Goal Directed Learning: Entry Level

5-8 Lesson

"Copyright Law and the Internet"

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Grade Level


Classroom Configuration

  • Whole group and one to one, in a computer lab setting

Arizona Common Core Standards: ELA
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Report on a topic or text to present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Text Types and Purposes*
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
b. provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically)
d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

Arizona State Content Standards
  1. Social Studies
    1. Concept 1: Foundations of Government: The United States democracy is based on principles and ideals that are embodied by symbols, people, and documents.:
      1. PO 1. Describe how the following philosophies and documents influenced the creation of the Constitution:Magna Carta English Bill of Rights Montesquieus separation of power John Lockes theories natural law, social contract Mayflower Compact Declaration of Independence Articles of Confederation
      2. PO 3. Analyze the struggle (e.g., Federalists Papers, Bill of Rights) between the federalists and the anti-federalists over the ratification of the Constitution.
    2. Concept 3: Functions of Government Laws and policies are developed to govern, protect, and promote the well-being of the people.
      1. PO 2. Compare the process of how a bill becomes a law at the federal and state level.
      2. PO 5. Describe the significance of the Amendments to the Constitution.
  2. Concept 4: Revolution & a New Nation: The development of American constitutional democracy grew from political, cultural, and economic issues, ideas, and events. (1700s - 1820):
    1. PO 4. Describe the significance of the following documents:Declaration of Independence Articles of Confederation Constitution Bill of Rights
Arizona Educational Technology Standards (2009)
  1. Strand 2: Communication and Collaboration; Concept 1: Effective Communications and Digital Interactions Communicate and collaborate with others employing a variety of digital environments and media.; PO 2. Identify and demonstrate safe and appropriate behavior when using digital environments to communicate with others.
  2. Strand 5: Digital Citizenship, Concept 1: Safety and Ethics, Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
    1. PO 4. Identify and discuss why it is important not to provide personal information in online communication.
    2. PO 6. Articulate how to respect the privacy of others' information and digital workspace.
  1. Students will generalize about the changes made to copyright law and predict future changes.
  2. Students will examine the role of perspective and persuasion in changing copyright law.
  3. Students will research a current copyright issue.
  4. Students will develop and present a persuasive argument about a copyright issue.
  5. Students will inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge

Students will respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers.
Students will follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information.

  1. Students will share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.
  2. Students will use information and technology ethically and responsibly.
  3. Students will respect the principles of intellectual freedom.
Procedure (2 Day Plan, *Technology Level Increases on Day 2)
Day One (Entry Level)
Have students read about early English copyright law, considered the first copyright law in the world, in the "Some History" section of John Ewing’s article “Copyright and Authors.”
  1. Discuss the article as a class, guiding discussion with the following questions:
    1. According to the article, what technological development led to the first copyright law?
    2. Was early copyright law fair to authors?
    3. How did the Statute of Anne change copyright law?
    4. The author of the article argues a particular point of view about early copyright law. How does he think author’s rights were used by the stationers?
    5. Who does he think benefited most from early English copyright law?
    6. Explain that U.S. copyright law originally was based on the Statute of Anne that students just reviewed. Read the provision about copyright in Article I section 8 of the U.S. Constitution: “The Congress shall have Power...To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
  2. Discuss the provision as a class, using the following questions:
    1. Based on the wording in the Constitution, what purpose did the writers see for copyright law?
    2. Why might they have specified that the rights were to be secured for only limited times?
    3. How does copyright law “promote the progress of science and useful arts”?
    4. How might copyright law actually hinder that progress?
  3. Use theTimeline Tool with the class. Enter a key event in the tool, using the dates for the Statute of Anne.
    1. Select “Date” as the unit of measure.
    2. Enter the year the Statute was passed as date.
    3. Enter “Statute of Anne enacted” as title.
    4. Under description, write a very brief description of the Statute. Include why the Statute was written
    5. Demonstrate how to click “Next Entry” to enter a new date.
    6. Click “Finish” to print the timeline.

Day 2: Optional Technology Assignment (Students will progress beyond Entry Level as they move into Steps 5-8)

  1. Divide the class into groups of three or four students. Have each group readA Brief History of Copyright. As they read, ask them to select a few key events in the history of copyright and enter them on theTimeline Tool. Encourage them to note why the change was made to copyright legislation in the “description” section of the tool.
    1. When students finish, allow them to share the events they selected and post the timelines in the classroom.
    2. Discuss the article and the events students noted on their timelines. Through discussion, students should recognize that copyright law tries to balance the rights of the author with the needs of society. Copyright law has changed through actual legislation and through court decisions that helped to define the law. Laws have been changed by various groups, such as authors, who lobbied for changes that would benefit them.
    3. Discuss what the future might hold for copyright law. Based on what they now know about the history of copyright law and some recent disagreements over copyright, what areas of copyright law do students think might be changed in the future? Why?
  2. Finalize the lesson by asking students to think critically about how the Internet has changed the perception copyright by many users.
  3. Have students research a case in which the Internet led to copyright infringement. OR they can choose to argue for or against strict copyright laws for Internet use. Use the following websites for research clues http://www.copyrightkids.org/ and http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/public-domain/copyright-law.html.
  4. Students prepare persuasive arguments through writing and present them to the class.
  1. Computer with Internet connection
  2. Projector
  3. Interactive whiteboard, optional
  4. Student computers with Internet connection
  5. Read Write Think website’s TimeLine Tool: readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/timeline/index.html



Consistent checks for understanding as the teacher instructs about copyright. The timeline tools should reflect why the changes were made to copyright legislation in the “description” section of the tool. Persuasive arguments that students bring in front of class should be evaluated with a rubric created by the class using the projector and the teacher as the facilitator on the essential items regarding copyright. Rubric templates can be found at Rubistar.4teachers.org.

Lesson modified from readwritethink.org


Technology Integration Matrix





Goal Directed