School Environment and Student Behavior
Digital Rights & Responsibilities
Social Networking: Lesson Plan PDF
Grade Level: 9 -12


Part I Introduction

Social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one's business and/or social contacts by making connections through individuals. While social networking has gone on almost as long as societies themselves have existed, the unparalleled potential of the Internet to promote such connections is only now being fully recognized and exploited, through Web-based groups established for that purpose.

Based on the six degrees of separation concept (the idea that any two people on the planet could make contact through a chain of no more than five intermediaries), social networking establishes interconnected Internet communities (sometimes known as personal networks) that help people make contacts that would be good for them to know, but that they would be unlikely to have met otherwise. In general, here's how it works: you join one of the sites and invite people you know to join as well. Those people invite their contacts to join, who in turn invite their contacts to join, and the process repeats for each person. In theory, any individual can make contact through anyone they have a connection to, to any of the people that person has a connection to, and so on.


The Dangers of Social Networking:

While the number of ways to interact via the Internet are rapidly increasing, so are the types of online social networking dangers. Long gone are the days of innocently thinking that the individual who you are conversing with online is really who he or she claims to be. Children are especially susceptible to online social networking dangers.

There are many kinds of online social networking dangers. Individuals -- both adults and teens -- need to be fully aware of what type of information can be traced back to their person through simple conversations in a chat room. For instance, telling a virtual stranger that you live in a certain town and attend a certain high school can lead that person straight to your classroom. But there are other types of dangers too. People have been known to have their identity stolen, be stalked by sexual predators, or have their photos taken from their online profiles and used in unauthorized ways. People also need to realize that just because you've chatted with someone online, doesn't mean you really know that person.


Part II Class/Advisory Activities

•  Videos



Social Networking in Plain English (1:48 minutes)
The Dangers of Online Social Networking (3:35 minutes)
Julie's Journey (3:11 minutes)
Amy's Choice (3:48 minutes)
Tracking Teresa (4:58 minutes)

•  Discussion Questions



  1. What is social networking?
  2. What types of items do you post on your MySpace or Facebook accounts?
  3. How do you determine who is on your buddy list?
  4. Do you know how to remove a buddy from your buddy list?
  5. How can your personal networking sites affect your future?

•  Activities



1- Social Networking
Watch : Social Networking in Plain English and Tracking Teresa
Class Discussion
: What is social networking? What types of items do you post on your MySpace or Facebook account?
Teacher Tips : Read or summarize the social networking introduction above. Stress the fact that one buddy can be linked to multiple people. Once you connect one person to your account you are potentially inviting others that you may not want to see your site.
Activity Suggestion : Print and complete the Tracking Teresa Activity. Writing prompt 1.

2- Social Networking and the Buddy List
Watch : Julie's Journey, Amy's Choice, and/or The Dangers of Online Social Networking.
Class Discussion : How do you determine who is on your buddy list? Do you know how to remove a buddy from your buddy list?
Teacher Tips : Each activity listed above gives specific instructions on how to complete the assignment. If students are unfamiliar with how to remove a buddy, then consider showing the Cyberbullying PSA video.
Activity Suggestion : Writing prompt 2 & journal 1.

3- A New Kind of Resume
Class Discussion : How can your personal social networking sites affect your future?
Teacher Tips : Have the students read aloud the article: A New Kind of Resume and fact sheet. This will help promote the class discussion on how social networking sites can affect their future.
Activity Suggestion : Print the A New Kind of Resume Game . In groups of 2-4 players the students should roll the dice to find out if their social networking sites affect their future employment. Journal 2 assignment.

Part III Reflection

•  Writing Prompt(s)  
  1. My social networking sites includes information and pictures that are:
  2. My buddy list includes:

•  Journal Writing


One of your friends has requested to be included on your buddy list. You accept them as a buddy. The next day you see comments posted on your friends' page about you from other people. After viewing your friends' buddy list, you realize there are a lot of people on there you do not know, and you want to block them from seeing your site. What do you do?

You are going for a job interview. Before you turn in your resume, you check out your social networking sites. What items on your site will need to be checked or removed so that your chances of getting this job are good?
•  Other   Watch: Your Kid's Cyber Secrets, a MSNBC documentary that helps to explain what social networking is and how it is dangerous for teens.

Part IV Extension Activities

•  Class/Advisory School Activities


A New Kind of Resume Game- Extension Activity. After the students complete the game, have them visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook and select a job that meets the yearly salary that have earned.

•  Home Interaction Links   Your Kid's Cyber Secrets

Part V Resources

Social Networking in Plain English

Dangers of Online Social Networks