Years 5 and 6


Focus: Positive online behaviours
VELS: Level 4
Objective: For students to develop an understanding of respect and positive and responsible conventions when communicating using a range of digital technologies and the internet.

Discussion prompts

  • Introduce or revise the term ‘respect’. Students could look up this term in a dictionary and thesaurus, both electronic and hardcopy, compile and come up with definitions the whole class can agree on.
  • How does this link with our school values?
  • Invite students to describe situations where they have experienced respectful and non-respectful behaviours online.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: ACMA Unit

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
  • Who do we communicate with?
  • Online communication
  • Applying netiquette

Teaching idea 2: Respect survey

Develop a ten-question quiz using Survey Monkey to survey your class in the finer points of respect or students could interview their classmates and create a video about respect. See: Survey Monkey

Set a live survey using Poll Everywhere where students answer pre-prepared survey questions. These results are graphed in real time using a data projector, giving a powerful representation of the data. See: Poll Everywhere

Note: Both the above mentioned sites both contain Terms Of Service statements at their homepages. Use this opportunity to discuss with your students the acceptable use of an online tool and the agreement they enter into when creating an account. The Poll Everywhere statement is much clearer and easier to understand compared to the Survey Monkey Terms Of Service document.

Teaching idea 3: Do you know your netiquette?

Ask students to do a Think-Pair-Share about the most recent way they exhibited respectful behaviour e.g. saying please, thank you; giving up seat on bus; holding door open for someone etc. What other forms of respect can we add to our list – (school, home, sporting club, social activities etc)?

Students choose one of the following technologies/online tools:

  • mobile phones
  • email
  • digital cameras
  • blogs
  • social networking sites.

Groups should be of no more than four students and each technology may have more than one group assigned to it. In their groups, students brainstorm respectful behaviours associated with their chosen technology and use a graphic organiser or Freemind to capture their input. Each point in their list must be short and succinct.

Students research their topic and add any additional respectful behaviours to their list. Students discuss which of the identified respectful behaviours relate to personal safety.

Websites for student searching



Mobile Phones


Social Networking Sites

Teaching idea 4: Using the Visual Ranking Tool

Working in groups, students use the free Intel Visual Ranking Tool to rank the respectful behaviours related to their technology and justify their position. The whole group must agree with the order of the list and be prepared to defend the list. See: Visual Ranking Tool

Students work in their groups to develop a brochure (electronic or hardcopy) promoting respect and personal safety around the use of the technology they researched above. Their planning should include a storyboard which shows the details that will go on each page and which student is responsible for each task.

As an alternative, students could develop a ‘How to’ book on using technology respectfully for their peers or for junior primary students.

Teaching idea 5: BrainPOP

View the animation at: BrainPOP

Students can then complete the quiz and activities independently or as a group. This site provides additional information through the FYI and Q & A sections.

Teaching idea 6: Introduction to CyberQuoll

CyberQuoll is an online program composed of six episodes in which the characters present scenarios and cybersafety tips in an engaging cartoon format.

View: Episode 1 of CyberQuoll – Invasion of the Noobs

Teacher resources are available at Teacher's CyberQuoll


Who am I online? Who are my friends online?

Focus: What’s real online?
VELS: Level 4
Objective: For students to develop an understanding of how avatars and handles can be used to protect their identity online and minimise risks in an online environment. They also develop  appropriate avatars and handles, and identify potential dangers of online ‘friends’.

Discussion prompts

  • What’s an avatar? What are some examples of avatars that students know from movies, television or the internet?
  • What’s a ‘handle’?
  • Do any of the students have an avatar or a handle? How did they decide on what these would be?
  • When would you use an avatar or a handle?
  • How can the use of avatars and handles help keep us safe online?
  • What would you want your avatar or handle to say about you?
  • How might an avatar or a handle be inappropriate?

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Meet my avatar

Note to teachers: In using any online tools with students, teachers should always check whether users must register first, what personal information might be required, the details of the privacy policy, how the personal information will be used and whether there are any age requirements to register. Teachers should also ensure that any advertising that appears is appropriate.

  • Explain to students that they are going to create their own avatar using doppelme
  • Take students on a tour of the site, highlighting the FAQs, the sign-in page. registration page and privacy policy (students do not have to register in order to save their completed avatar using doppelme), but teachers may wish to take students through this process. This could be used to reinforce the importance of managing passwords securely.
  • Ask students to create an avatar and choose a ‘handle’ (the handle could be used as their username).
  • Avatars can be embedded into other applications and online tools such as blogs, wikis, and PowerPoint presentations. Students could have their own page in a class wiki where they embed their avatar and describe some of the ways in which they keep safe online.
  • Working in pairs, ask students to take on the persona and handle of the avatar they have created and introduce themselves to a partner. They should describe themselves, their personalities, likes and dislikes.
  • Based on these conversations, ask students to decide whether they believed their partner’s avatar. Did the avatar seem like a real person? Explain that the next task looks at avatars and how sometimes we can forget we are communicating with fictional characters.

Teaching idea 2: Are you for real?

This teaching idea uses three short one to two minute clips from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation’s program, Noah and Saskia.

Clip 1: In this clip, Saskia chooses an avatar in order to meet Max in Max Hammer’s Web Weave.

  • Why did Saskia choose the paper bag avatar?
  • What do you think Max’s avatar said about him?
  • What did Max mean when he said ‘Reality is what you make it’ and ‘This reality is mine!’
  • Why did he throw Saskia out of his online space?

Clip 2: In this clip, Saskia goes back to Max Hammers Web Weave to again try to talk to Max, but this time creates a very different avatar for herself.

  • How was Saskia’s new avatar different to her first avatar?
  • Why did she feel she had to create a very different look for herself?
  • How did her new ‘name’ fit her new avatar?
  • How did Saskia describe chatting to Max?
  • Saskia is still not sure she is talking to the real Max, but doesn’t seem to care. What advice would you give to Saskia about chatting to people online?

Clip 3: In this clip, Saskia goes to see her friend Renee to tell her about her chat with Max. Saskia feels that Max is real, but Renee reminds her that ‘he’s typing, words on a screen. He’s an idea.’ Why does Saskia feel that Max is real?

  • Who is right – Saskia or Renee? Provide a reason for your response.

Ask students to keep in mind the clips they have seen. Discuss:

  • What is friendship?
  • Why is it important to have friends?
  • Is everyone they interact with online a friend?
  • What’s the difference between real friends and online friends?
  • What websites do students currently use where they have online friends?
  • How do they know these friends are who they say they are?

Ask which of the students have used chat and or social networking sites.

  • Ask students to describe rules they use to keep safe and minimise harm when using these tools.
  • Highlight safety tips from sites such as: Online friends – Cybersmart
  • Have students create a class list of tips on the safe use of chat and social networking sites based on the video clips and discussion. Ask students to include tips about the use of avatars, noting that even though they may seem like nice, friendly people, avatars are personas their owners have created.

Further resources


Protecting my online identity

Focus: My online identity
VELS: Level 4
Objective: For students to develop the understanding of protocols for publishing online; the use of credit cards, online forms and pop ups; the differences between personal information that should be kept private and that which it is safe to share; strategies they can use to protect their online identity and security and minimise harm; how to develop appropriate online profiles.

Discussion prompts

  • What is untrustworthy and unreliable content?
  • What is inappropriate and illegal content?
  • What do you do when confronted with unwanted content?
  • How do you protect your reputation online?

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Posti

Posti was developed by the Arts Centre as part of the FUSE Digital Content Progra and is an online adventure for primary students to explore cyberspace and their own responsibility as a digital citizen.

Cyberspace is exciting, revolutionary and potentially risky – a world for which ethics and behavioural etiquette are still being defined. Posti presents a controlled social media community in which students investigate the issues and risks of inhabiting an online environment.

  • Begin by unpacking what the students know about social media.
  • Explore the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the Posti homepage, modelling the behaviour that all students should carry out when they consider joining websites.
  • Invite students to commence in the game, briefly explaining the layout, but encouraging them to learn through experience.
  • Direct students to completing the missions and earning points.
  • Periodically stop the class and discuss concepts presented and choices made by students in Posti.

Teaching idea 2: Finding stuff

CyberQuoll is an online program composed of six episodes in which the characters present scenarios and cybersafety tips in an engaging cartoon format.

  1. View: CyberQuoll Episode 2 Finding stuff Chapters included in this episode:
    • The golden rules about email
    • Safe searching and family friendly search engines
    • Inappropriate content guidelines
  2. Allow students to view Episode 2. Discuss as a class.
  3. Ask students to suggest other search engines
  4. Conduct a search on different search engines.

Teaching idea 3: My online profile 

Discussion prompts

Discuss/revise the types of personal details that should not be shared with a stranger or posted online.

  • What are some potential dangers of posting this type of information?
    Use students’ suggestions to create a class list that highlights personal details that should never be posted online.
  • What is an online profile?
  • Why do some websites ask you to develop a profile about yourself?
  • What might be some of the dangers of creating a profile of yourself that is suggestive or has information that is untrue?
  • What should an online profile say about you?
  1. Ask students to create an accurate online profile of themselves that does not contain any personal details that would not be appropriate for posting on the internet. A class wiki could be created for this purpose, with each student given a page on which to create their profile.
  2. When they have finished, ask students to form groups of three or four and provide feedback on the profiles, using the class list created during the discussion as a guide.
  3. View: CyberQuoll Episode 3 Making Waves Chapters included in this episode:
    • Some golden rules about chatting
    • What’s a handle?
    • Keep things from the net on the net
    • Some golden tips about online identity
    • Which emails should you delete?
    • Some golden tips about viruses, attachments and online hoaxes
    • Chat for a while…
    • Some golden tips about net etiquette.
  4. Allow students to view Episode 3 individually or in pairs, or view as a class using a datashow project and/or interactive whiteboard. If viewing as a class, you may wish to ask students to predict what the golden tips at the end of some of the chapters might be, then view the tips and compare.
  5. Ask students to explain how their online profile is safe given the tips they have seen in this episode or suggest changes they need to make.
  6. Students can then go on and develop a message about ‘Protecting Your Identity’ on the home page of the wiki as a class-based resource.

Teaching idea 4: Puttin’ Stuff Up

View: CyberQuoll Episode 4 Putt'n Stuff Up

Chapters included in this episode:

  • Content misuse by others
  • Uploading ‘appropriate’ photos to the Internet
  • Golden rules of online publishing
  • Uploading photos interactive

Allow students to view Episode 4. Discuss as a class.

Students can upload appropriate photos to the class wiki space.

Another resource which complements Episode 4 is available at the OnGuardOnline website where they run the campaign ‘Stop, Think, Click’. See: OnGuardOnline

Teaching idea 5: Who’s trying to trick you?

  1. View: CyberQuoll Episode 5 Trying It On Chapters included in this episode:
    • Using credit cards online
    • The four Ws
    • The lie detector
    • Tale of the evil pop-ups
    • The golden rules about forms and pop-ups
  2. Allow students to view Episode 5. Discuss as a class.
  3. Ask students to suggest other questions that could go in to the ‘lie detector’ and add to the wiki space.

Teaching idea 6 Budd:e:

budd:e E Security – Primary is an online activity-based learning program made up of nine activities. Students can complete the activities individually (within ten minutes). Ideally each task would be followed by a class discussion (within ten minutes). A comprehensive teachers’ resources booklet is also downloadable from the site.

Teaching idea 7: Internet security

See Don't be fooled on: ACMA Cyber[smart:] – The ACMA Units of Work

Lessons 2 and 3 from this unit are titled:

  • Considering website authenticity
  • Evaluating websites

Students learn to identify ‘bogus’ websites and what is and is not valuable.

Teaching idea 8: Personal information

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

Lessons 1-8 from this unit teach students to:

  • categorise personal information into three levels of privacy
  • distinguish between personal information that is safe to share online and that which is not
  • provide several examples of online forums that may request personal information
  • list at least 10 strategies for keeping themselves safe while online.

Further resources

Episode 6: Kids in Cyberspace (The Big Picture)

View: CyberQuoll Episode 6

This is revision of the Cyberquoll program.


Protecting my online privacy

Focus: My online privacy
VELS: Level 4
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.

Discussion prompts

Discuss/revise what makes a strong password and why passwords should be kept secure and not shared. List ideas.

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Setting up passwords

Ask students to work in pairs to check the information on Stay Smart Online: Set up and protect your passwords. See: Factsheet 15 – Understanding Password Security

As a class, ask students to compare the information they found on the websites with the class list. What changes might need to be made to the class list as a result and why? How can these tips help keep passwords secure?

Discussion prompts

  • Ask students to recall any websites they have used which require an online registration (e.g. Gmail or Hotmail account, online game sites, etc.).
  • What details were required? Why would the website owners want this type of information?
  • How do you decide whether it is safe to sign up to a website?

Teaching idea 2: Privacy role play

Ben tells his friend his password for MSN. A week later they have an argument and that night the ex-friend goes on MSN using Ben’s account. He pretends to be Ben and is rude to the people that he talks to online. The next day Ben’s mates don’t talk to him because they believe it was him on MSN the previous night.

  1. How often do you change your password? How often should you change your password?
  2. Should you have the same password for every account you have online?
  3. What else could happen if you share your passwords with friends?
  4. How can you create strong passwords that would be difficult for people to guess?

Teaching idea 3: ACMA: Cybersmart Detectives 

See: Cybersmart Detectives

Register for the Cybersmart Detectives interactive learning program. Cybersmart Detectives is an innovative online activity that teaches children key internet safety messages in a protected environment.

Students work online and in real time, connecting with community professionals to solve an internet-themed problem. The aim of the program is to educate and empower students to make more informed decisions in real life situations.

In the activity, students assume the role of an onlooker in their current year at a fictional local school. They are concerned about the welfare of a student at the school, particularly with that student's online activities.

Guided by a series of clues, students work collaboratively in teams to solve a mystery. Cybersmart Guides respond to the questions and theories posed by the students and guide the teams through each of the 'clues'.

As the scenario unfolds, the students discuss the risks of certain online and offline behaviours, and ways of managing those risks. Although the scenario presented in the activity is simulated, the sense of urgency that excites students taking part is very real.

Teaching idea 4: Read the small print!

  1. Go to the Neopets site. Using an interactive whiteboard, spend a few minutes showing students around the site. See: Neopets
  2. Go to My Account (from the navigation bar) and click on Edit Profile. Then click on Sign Up Now to create an account. What details are requested – do students think this is a safe online form to complete – why/why not?
  3. Go back to the Home page and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Point out the links to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy – have students seen these on other web pages before? Who has read them? What are they about? How might they help protect us online?
  4. Go through these with the class. Why are the Terms and Conditions necessary? Are they easy to understand?
  5. Go back to the site’s home page and click on the Privacy Policy link. Why is this policy necessary? Is it easy to understand?
  6. Neopets also has a link to Safety Tips. Go through these with the class. Why do they think the Neopets site has this section? Do all websites have this? Why/why not?
  7. Go back to the Sign Up Now section of the site and ask the class whether they think it would be safe to sign up for this site now that they have read the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy statements? 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.
  8. Now compare the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy on this site, especially written for students, to those found on a general website, such as Google. See: Google's Create an Account
  9. Ask students whether they think it would be OK to fill out this online form - why/why not?
  10. Scroll through the Google Terms of Service – how old do you need to be to sign up for Google services? What if you are not the required age?
  11. Click on the Privacy Policy link at the end of the form which will take you to the Privacy Center, and then click on the Privacy Policy link in the navigation bar on the left-hand side. Scroll through this slowly so students can see the length of this policy. How are the Google samples different to the Neopets site samples? Ask students if they think the Google samples have been written for students/children? Why/why not? Discuss with students some possible rules about when it would be OK to register for a site or fill out any online form? e.g. when a parent/carer, teacher or other trusted adult is present; after they have read and understood the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement.
  12. Ask students to go online and check to see if any of their favourite websites have Terms and Conditions, Privacy Statements and Safety Tips. Make up a class list of which sites do and which sites don’t have this information. Students could continue to add to this list throughout the year to reinforce the importance of checking for this information and protecting their online privacy and identity.
  13. Students should 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.

Protecting myself from cyberbullying

Focus: Cyberbullying
VELS: Level 4
Objective: For students to identify the types of technology that may be used for cyberbullying; define bullying and cyberbullying; generate solutions for dealing with a cyberbullying situation; generate preventative strategies to protect themselves from a cyberbullying situation; define the term bystander and analyse the difference between helpful and harmful bystanders; 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 double cell diagram to show similarities and contrasts between bullying and cyberbullying. Students could complete this task using a Think-Pair-Share approach and ask each group to present their findings or complete the task as a whole class using an interactive whiteboard. See: Double Cell Diagram

Based on the students’ double cell diagrams, ask students to develop a class definition of bullying and cyberbullying (if not already defined/explained in the school policy). A description of terms can be found at the Bullying. No Way! website which you may like to show students as a comparison with their definition. See: Bullying. No Way!

Teaching ideas

Teaching idea 1: Cyberbullying Unit

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

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

  • compare and contrasting bullying and cyberbullying
  • describe the roles and responsibilities of people involved in bullying
  • list strategies to deal with cyberbullying.

Teaching idea 2: What is cyberbullying?

  • Show students the list of technologies and their descriptions at Bullying. No Way! Are there other technologies that students would add to the list (e.g. digital cameras, and mobile phones)?
  • Have students work in pairs or small groups. On a large piece of paper, ask students to draw a table with three columns and label the first Technology, the second Type of Cyberbullying and the third column Preventative Action. In their pairs or groups, ask students to describe ways they know about where technology has been used to cyberbully others, for example, under the heading Technology, students could write Email and under the heading Type of Cyberbullying, students could write spread rumours about someone; email embarrassing photos of others. Under the heading Preventative Action, they could write delete emails; not forward emails.
  • When students have completed a number of examples of technologies and cyberbullying behaviours, have them present to class. Are all of the suggested strategies to avoid or respond to cyberbullying appropriate? Why or why not? What other alternatives might there be?
  • Compare with the strategies presented at So What can We Do? Compare with the strategies presented in the summary of cyber bullying actions at Smart Online, Safe Online

Teaching idea 3: Don’t be a bystander

  • Ask students if they know what the term ‘bystander’ means? When have they been a bystander? e.g. witnessed an accident, saw a scene being filmed
  • Sometimes, just being a bystander can be unkind or mean, such as when you see something bad/unpleasant happening and you don’t do anything to help. Provide students with some possible bullying situations where a bystander did nothing and ask them to develop a short scenario, for example a student deliberately knocking another’s student’s lunch to the ground; a student being teased and taunted by a group of students on their way to school each morning.
  • Why might the bystanders in these situations not have assisted? Why do some people choose to be bystanders in similar situations? Compare students’ responses to those found at Bullying. No Way! and discuss the similarities and differences. See: Bullying. No Way!
  • Have students refer to the table they developed in the previous task. How would bystanders possibly act in the cyberbullying examples they described for the different technologies? Would the reasons for some people being bystanders in cyberbullying situations be the same as the reasons they identified earlier – why/why not?
  • Invite students to debate the statement: Bystander? You’re Just as Guilty, drawing on the discussions that have taken place as part of this task.

Teaching idea 4: Cyberbullying – Don’t stand for it!

View the video: Talent Show

  • Ask students whether they agree with the message at the end of the video? Ask students to imagine themselves as one of the students in the auditorium who had just heard Lindsay’s speech and describe the action they would take.
  • Using the message at the end of the video as an example, have students select one or two technologies from their list in Teaching Idea 2 and develop other slogans/messages to prevent cyberbullying.

Teaching idea 5: So what should I do if I’m cyberbullied?

  • Following on from the two teaching ideas above, 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 Bullying. No Way! and Kids Helpline.

Teaching idea 6: ACMA: Cyber hero

Cybersmart Hero is an innovative online activity that teaches children about cyberbullying in a protected environment.Students work online, and in real time, connecting with community professionals to respond to a cyberbullying issue. The aim of the program is to educate and empower students to make informed decisions in real life situations.

In the activity, students play the role of a bystander who becomes aware of a cyberbullying problem at school. Students ultimately become concerned about the welfare of a fellow student, who is the subject of some targeted bullying through electronic media such as texts, emails, chat rooms and social networking.

As the scenario unfolds, the students are required to discuss the issues and make decisions about the responsible course of action. By the end of the activity students will be familiar with the issues around cyberbullying and how to respond to those issues if they are ever faced with similar situations.

Further resources