Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Digital Citizenship Similes: An Unplugged Activity

I like to use lessons from Common Sense Media's library of lessons when I teach internet safety and digital citizenship because I find them to be pretty relevant and engaging for students at the middle school level. One of the lessons I'm using this year is called Digital Life 101. One of the activities I've modified from this lesson for my classroom is the simile activity where students finish the sentence, "My digital media life is like…"

We do this activity using our wipe-off tabletops, which I talked about earlier this year in a blog post. The kids really enjoyed getting to write on the tables which isn't something that you normally get to do in school! I even let students draw little symbols or pictures to go along with their response if they wanted. 

If time allows, I will have students share out their answers with the class and discuss the meaning behind their simile. In this particular case last week, we had run out of class time, so I told students to leave the writing on the table as an exit slip activity for the class. After the students left, I walked around and photographed each students answer. I then turned the responses into a photo collage, which you see below. 

I thought it was kind of fun to share out what the students had to say about a typical middle schooler's digital media life:


  1. "...the skin on your elbow. It's funny to yank on, but it hurts after a while."
  2. "...fun to play with."
  3. "...a unicorn because I don't like to go on it so it vanishes."
  4. "...a pet hamster. Sometimes it's fun but sometimes it's boring."
  5. "...a unicorn because it doesn't exist."
  6. "...like food. Everyone loves it, everyone needs it."
  7. "...monkey, it goes all over the place."
  8. "...a big, fluffy, teddy bear, happy!"
  9. "...a pack of fun."
  10. "...a box of chocolate, you never know what you're going to get."
  11. "...golem. No one likes it and it's lonely."
  12. "...a piece of cheese I love it."
  13. "...nothing because I have a flip phone and I don't have anything."
  14. "...a fantasy."
  15. "...a dinosaur."
  16. "...New York, it never sleeps."
  17. "...a lion because it's unpredictable."
  18. "...rain. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't."
  19. "...a rainbow b/c it's magical."
  20. "...fun, because it's fun on social media."
  21. "...another life."
It's nice to have what I call an "unplugged" activity every once in a while. Although we are in computer class, and therefore use our computers a good 90% of the time (if not, more...), it is nice to take breaks and switch it up a little sometimes.

Bonus? If your network/internet/power (!!!) goes out, you can still do this activity!

-Mrs. L.

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