In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about internet safety. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Internet Safety topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Internet Safety
Together as a class, brainstorm websites that your children like to visit. What is special about each site? Why do they like it? If possible, hook up a T.V. monitor or projector to a computer with Internet access and present the website to the whole class. Discuss how kids know that the site is safe. Is it sponsored or endorsed by a trustworthy source, such as a school, a public television network, or a television show? Keep a list of safe websites to create a resource that kids can use when they browse the Internet. You may also wish to bookmark the safe sites on your class computers so that students can navigate to them quickly. If possible, photocopy the list so that students can take them home to share with their families.
If possible, find a teacher who you trust in your school or a school in another city, state, or even country. Then create a correspondence with the class. Together you can draft e-mails and send them to the other class. You may also wish to pair up individuals between the classes so they can exchange e-mails and chat with someone they know is safe. Review online safety rules and remind students of proper etiquette when e-mailing and chatting.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Internet Safety
Discuss safety rules for meeting strangers on the street and surfing the Internet with your child. How are the rules alike? How are they different? Together draft a list of rules and Internet safety tips that your child can follow. You may want to set aside a specific time each day or week when your child can browse the Internet under supervision. Also teach your child how to block e-mails and chats from people they do not know and trust. This will empower your child to be help be responsible for his or her own safety. You may also wish to set the homepage of your family computer to a kid-friendly site or your child’s favorite site. Remember set your family’s e-mail spam filter to the highest level of security.
Put together a directory of e-mail addresses and chat usernames of your child’s friends and family members. Explain that these are safe people they can correspond with via chat or e-mail. Tell your child to only correspond with those in the directory and continue to add more names.
Keeping It Personal
What is personal information? Discuss with your child. Full names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, passwords, and pictures are all pieces of personal information. Remind your child that they should never share personal information with strangers on the Internet. You and your child may wish to create a sign to warn against sharing personal information and post it near the computer. Also review how to create strong passwords with your child. Remind them to change their passwords every so often in order to stay safe.
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