Submitted by: Barbara Peskin, Gr. 6 teacher, Certified BrainPOP Educator

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Created by a Certified BrainPOP Educator and 6th grade teacher, this lesson plan invites students to explore BrainPOP resources to learn about topics related to plagiarism. They’ll analyze a primary source to learn about a real-life plagiarism example and play a simulation game in which the make decisions based on what they’ve learned about plagiarism.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know about plagiarism.
  2. Watch a movie about plagiarism and stop to discuss.
  3. Analyze a primary source and determine if it’s plagiarism.
  4. Model a positive example of how use facts in a way that is not plagiarizing.
  5. Play a simulation game in which they have to make decisions related to plagiarism.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard


credit, recap, assess, consult, verbatim, attribute (verb), formal, comprehensive, bibliography, paraphrase


  • Preview the movie Plagiarism to plan for any adaptations.
  • Plan for a positive example where you model how to aking two learned facts and develop an original idea
  • Play through the character Seven’s storyline in Digital Compass (the last character on the menu) to know what the different story lines and choices exist.
  • Lesson Procedure:

    1. Share with students that they will be learning about plagiarism today. Read aloud (or have a volunteer read aloud) the full description that appears at the bottom of the Plagiarism topic page.
    2. Display a KWL chart on the whiteboard.  Ask students what they know about plagiarism, or their experiences related to plagiarism. Write their responses in the K column.
    3. Next, ask students what they want to learn about the topic that they don’t already know. Write their responses in the W column.
    4. Show the Plagiarism on a whiteboard or other display for the whole class. Turn on closed captions for accessibility. Pause at the following points  for discussion:
        • At timecode 2:14 - share an example of plagiarism that you know about or that was in the news
        • At timecode 3:42 - have students share ideas and questions around paraphrasing and how that is different from sharing your own new ideas
        • At timecode 4:22 - make the point that borrowed ideas, in addition to exact words, need to be attributed.
        • Next, assign the Primary Source activity. Explain to students that they will analyze two images and read a letter to determine whether this was a case of plagiarism. 
        • After students complete the Primary Source activity, divide the class into small groups to discuss their responses with each other.
        • Bring the class together again. Model an example of how to use two learned facts to develop a new idea. After, ask students how and why your example is NOT plagiarizing, and good mode for how to use facts you learn.
        • Now working independently, have students play the game Digital Compass. Instruct them to select the character named “Seven”--the character all the way to the right in the menu screen where all the characters are lined up. Instruct them to play through Seven’s story line, making choices around the issues of copyright and fair use.
        • After everyone has played the game, bring the class together again. Review the KWL chart, and invite students to share what they learned plagiarism. Jot their ideas in the W column.

    Extension Activities:

  • Invite students to show what they know about plagiarism while practicing coding skills by completing one or more of the plagiarism Creative Coding projects.
  • Have partners read the Newsela article together.  Have them discuss whether they believe the speech is an example of plagiarism or not and defend their opinion.