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

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Hackers, and supports the standard of proposing improvements to the design of a computing technology based on an analysis of user interactions with that technology. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • Have you ever been hacked or known someone who has?


  • Read the description on the Hackers topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Real Life” or “Careers” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Hackers Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about hackers while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a mini-documentary that explains the Hacker Ethic.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying examples of networks and systems, and describing how hackers have entered and used them. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring figures and artifacts to represent the history and impact of hackers. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine a letter then cite details to answer accompanying questions. 

More to Explore 

Time Zone X: Hackers: Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of cybersecurity with these topics: Computers, Computer Programming, and Malware.


Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments