Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Plagiarism in the Elementary Classroom

Teaching about plagiarism in the elementary classroom...whew!  What a big topic to tackle!!  As a 3rd grade teacher, I have brushed the surface by teaching my students basic citation and discussing why it is important to give credit to the author.  I have not tried to get too "deep" at this age because you can tell when you are going over their head and you see that "glazed" look.  

At the beginning of the school year, the librarian teaches a couple of lessons about copyright, plagiarism, and fair use.  Having seen these lessons with my 3rd graders, and now this year with my 1st graders, I wonder how much of it they actually understand.  She uses this You Tube video as a main part of her lesson-

but I really feel like the kids just think it is silly and really miss the message.  While the video is clever in how they were able to put together so many video clips form Disney movies, even I am distracted by the cuts and jumpiness to understand the full meaning.  

Giving credit to the source is an extremely important topic to teach students-especially in the information age we live in now.  I feel like the younger-and more basic-we teach this concept the better students will understand it in their middle, high school years-and beyond.  I found this article from kidshealth.org that I feel does a nice job of explaining plagiarism in more basic terms.  It explains plagiarism as a form of stealing and cheating-concepts elementary age students would understand better.  The article poses this question-

  • "Would I know this if I hadn't read it on that website or in that book?" If the answer is no, list the source.

No comments:

Post a Comment