Family Resources on
Keep Out: Privacy In Person and Online
Project and Purpose
Students play a game to explore the concept of privacy in person and online
What does privacy on the Internet really mean and why does privacy matter?
If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned the definition of privacy and the importance of limiting the information shared online. Part of the lesson includes a game called “The Privacy Game” that is used to enhance discussion about the types of things students should not share online.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
It is very easy for personal information to find its way onto the internet where it could be used inappropriately. This print lesson introduces students to the concept of internet privacy and helps them develop a plan for what information should not be shared online.
Conversation Starters and Practice at Home Activities
The first two items are for follow-up after participating in class.
Tell me about the privacy game. What did you find interesting?
Share your “Privacy Statement”. Describe it and tell why you wrote what you did.
Why do you think people sometimes regret posting something online that was private? [Consider that many times internet posts do not disappear]
Tell us about our family rules for sharing information online. Why is it important to follow these rules?
Are there any internet rules or procedures our family needs to change or adjust? Why or why not?
School to Home Resources on Keep Out: Privacy In Person and Online
- Character Descriptions for The Privacy Game
- Keep Out: My Privacy Statement worksheet
- In a remote environment, meeting software will need to have “breakout room” or similar function enabled allowing for small group discussions and handouts will need to be shared with student groups by email or chat function
1. Begin the discussion by asking students to define what privacy means to them. Privacy is defined as the state of keeping yourself or something special apart from or out of view of others so that nobody disturbs or intrudes upon your life or possessions.
2. What does the phrase “Mind your own business” mean to your students?
3. Explain that in today’s session, students will explore the concept of privacy through discussion and by playing a game.
Direct Instruction (I do):
1. Share the ways you appropriately kept certain things private when you were young. Some possible examples to consider might be how you:
- Made signs for your door or a space
- Kept certain possessions private
- Marked your diary or journal private (one that might have been an actual book or document rather than an online word document).
- Disguised objects as something else
- Kept secrets
Guided Exploration (We do):
1. Continue the exploration with the following guided prompts:
- What do you like to keep private?
- How do we maintain our privacy? Are students allowed to shut the door to their bedrooms? To the bathroom when they are using the toilet or bathing?
- Are there any possessions that you keep hidden from your brother, sister or friends that you would prefer that they not use or touch?
- What information do we keep private at school? (i.e., grades, challenges, report cards) Why? How does that make you feel?
- Ask your students if there was a time in which his or her privacy was “invaded” or disrespected. How did that make them feel?
- Explain to students that privacy on the Internet is just as important, but perhaps more complicated because we can’t always know who is “seeing” or “watching” our activities online. Just like keeping our important possessions tucked away from a brother, sister or friend who we may not want to touch our toys, books or games, there are ways to protect ourselves online.
Independent Practice (You do):
1. Play The Privacy Game. Print out the handout and cut apart the character descriptions. Divide students into groups of six and pass out a character strip to each student. Ask students to introduce themselves to their group members. With more students than characters, assign multiple students to a character, create new characters yourself, or have students create their own characters.
2. Ask students to walk around the room — with their handouts — and introduce themselves to each other, as their character. In each conversation, they must share at least three of their answers.
3. Have the students re-group in their seats. Ask the following questions:
- Were there any facts that you did not share with anyone? Which ones? Why?
- Did everyone make the same choices about what to share? Why/why not?
- Depending on whom you share with, why might you share more, or less, of this kind of information? When would you share it?
4. Explain that privacy is the ability to control what other people know about you. You can do this by saying certain things about yourself (like telling other people your address or what you like to do for fun) or doing things around other people (like going to a toy store with your friends and picking out your favorites). Privacy matters whether you are in a room with other people or talking to them online.
5. Privacy is based on your own personal decisions. What privacy means to you and your family might be very different than what privacy means to the other kids in this class and their families. If we’re more aware of what we value as private, and how our behaviors online can shape our privacy, we’ll be able to make better choices about what kind of privacy we want.
6. Privacy also changes depending on the information and with whom it is shared. For example, would you share your home address with your parents? Your friends? Your teacher? A stranger? Explain your answers.
7. Unfortunately, it is important to remember that there is very little real privacy online. It is important to think about the information you share, where you go and what you “say” or post online, because there are a lot of digital strangers.
Summarize the themes of the lesson. Have students write a statement about what privacy means to them and the importance of understanding the challenges of privacy in “real life” and in our digital lives.