Online Marketing to Kids: Protecting Your Privacy - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 6 to 9

Author: MediaSmarts

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & CREATE: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


This lesson introduces students to the ways in which commercial websites collect personal information from kids and to the issues surrounding children and privacy on the Internet. It begins with a guided discussion on what type of information is valuable to marketers, and the methods that they use to collect this information online. Students also compare Canadian voluntary guidelines to American legislation for the protection of children's privacy online. Activities include a survey of privacy practices on popular children's websites; a letter-writing activity to voice concerns about online privacy; and an exercise where students learn to recognize 'smoke and mirrors' in privacy policies for children's we sites.

Learning Outcomes

Students demonstrate:

  • an awareness of the methods used by online marketers to elicit personal information from children.
  • an understanding of the Internet's unique capacity to mine data and track individual users.
  • an understanding of the issues surrounding the protection of children's privacy on the Internet.
  • familiarization with the voluntary guidelines that are being used by some commercial websites.

Home and School Connection

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.