Piano and Laylee

 Learning Adventures

Help a Copycat Become a Creative Cat

As a Technology Teacher, this particular book is near and dear to my heart. It is so exciting to see that light turn on when students finally become accomplished with the Copy and Paste editing feature. In some cases, they have no choice except to learn how to Right Click, Copy, and Right Click, Paste rather than use the Edit menu feature. This is true especially for pictures. It’s such a big skill for them that you can’t help but be excited when they actually get it! Then you have to remind them that there are limits to what they can copy and paste! And, further, they need to make sure that they give credit to the author or artist and don’t inadvertently use the copy as their own work.

The fact that Coco realizes she’s a better artist than she gave herself credit for also ties into reminding our students about their own creativity. We want our students to take ownership of their own ideas, words, and artistry. Creativity is an all important standard for 21st Century skill development. So this is a perfect tie in to letting students have fun making their own drawings on a computer or on paper with crayon. Students can be shown how the paper version can always be scanned so that a digital file can be made and used on the computer.

Big Idea for the Child to Think About:

Why is it a personal responsibility to respect other people's copyrighted work?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask the children to imagine that they made a short video clip about their cat. It was so cute that their parents posted it on YouTube for them. But then other people copied their video clip and started posting it with their own names as if they had made the video clip and started to earn money from the clip. How would they feel?
  2. Have children each draw a picture of a yellow flower and sign their picture. Then have them share their pictures. They can see how different each picture is and celebrate the fact that their pictures each have their own copyright so that others cannot copy and pretend that the work is their own.
  3. What kinds of chores do the children have? (feed the dog/cat, put their dirty dishes in the sink after dinner, empty the trash) What about their parents/caregivers? What are their responsibilities? (go to work, pay bills, buy food, take care of their children). Relate how these are all forms of personal responsibility.
  4. Does anyone remember why Miss Paige said that copying was not okay if it was not for school purposes? (the person who drew the picture deserves the right to make money for themselves and their family)
  5. What was that law that says only a student can copy a limited amount of work? (Fair Use Law)
  6. What % of words or work can be copied? (10% - or 1 word out of 10 words)
  7. How much music can be copied? (no more than 30 seconds)
  8. How does a student give credit to the author? (by typing the person's name, where they found the work, and when they copied the work)
  9. Why is respecting other people’s copyrighted work a personal responsibility?
  10. If a website says that you cannot copy the work without asking for permission, what should a student do? (go to a different site that doesn't put that restriction on it).