Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright

From the Library of Congress 

Through four animated videos, a team of cartoon students solve the "mystery" of what copyright is and how it affects them. These videos, through colorful characters and music, are a great resource for teaching older primary and middle school students about copyright.


How do you use it?

Animated videos are very appealing to students and these four films can be used with late primary and middle school students.  They take minimal preparation effort on the part of the presenter.  The "mysteries” make for an enjoyable lesson in and of themselves, yet they could be supplemented with a discussion afterwords. The music and graphics are a good way to keep this age group interested without underplaying the important information.  

The videos, while very clear, simply give information rather than encouraging thought and discussion.  Presenters will need to consider how they want to use these videos if a more interactive program is desired.

Who is the audience?

These videos are both fun to watch and educational.  They are tailored toward the strengths of children at an older primary and middle-school level. 

What other resources will complement this?

  1. 45 Words   Video & lesson Plan from the Newseum (H, A)  
  2. Dialogue on Law in the 21st Century  Lesson plan and resources from the American Bar Association (M, H)  
  3. Educating about Intellectual Property  From Street Law Inc. and Constitutional Rights Foundation (M, H)
  4. Freedom of the Press & School Newspapers  Lesson plan from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (H, A)
  5. Pillars of the First Amendment  Lesson plan from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (M, H, A)
  6. Social Media & Student Speech  Lesson plan from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (H, A)
  7. United States Patent and Trademark Office's 'Kids' Pages'  Games and Activities from the USPTO (P, M, H)

Additional Recommended Resources Off-Site Links

  1. A Constitutional Timeline
    • Multi-aged audience timeline that highlights key dates in history of Constitution, with links to text, audio and video clips. From National Constitution Center's Constitution Day site. 
  2. Interactive Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that enables users to search Constitution by keyword or topic, with access to explanatory materials throughout. From National Constitution Center.   
  3. The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that lists the text of each section of every article in the Constitution, and provides explanation of what the text means in plain language.  From the Leonore Annenberg Institute of Civics. 
  4. Understanding the Federal Courts
    • Multi-aged online textbook-type document that includes sections on Article III, the Federal Court system and the geographical boundaries of the Courts of Appeal and the District Courts, the code of conduct for judges, juror qualifications, exemptions and terms of service, as well as categories of bankruptcy cases.  From the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.