Material Type:
High School
  • Lesson Plan
  • august21
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Digital Citizenship Lesson Plan - Social Media

    Digital Citizenship Lesson Plan - Social Media


    This is a Lesson Plan discussing Social Media and how makes one feel created by Common Sense Education that I have incorporated into a lesson for my 10th grade resource students.  It is just one component of Digital Citizenship that I want to start out with in my classroom.  Common Sense Education has several to choose from. Check out their website for more great ideas and resources!

    Lesson Summary - Social Media and How You Feel

    This lesson is aligned with ISTE Digital Citizenship for Students Standard:

    • 2b Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

    I will be teaching a lesson I found on the Common Sense Education website for 10th graders titled, "Social Media and How You Feel."

    • One class period - 84 minutes
    • Face to Face instruction
    • Common Sense Education


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction


    Student Background Knowledge

    I will have already shown a slideshow I created in google slides the class period before that was all-encompassing with digital citizenship.  I also will have introduced a poster I made in Canva and pass out accompanying bookmarks. It was used as an icebreaker activity to set the stage for discussing some of the many parts of DC.  Today's lesson will just focus on Social Media.

    • Link to Slide Presentation done previously.

    This is just one of several lessons that can be taught to cover digital citizenship. I think it is a good place to start since social media is where most of my students find themselves.

    You will need to determine what grade level materials you need and go to the given link to navigate the website to your desired grade and subject matter.

    • To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of Digital Citizenship and what it includes.
    • You will need knowledge about what is appropriate to cover for varying grade levels.
    • Use the given link above to visit, Common Sense Education, and pick from the many lesson plan ideas, videos, and slide shows to meet the needs of your class.


    Lesson Objectives and Standards Alignment

    This lesson is aligned with ISTE Digital Citizenship for Students Standard:

    • 2b Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

    Lesson Objectives: 

    Students will be able to: 

    • Reflect on how their social media use makes them feel and how it compares to other teenagers. 
    • Describe how active and passive social media use can lead to positive and negative feelings. 
    • Identify action steps to increase their positive feelings when using social media.

    Success Criteria:

    Students will be able to: 

    • identify specific action steps personal to them that will increase positive feelings when using social media.


    Step 3 - Instruction - Lesson Plan from Common Sense Education

    Below is the actual Lesson Plan created by Common Sense Education.  I have included the links to the resources used to complete this lesson.

    Lesson Plan 50 minutes with the additional 30 used for assessment

    Consider: Social Media and Our Feelings 15 mins.

    Before the lesson: This lesson includes links to external resources. Please confirm that you can access them prior to teaching the lesson.  A link to the actual document is given:

    1. Project the essay "Stupid Blue Screen" by Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra from the book True Connections (826 National and Common Sense Media, 2019). Have students take turns reading aloud. (Slide 4)

    Have students pair-share, discussing whether they agree or disagree with the experience of the author. Call on a few students to share their reactions.

    2. Ask: Now let's think specifically about social media -- things like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. How happy do you feel when using social media? Hold up a number between 1 and 5, with 5 being very happy and 1 being not at all happy. (Slide 5)

    Note: Instead of raising numbers, you can have students answer the question via this Google Form or you can use a polling tool such as Kahoot or Mentimeter

    3. Summarize the findings so that both you and students can get a sense of the differing sentiments related to social media use among the class members. Be sure to elicit the spectrum of positive and negative feelings associated with using social media. Commonly expressed feelings include:

    • Positive: connected, smart, in-the-know, inspired, entertained 
    • Negative: stressed, insecure, bummed, jealous, angry, tired

    4. Project the "% of Teens Who Say the Following About Social Media" infographic from Pew Research Center and ask: (Slide 6)

    • What conclusions can you draw from these statistics?
    • How do they compare to your personal experience? 

    Invite students to respond. Emphasize that in these research findings, the positive feelings of connection and support outweigh the negative feelings of pressure and drama. Have students compare this data to the self-reflection ratings of the class.

    Explore: Different Perspectives 20 mins.

    1. Say: We're going to continue reflecting on how social media can affect how we feel by watching a short video. 

    Distribute the Social Media Perspectives Student Handout and read the directions in Part I aloud. Review each section of the notes tracker and explain to students that they should capture a minimum of three key takeaways and one comment in each of the additional sections. (Slide 7)

    2. Show the KQED Above the Noise video "Is Social Media Making You Sick?" (Slide 8)

    If students have devices and headphones, you can also have students watch the video independently. 

    3. Allow students a few minutes to capture notes in their handout and then invite them to share out. (Slide 9) Use the Teacher Version to help guide discussion. Questions to consider include: 

    • What is the difference between active and passive social media use?
    • Are all social media platforms the same? What makes Snapchat different from Instagram?
    • Does social media cause depression?

    Highlight that, according to the video, it is difficult to conclude cause and effect (causation) when looking at social media use. It is really about the ways in which you use social media rather than whether you use it or how much that determines what influence it will have on your emotions. 

    4. Summarize the findings by saying that the effects of social media largely depend on how you use it. Active use involves contributing online via posts, comments, or any other form of online communication and expressionPassive use involves just scrolling through online content without reacting to the content. (Slide 10)

    Create: Take Action 15 mins.

    1. Point students to Part 2 of the Social Media Perspectives Student Handout and say: Remember, how we feel when using social media has a lot to do with what and how we're using it. Think about the different ways, both good and bad, that social media makes you feel as you complete Part 2 of your handout. Keep in mind that the same activity on the same platform can lead to different feelings for different people.

    2. Allow students time to work independently on Part 2. If students are having a hard time coming up with concrete action steps for question four, provide some examples:

    • I'm going to put my phone on nighttime mode at night so I won't be tempted to look at social media, so I get more sleep and feel more refreshed the next day. 
    • I'm going to unfollow the people that make me jealous.
    • I am going to spend more time communicating (commenting, posting, direct-messaging) with my friends on Instagram instead of endlessly scrolling through my feed.

    If students don't use social media, invite them to swap out "social media" for other digital media use such as gaming or watching shows.  

    3. Invite students to share out their reflections and action plans in groups or as a class.

    4. Ask: What could get in the way of you following through on your action plan? How could you hold yourself accountable for actually trying it?

    Invite students to share out.

    5. Have students complete the Lesson Quiz. Send home the Family Activity and Family Tips.


    Step 4 - Assessments


    1.  I will have my students do a quick google form quiz that I copied from Common Sense Education but modified for my own use.  I added a few more questions and changed the wording on a few.  Form link is added as a resource.  

    2. I will have each student create a poster regarding the action steps they will be taking to have positive feelings towards Social Media.  These will be hung in our room to remind us of a variety of ways we can use social media in a positive way and hopefully help anyone that might be struggling at that time.