Up, Up and Away? (TM) Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 7 to 8

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

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


In this lesson students encounter the key concepts of intellectual property, learning the difference between copyright and trademark and coming to understand how these affect how media products are created and sold. The lesson uses the legal decision regarding the rights to the comic book hero Superman to help students understand the different ways in which intellectual properties can be owned, leased and sold. It begins with a discussion that examines students’ understanding of intellectual property principles and then looks closely at the Superman case to introduce key topics and questions. This is followed by a series of activities that ask students to explore the key ideas they’ve learned and consider how intellectual property issues are relevant to them. As a summative activity, students hold a debate on intellectual property issues.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • understand the idea of intellectual property
  • learn the difference between copyright and trademark
  • learn the meaning and relevance of the public domain
  • read a background text and answer questions
  • form and express opinions
  • participate in a formal debate

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

Lesson Kit