of activities from this unit:

  • How do we communicate?
  • Successful communication
  • Online communication
  • Applying netiquette

Teaching idea 2: Bad Netiquette Stinks

See: Bad Netiquette Stinks

This animation follows the story of Potty-Mouth Pete who is trying to spread bad netiquette all over the Internet. Can Clicky, Webster and Netty stop him before it is too late?

Register for access to a download package including the video, lesson plans and activity cards.

Teaching idea 3: Games based netiquette learning

See: Fight the Flame War

This quick game would be useful when played on an interactive board with follow up discussion.

  • What types of messages needed extinguishing?
  • Why were some of the flame messages inappropriate?

Betty’s Netiquette Quiz – presents players with 10 scenario based questions each with a number of possible answers. Players are challenged to get at least eight correct responses.


What’s real?

Focus: What’s real online?
VELS: Level 3
Objective: For students to develop and understanding of how real friends can be different from online ‘friends’ and how people’s behaviour may change when they take on an online persona.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Being who I want to be

Present the following scenario to the class:

You wake up one morning and as you roll over in bed, you realise you are wearing an unusual watch you have never seen before which has three tiny switches on it. Each switch gives you special powers:

  • Switch 1: Changes your physical appearance.
  • Switch 2: Changes your clothing to anything you want.
  • Switch 3: Gives you the power to be invisible when you choose.

Ask students to draw themselves as their new persona depicting changes to their physical appearance and clothing. Underneath their picture, ask students to write a brief description of themselves, including how they use the power to be invisible. On completion, students share their personas in groups or as a class.

Discussion prompts

  • How might their new persona change the way they behave – in good ways and bad ways? Why might this happen?
  • Why might some people choose to take on bad behaviours when wearing their watch?
  • Why might some people choose to take on good behaviours when wearing their watch?
  • Even though the watch could give the wearer special powers, would that make it alright for the wearer to behave badly or do the wrong thing? Why/why not?

Teaching idea 2: Friendship

Show the class three short excerpts from Mortified – Australian Children’s Television Foundation, 2006: Taylor’s speech:

The video clip shows Taylor, the main character in Mortified, giving a short speech about friendship. As you guide the students through this discussion about friendship and the differences between real friends and online friends, relate back to the earlier discussion on behaviour and online personas.
Discussion prompts:

  1. What is friendship?
  2. Do you think Taylor and Hector are good friends? Why/why not?
  3. How does Hector show his friendship towards Taylor? How does Taylor show her friendship towards Hector?
  4. In her speech, Taylor says “The best thing that we’ve all gained here is friends.” Why do you think it is important to have friends?
  5. Who are your friends – in and out of school? Why are they your friends?

Draw a T-chart and on one side, make a list of students’ suggestions of all the things that make a friend, e.g. they are kind, fun to be with etc.

  • Are there any websites students currently use where they have online friends?
  • Do they consider everyone they interact with online a ‘friend’? Why/why not?
  • What is an online friend? Add students’ suggestions to the other side of the T-chart.

Ask students to identify what are the similarities between real friends and online friends. What are the differences?

Why might some people not behave respectfully when they are online?

When you are online, how do you know your friends are who they say they are?

What might be some ways to stay safe online when you are using email or chatting/messaging with friends?

Compare students’ suggestions with the list of tips provided on Cyber[Smart:] Kids: Online Friends

Further resources

See: SuperClubsPLUS Australia


Protecting my online identity

Focus: My online identity
VELS: Level 3
Objective: For students to develop the understanding that there is a difference between personal information that should be kept private and personal information that is safe to share, and strategies that can be used to protect one’s online identity and minimise harm.

Discussion prompts

  1. Brainstorm examples of personal data, e.g. name, age, address.
  2. What personal details should not be shared with strangers or posted online? Why/why not?
  3. What personal details could digital images of you and your friends accidentally provide? e.g. school, sporting team, home address.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Middle Primary Unit

See 'Sharing personal information' on: ACMA Cyber[smart:] – The ACMA Units of Work

Lessons cover the following themes:

  • How easily can I be identified?
  • Sharing personal information
  • Online personal profiles
  • Hector’s World

Teaching idea 2: Privacy playground: The first adventures of the three cyberpigs

Privacy Playground is an online game developed by the Media Awareness Network (Canada), aimed at 8-10 year olds. The purpose of the game is to teach students how to spot online marketing strategies, protect their personal information and avoid online predators. Play the game as a whole class, using an interactive whiteboard, to generate discussion and vote on the correct answer to the quiz questions. A Teacher’s Guide, including handouts, can also be found on the site, see: Privacy Playground

Teaching Idea 3: Infinite Learning Lab

See: Infinite Learning Lab

This animation kit featuring the Garfield character is a great way to introduce what should be kept private and what is ok to share online. View the animation as a class or have students view it independently. Complete the ‘Try’ section independently, or use an interactive whiteboard to complete the task as a group. The ‘Apply’ activity consolidates student understanding.

Teaching idea 4: Trustworthy websites

Present on an interactive whiteboard / screen the two following websites:

These two websites both have different forms of accreditation that tells visitors they are secure. Club Penguin is a site which displays the TRUSTe logo

TRUSTe helps people click with confidence by guiding them to trustworthy Web sites. Companies that display the TRUSTe seal on their website’s privacy policy comply with the highest standards for protecting your personal information

Moshi Monsters has a similar accreditation, but with Privo

  • Have students search for more websites that have TRUSTe or Privo accreditation.
  • What are the similarities across all the sites?
  • Is there another type of accreditation that lets visitors know the site is safe and secure with personal information?

Explain to students that even though a site looks safe, they should always check with a parent/carer, teacher or other trusted adult before filling out any online form.


Protecting my online privacy

My online privacy
VELS: Level 3
Objective: For students to develop an understanding of the importance of keeping passwords secure; Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statements on websites and how these can impact on their online privacy; and strategies they can use to protect their online identity.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Passwords Rap

View The Passwords Rap from Netsmartz

Discussion prompts

  • What information on passwords does the rap present?
  • Why are passwords necessary when using technology?
  • When do you currently use passwords?
  • How do you create a strong password?

Teaching idea 2: Password scenarios

Divide students into groups and give each group one of the scenarios below to discuss.

Scenario 1: Hoang is in a hurry and needs to create a password in order to download an online game he wishes to join. He creates the password qwerty12

Did Hoang make a safe choice? Why or why not? What other tips could he follow?

Scenario 2: Isabella wants to choose a password she can easily remember and decides on allebasI1.

Did Isabella make a safe choice? Why or why not? What other tips could she follow?

Scenario 3: Craig lives in Bendigo, Victoria—the home of the Bendigo Bombers. He is a big fan. Craig chose ‘bomberfan’ as his password.

Did he make a safe choice? Why or why not? What other tips could Craig follow?

Scenario 4: Crystal chose her password by combining part of her first name, her pet’s name, and the numbers of her birth month to come up with the password ‘crysfido11’.

Has Crystal made a safe choice? Why or why not? What other tips could Crystal follow?

Teaching idea 3: Creating strong passwords

Have students individually create a strong password that Isabella, Hoang, Crystal or Craig could use. Suggest that they make up a sentence that is meaningful to them or use the first line in a favourite saying or song. For example, Craig could use “Go Bombers” to make the password “g0b0mb3rz”.

Students test the passwords they have made for Isabella, Hoang, Crystal or Craig in The Password Meter

Students identify what changes may need to be made to improve their passwords based on the password tips that have been discussed.

Another activity which can be used to teach students about passwords is on Digizen. The website includes lesson plans and resources. See: Digizen

Discussion prompts

Recall any websites they have used which require an online registration (e.g. online game sites etc).

  • What details were required?
  • Was there an age requirement for registering?
  • Why would the website owners want this type of information?
  • What might be some possible dangers of filling in online forms?

Teaching idea 4: Read the small print!

  1. Go to the Tate Kids site and using an interactive whiteboard, spend a few minutes showing students around the site. See: Tate Kids
  2. Go to the My Gallery section of the site where students can post their own artwork. Click on the Sign Up link to take students to the registration page. Scroll through the page and discuss the details that are being requested – do students think this is a safe online form to complete – why/why not? See: My Gallery
  3. At the bottom of the form, click on Tate Kids Online Safety Guide. Take students through each letter of the Guide and discuss. The last letter, S, suggests Swot up on Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  4. Ask students what they think is meant by Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy? Why are these on websites?
  5. Go back to the site’s home page and click on Terms and Conditions. Go through these with the class, including the adult section. Why are the Terms and Conditions necessary? Are they easy to understand? See: Terms and Conditions
  6. Go back to the site’s home page and this time click on the Privacy Policy link. Why is this policy necessary? Is it easy to understand? See: Privacy Policy
  7. What precautions should students take when completing online registrations or completing online forms? Why is it important that a parent/carer, teacher or other trusted adult supervise or be aware of this?
  8. Why should students talk to their parents/carers or a trusted adult if they have registered for a site or completed an online form they are concerned about?

Further resources

Students work in pairs and access the website: Random Password

Create a password or a number of passwords. With their partner they discuss:

  • whether the passwords generated are strong based on their knowledge of what makes a strong password
  • when this tool might be helpful to generate a password.

Protecting myself from cyberbullying

Focus: Cyberbullying
VELS: Level 3
Objective: For students to: analyse messaging behaviours that could be considered cyberbullying; define bystander and compare helpful and harmful bystanders; analyse behaviours that could be considered cyberbullying; generate solutions for dealing with a cyberbullying situation; identify outside organisations which have been set up to provide assistance.

Note to teachers: The discussion to introduce the topic of cyberbullying should be contextualised within the school’s Student Engagement Policy and the proactive steps to prevent any form of bullying, including cyberbullying. Teachers may wish to draw on this and ask students to complete a Venn diagram to show similarities and differences between bullying and cyberbullying. Students could complete this task individually first, then pair up with a classmate and compare their diagrams, before joining up with another pair to again compare. Each group could present their findings or complete the task as a whole class using an interactive white board.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Cyberbullying unit of work

See Cyberbullying on: ACMA Cyber[smart:] – The ACMA Units of Work

This comprehensive unit contains six lessons, all approximately 45 minutes in length. Some of the learning outcomes include:

  • comparing and contrasting bullying and cyberbullying
  • describing the roles and responsibilities of people involved in bullying
  • listing strategies to deal with cyberbullying.

Teaching idea 2: Group Think

Follow the lesson plan for CyberSmart! – Group Think, which includes two activities for students to complete. (This task provides a good opportunity to revise safe use of passwords.) See: Group Think

Teaching idea 3: The Power of Words

Follow the lesson plan at CyberSmart! – The Power of Words, which includes two activities for students to complete. See: The Power of Words

Teaching idea 4: So What Should I Do If I’m Cyberbullied?

  • Following on from Teaching Ideas 1, 2 and 3, ask students what strategies are available to them if they are cyberbullied?
  • Compare the class list with the tips found at Cyberbullying
  • Explain to students that there are outside organisations which have been set up to provide assistance. Highlight the information on assistance at:
  • Compare the class list with the tips found at Cyberbullying

Teaching idea 5: Cyberbullying

Use the BrainPop animation and accompanying activity and quiz to teach students about cyberbullying. See: BrainPOP

Explain to students that there are outside organisations which have been set up to provide assistance. Highlight the information on assistance at: