Privacy Pursuit: What is Privacy? Lesson Plan

Grades: 2-3

Duration: 1 ½ to 2 hours

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

This lesson plan was developed by MediaSmarts for the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, to be used with the IPC's Privacy Pursuit! activity booklet.

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


In this lesson, students draw connections between their existing concepts of privacy and how it applies to the internet and networked devices, then learn essential vocabulary relating to privacy. They then consider some scenarios in which children encounter privacy risks and draw on those to develop a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for using networked devices.

Learning Outcomes

Students will understand the following key concepts/big ideas:

Digital media are networked

  • Devices that are connected to the internet are all connected to each other
  • Devices that are connected to the internet send information to each other

Digital media have unanticipated audiences

  • Things that you do with devices connected to the internet may be seen by people you don’t know about

Students will learn the following essential domain knowledge:


  • Key vocabulary related to online privacy
  • Many devices connect to the internet
  • Your personal information is the things that can identity who you are
  • Privacy risks include scams, embarrassment, hurting people’s feelings, cyberbullying and threats to property or personal safety
  • Taking proactive steps to manage your privacy can limit privacy risks
  • Privacy settings can control who sees what you post
  • Passwords are an important tool to protect your privacy

Ethics and Empathy:

  • What you do online can also affect other people’s privacy, whether intentional or not

Students will learn how to:

  • Use: Begin to explore ways to privacy risks
  • Understand: Identify the privacy risks of different devices, apps and online activities
  • Engage: Make good choices about others’ privacy

Personal Data Protection Competencies:

Personal Data:

  • I understand what is involved in the concept of personal data, defined as any data—whether or not it was made public—about an identifiable individual
  • I can give examples of personal data that can directly identify individuals (civil/family status, photo of a student in the class, etc.) and technical data that can monitor the activities of a person and identify them (cookies, geolocation data, etc.)

Understanding the Digital Environment

  • I know what the internet and its services are (social networks, mobile applications, the cloud, etc.)
  • I am careful to only share the personal data that is absolutely necessary to register for a service
  • I know that there are ways to protect myself online

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

Privacy Pursuit! Activity Booklet

Lesson Kit