Skip to content

ALA, National Council of Teachers of English release copyright lessons for the digital age


Jenni Terry, ALA Washington Office Press Officer

Melissa Jacobsen, AASL Communications Specialist

Lisa Storm Fink, ReadWriteThink at NCTE Project Manager

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and American Association of School Libraries (AASL) along with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) announce the re-release of copyright lessons plans for middle school students, Grades 6-8.  New features include models of collaborative teaching between classroom teachers and school library media specialists and connections to AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner (

The five lessons address timely topics in copyright education and, unlike many other lessons plans, provide a balanced approach to copyright by including issues such as fair use. Designed to be flexible curriculum tools that can be integrated across subject areas and complement any information literacy program, the lessons are available on the ReadWriteThink (  The site provides educators and students with access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction through free, Internet-based content.

The lessons are as follows:
Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing
This lesson provides a background for students on copyright, fair use, plagiarism, and paraphrasing. Fair use is discussed, as well as strategies for paraphrasing and the consequences of plagiarism.

Students as Creators: Exploring Copyright
Students learn and use strategies for incorporating multimedia resources in their own works without violating copyright law. Students contemplate how their own works are protected by copyright law.

Students as Creators: Exploring Multimedia
Students analyze an online multimedia resource as an introduction to the genre. They then create an original multimedia project.

Copyright Law: From Digital Reprints to Downloads
Students look briefly at the history of copyright law and generalize about how and why it has changed over time. Students then apply this information to recent copyright issues, look at these issues from the perspective of a particular group, and create persuasive arguments to convince others to see the issue from their perspective.

Technology and Copyright Law: A “Futurespective”
Students review some copyright disputes involving new technologies. They write newspaper articles predicting the outcome of current disputes and anticipating disputes that they think may arise in the future with new technologies or new uses for existing technologies.

This project was funded in part by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The Office for Information Technology Policy,, an office of the American Library Association (ALA) advocates for public policy that supports and encourages the efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.

The National Council of Teachers of English, with 50,000 individual and institutional members worldwide, is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. For more information, please visit

The following two tabs change content below.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *