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3rd Grade Plagiarism and Citing Sources Lesson-KG

Page history last edited by Kim Gutjahr 13 years, 6 months ago

Third Grade Plagiarism and Citing Sources Lesson

Kim Gutjahr

March 2010


Instructional Goals:

  • ·         To increase student knowledge of plagiarism
  • ·         To help students understand the difference between facts and plagiarism
  • ·         To aid the students in summarizing what they read
  • ·         To help students credit sources


  1. The students will discuss plagiarism
  2. The students will practice summarizing
  3. The students will credit sources used in research


  • ·         Book When Marion Copied , author Brook Berg

Book summary: A group of children at school are discussing a classmate who won a poetry award but they know that she copied most of the poem. Later that day in class the teacher reads several student research reports and they are all the same. The class then has a discussion about plagiarism, summarizing, and citing sources.

  • ·         Chart paper and markers 
  • ·         Nonfiction books the students have read in book clubs 


Time: Two 30- minute Lessons

Instructional Strategies:

1.  Discuss writing a research paper on a topic. Explain to the students that they will have to use two different books and a Web site to find their information.

2.  Use the Value Line strategy to determine how they feel about the research assignment.

3.  Have a discussion about their position on the value line.

4. Tell the students that you are going to read them a story about a class that had to write a research paper and the difficulties and how they were solved.

5.  Then read aloud the book When Marion Copied.

6. Ask the students and discuss if they have a difficult time finding a different way to say something after they have read it. Remind them that after reading some material to put it off to the side and then summarize in their own words what they have read.

 7. On the chart paper write the definition of plagiarism. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition defines plagiarize as “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own.”  Discuss that plagiarism is when you use other people’s words or pictures with out giving them credit.

8. Explain that giving credit means to write down where you took your information from.  It is important for students should recognize that all resources are written by a person who should get credit for their work.

9. On chart paper list the basic rules to avoid plagiarism

         Give credit when you use

  • ·         Any fact, statistics, graphs, pictures, drawings – any pieces of information that are not common knowledge
  • ·         Quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words
  • ·         Another person’s idea, opinion, or theory

10. On chart paper give examples of how to create a bibliography for third graders and hang in the classroom.

A.  Arrange the citations in alphabetical order by authors’ last names.

B.  Print resources: Author’s name. Title of work. Copyright year.

C.  Internet resources: “Title of the Web page in quotation marks.” Date of site visit.

    (URL in Brackets)

11.  Using nonfiction books the students have read and model summarizing a section. Then have the students practice summarizing sections or pages. Next, have students pair/share their summarizes.

12. Together as a class practice writing out a bibliography of the material that you summarized. Then have the students work in pairs.




Assessment of these lessons will be done through teacher observation, class discussions, and the student’s abilities to summarize and write out their resources.


Berg, Brook. When Marion Copied. Fort Atkinson, WI:  UpstartBooks. 2006.

Berg, Brook. When Marion Copied Library Lessons on Plagiarism. Fort Atkinson, WI:  UpstartBooks. 2006.

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