An Elementary Teacher's
Guide to Plagiarism
When you think of plagiarism you probably don't associate it with elementary school. Of course elementary educators do not assign huge term papers where students can download entire papers from the internet and turn them in as their own, but plagiarism can and does occur in the elementary school. Plagiarism is when someone takes another persons thoughts or ideas and claims them as their own. Elementary educators would be naive to think that it does not occur in their classrooms. If we do not teach students about plagiarism at an early age, it could turn into a more serious problem in the future for middle school and high school teachers. In order to prevent this we must make students aware of what plagiarism is and incorporate strategies for preventing it into our lessons .
How can I define plagiarism for an elementary aged student?
Plagiarism is when someone takes another persons thoughts or ideas and acts like they are their own.
Ways to prevent elementary plagiarism:
Take the time to explain what plagiarism is to elementary students.
Show them examples of plagiarism .
Make students aware of the consequences.
Do not let students get in the habit of cutting and pasting when you are in the computer lab.
Teach students to paraphrase. Model paraphrasing and have the students practice paraphrasing.
Teach students how to use quotes in their work.
Make sure assignments are clear, provide rubrics.
When assigning a larger writing assignment to elementary aged students have them submit a rough draft so that you can check that they are using strategies such as paraphrasing and quotes instead of plagiarizing.
Make the students aware of plagiarism so that when their parents offer to do work or projects for them they will make their parents aware that this is cheating.
Have students orally present their work or have individual conferences.
Ask students questions about their assignments or projects.
Change project and assignment requirements yearly so students are not tempted to use friends, brothers, or sisters past work.
Teacher sites for more information on plagiarism:
Although these sites are more geared towards middle, high school, and college students, there is still a lot of great information for elementary teachers so that we have a clear understanding of plagiarism.
Plagiarism: What is it and How to Recognize and Avoid it.
This site if full of tips and examples to show what is and is not plagiarism. It also gives tips for how to recognize plagiarism.
Date Visited- 6/3/06
Plagiarism Stoppers: A Teacher's Guide.
This site lists lots of links to websites where teachers can get help identifying and preventing plagiarism
Date Visited- 6/3/06