I’d like to give a lesson for teaching internet safety to kindergarten kids. Kindergarten. Yes, you read that correctly.
With children spending more and more time online, it’s critical that we explicitly teach young children how to protect themselves online. Most young children are taught about stranger danger at school, and they are prepared to deal with strangers in their area and in face-to-face settings.
When it comes to internet safety with these students, there are three things to keep in mind.
- First, understanding how to deal with strangers in real life does not automatically translate to virtual worlds. It’s something that needs to be taught.
- Second, while most stranger danger programs teach that strangers are frightening and malicious people who seek to harm or steal children, this contradicts how strangers collaborate online. Strangers aren’t all dangerous.
- Finally, pupils can walk or run away from a potential threat in real life. In an online environment, the danger is contained within a student’s home, making it difficult to flee if they lack the essential abilities to deal with difficult situations.
ONLINE PROTECTION OF PRIVATE INFORMATION
This is a lesson I taught to my kindergarten and first-grade pupils to introduce the concept of online strangers and discuss how we should engage with them. You’ll need a computer with internet connectivity, as well as a projector or interactive whiteboard to project these questions on the screen throughout the conversation. Pose the following questions to students:
- “What does it mean to be a stranger?” After students have given numerous responses, make sure they understand that a stranger is someone we don’t know. Remind pupils that while some strangers may wish to harm them, strangers are not all nasty people. You may give an example of someone opening a door for you or picking up something you dropped and returning it to you.
- “Are there any things we shouldn’t tell a stranger?” Try to obtain a variety of responses, being sure to include words like “address,” “phone number,” and “complete name.”
- “Are there any things you shouldn’t tell a stranger?” This is a more difficult issue for kids to answer. You may receive responses such as “Hello” or “How are you?” If your students are stumped, ask them to vote with their thumbs on topics such as “your favorite color” or “your favourite ice cream flavour.” Explain that certain types of information will not endanger them.
- “Are there any strangers on the internet?” Some students may have previously played online games and may be able to provide answers based on their experiences. I’ve had kindergarten pupils tell me that they believe there are strangers online because you never know who you’re talking to. Show them a video about how to deal with strangers online after a brief discussion of different ways we can connect with strangers online (which can include game systems).
Students should watch the video on Internet Safety. After they’ve seen the movie, ask them to share what they’ve learned from it. Use the Word Play exercise on the site to review vocabulary from the video after you’ve gotten some answers. After that, have them complete the activity “Write About It.”
There are several ways to ensure that your students have comprehended the lesson:
- To assess what they’ve learned, print off one of the quizzes (simple or challenging, depending on your students).
- Have your students act out situations to demonstrate their comprehension of the video’s core principles or to practice dealing with strangers online.
- Use a drawing program to have kids make an internet safety poster.