Lesson Plans



What’s Wrong?  From Plagiarism! Plagiarism!

Copyright Upstart Books, 2009 by Kathleen Fox

Skill:  To identify the incorrect statement by using reference materials.

Time: 25 minutes

Materials:  Index cards, pens or pencils, encyclopedias, or computers Prep Time and Instruction:  5 minutes. Pull out a set of encyclopedias or use online encyclopedias. The purpose of this game is to enlighten your students as to how easy it is to slip in false information when reporting, especially if no source is stated to reference the information.



1. Divide your class into teams of two.

2. Give each team an index card and a volume of the encyclopedia.

3. Ask the teams to go through the encyclopedia, find a subject that interests them, and write the subject title on the top of the card. No two subjects should be the same (they won’t be if the class is using a hard set , but they may be the same if teams are using the Internet).

4. Have each team read through the subject information and write down three statements about the subject that are true, and one that is false.

5. Tell the students to make the false statement sound as true as possible so that no one instantly realizes which sentence is incorrect (stress this or the game will move too quickly and be ineffective).

6. Don’t have the students source their information at this time.

7. After all statements have been written, have all the students stand up and walk to the middle of the library.  On “go” each team will swap cards with another, then find the encyclopedia where their new subject can be found.

8. The teams must now source the volume to identify the statement that is incorrect.  Then, they must circle the false statement and write the sourcing information that they used (i.e., the encyclopedia or web site).

9. Have each team read their cards aloud and note the false statement.  

More Challenging Ways to Play:

Play individually.

Have the entire class (except the team that wrote it) guess which statement is false when reading aloud.

Use a variety of reference materials instead of just the encyclopedia.

Choose the topics to correlate to what is being taught at each grade level.

Have students make up three false statements and one that is true.

Use sites that are not encyclopedia web sites.

  • Find additional information about the subject using other methods.


Sing a Song From Plagiarism! Plagiarism!

Copyright Upstart Books, 2009 by Kathleen Fox

Skill:  Cite an original song.

Time: 25-30 minutes

Materials: Paper, pencil, poster board or dry erase board (optional)

Prep Time and Instructions: This is a musical way to have students remember how to source a song or compact disc (CD).  Encourage creativity, then sit back and enjoy the music.  This activity will ensure your students never forget how to write a song reference… even if you might want to forget some of their lyrics!


1. Post the following on a board:

Group/Artist. “Title of Song.” Album or CD. Publisher, Year.

2. Draw names to determine groups. Have at least 3-4 students in a group.

3. Give each group 10-15 minutes to come up with a chorus for a new song (stick to the chorus only, unless there is ample time for more).  

4. Then ask each group to come up with a group name (Group/Artist) and a song name (“Title of Song”) for their song’s chorus.

5. Have each group name their album.

6. Your school name will be the publisher and the year is the current year in which you are doing this activity.

7. Each team must write their song’s source information on the board correctly before performing it to the class.

8. Make sure you applaud!

9. Review documenting a song and the format in which to source it.

More Creative Ways:

Challenge students to come up with lyrics that pertain to library curriculum.

Record the performances.

Ask the music teacher for instruments or combine classes that day.

Have students design the CD covers for their songs and include the copyright information in the design. 

To see the book in which these lesson plans can be found:


© Lisa Downey 2012