Powerful Passwords

Lesson 6 (K-2)

Material & Objectives

*Copy the Dos and Don’ts of Powerful Passwords Student Handout, one for every four students.


  • *Chalkboard or white board
  • *Blank index cards or strips of paper, four per student
  • *Review the online password generator Dinopass.



We will understand the functions and identify strategies for creating and protecting secure passwords. I will create my own secure passwords using the lesson guidelines.

Warm-up (10 minutes)

ASK: What is a combination lock?

(You can hold up a real combination lock to show students for effect.) Students will offer a variety of definitions.

EXPLAIN that you can only open a combination lock by turning the dial in a secret combination of numbers that is hard to guess.

DISCUSS with students that people use locks to keep their belongings safe and protected.

ASK: Do you ever use a combination lock? If so, what for?
Locker, bicycle, safe, etc.

DEFINE the Key Vocabulary term

password: a secret word or phrase that some websites require you to type in if you want to visit them

EXPLAIN to students that online passwords are similar to the combinations for a lock. They are secret combinations of letters and numbers that only you know. Passwords keep other people from seeing your private information on the Internet. For example, tell students that passwords allow them to save their points after playing an online game. When they’re older, they will use passwords to do many things, such as keep track of their money or shop online.

DEFINE the Key Vocabulary term

protect: to keep safe

EXPLAIN that knowing how to create powerful passwords will prevent other people from pretending to be them and help them keep their private information and money secure. Passwords protect one’s identity and information.

ASK: How would you feel if someone else used your password and pretended to be you on one of these sites? For instance, what if someone used your password to steal points that you have collected in a video game?
Sample responses:

  • Angry, because my privacy has been broken
  • Worried that someone might pretend to be me online
  • Fearful that someone can find out private information about me through my account

Dos and Don'ts of Powerful Passwords (15 minutes)

HAVE students complete the Dos and Don’ts of Powerful Passwords Student Handout, making their best guesses about whether statements should begin with a “Do” or a “Don’t.”

REVIEW the correct answers with students when they are finished.

INVITE them to explain their reasoning for starting each statement the way they did. Here are the correct answers and sample explanations:

  1. Do make passwords eight or more characters long. (Longer passwords are harder to crack than shorter ones.)
  2. Don’t use dictionary words as your password. (Others could guess your password this way.)
  3. Do include letters, numbers, and symbols in your password. (It can be harder to guess passwords with this combination.)
  4. Do change your password at least every six months. (This way, even if someone does guess your password, they won’t be able to get into your account for long.)
  5. Don’t use private identity information in your password. (Others could guess your password this way.)
  6. Don’t use your phone number as your password. (Others could guess your password this way.)
  7. Don’t use your nickname as your password. (It could be easy for others to guess.)
  8. Do give your password to your parent or guardian. (They will help you remember it if you forget it.)
  9. Don’t share your password with your friends. (Even if you trust them, they might unintentionally do something that puts you or your information at risk.)
  10. Do create a password that you can remember. (It’s okay to create a random password, but keep in mind that it should be one that you can remember, or else it won’t do you much good.)

ASK: Which tips did you know? Which ones surprised you?
Answers will vary.

REMIND students that they should not carry their passwords with them, tape them to their computers, or share them with friends. It is also wise for students to let trusted family members know about their passwords. They can help students find a safe place to store their written passwords.

Make a Secure Password (15 minutes)

DEFINE the Key Vocabulary term

  • secure: safe and protected

TELL students that you will now practice creating a new, secure password.

DISTRIBUTE four blank index cards or strips of paper to each student.

INSTRUCT students to write down an answer for each of the following categories, one per blank index card or strip of paper:

  • Favorite number
  • Pet’s name, or favorite character’s name
  • A symbol (#, $, %, *, or &)
  • Favorite food

HAVE students arrange the four strips in various combinations to create a new password, keeping in mind the dos and don’ts tips they discussed earlier. When they’ve finished, have them share their new password with a partner, and then have them vote on which password they consider the strongest. For an added challenge, students can tear words apart to create more options for combinations.

INVITE students to share their winning passwords with the class, and discuss what makes them so strong.

Test Your Password (optional)

TELL students that they are now going to play “Test Your Password,” a game that tests how secure their passwords are. Have students line up against one wall of the classroom, or go to a bigger space, such as the playground. Tell them that you will call out statements about password protection, along with what to do in response if the statement is true for them.


  • Statement 1: If you change your password at least every six months, take three steps forward.
  • Statement 2: If you use your nickname as your password, take two steps back.
  • Statement 3: If your password includes letters, numbers, and symbols, take three steps forward.
  • Statement 4: If your password has less than eight characters, take one step back.
  • Statement 5: If you haven’t changed your password in two years, take four steps back.
  • Statement 6: If your password has at least eight characters, take two steps forward.
  • Statement 7: If you let your friends use your password, take two steps back.
  • Statement 8: If no one except you and your parent or guardian knows your password, take two steps forward.
  • Statement 9: If your password has no private information, take three steps forward.
  • Statement 10: If your password is a word in the dictionary, take two steps back.
  • Statement 11: If your password is hard for you to remember, take two steps back.
  • Statement 12: If your password is not your home phone number, take two steps forward.

Wrap-up (5 minutes)

You can use these questions to assess your students’ understanding of the lesson objectives.

ASK: What is a password?

A secret word or phrase that some websites require you to type in if you want to visit them.

ASK: Why are strong passwords helpful?
Strong passwords help to protect our information from being accessed or seen by others.


Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk: What are some dos and don’ts to remember about powerful passwords?
See tips in Teach 1 for sample responses.


Exit Ticket:

Show students how to create a password that is both hard to guess and relatively easy to remember. Suggest that they write down the name of a book, TV show, or movie. They should then abbreviate the phrase, replace some of the letters with numbers and symbols, and make some letters uppercase and some lowercase. For example, “Clifford the Big Red Dog” could become Cl1ffB1Grd. You can also have students make new passwords with the online password generator Dinopass.