• Familiarize yourself with terms and concepts surrounding the Open Web movement and Creative Commons licenses by reading over the Open Web Info packet.
  • For some additional background info, you can also read one software engineer’s take on the philosophies behind the Open Web movement.

  • Print out these Creative Commons Room Signs and hang them around the room.
  • Familiarize yourself with some GIF and meme-making programs such as Meemoo, GIFMake or GIMP.
  • Find sources of Creative Commons images that your participants will be able to access. Instructions for how to do this can be found in the Open Web Info packet.

Steps for the Activity

  1. Make a Sketch

    Learners begin by making their own quick sketch.
    • Hand out a marker and piece of paper to each learner.
    • Give participants 3 minutes to create an original drawing. It doesn’t need to be a recognizable shape or object. The only requirement is that it is school appropriate.
    • When the three minutes are up, ask participants to put down their markers and start the discussion about usage rights by asking them:
      • How would you feel if I took a picture of your work and posted it online without giving you credit?
      • How would you feel if I gave you credit, but I changed your artwork or remixed it in some other way?

    • Talk about remix culture on the Internet and the Open Web Movement by reviewing information on the first page of the Open Web Info packet.

  2. Creative Commons Relay

    Ask the group to stand up and gather on one side of the room.
    • Give out the handout that explains types of Creative Commons licenses.
    • Take a minute to review the four main categories of permissions on a Creative Commons license.
    • Each license tells you whether the person who wants to use it needs to give credit to the original maker, and whether the work can be shared, changed or used to earn money. Each of the 6 types of licenses give different permissions. Some are very open and some are more restrictive.

    • Explain to students that you are going to read out an attribute of a license and the participants need to stand under the Creative Commons room sign that features that attribute. It might apply to more than one license, so they can stand under any applicable sign.
    • For instance, if you say “Stand under the license that lets me remix the work, but not if i’m going to make money from it” the participants would stand under “Attribution-NonCommercial.” If you said “Stand under the license that lets me use the work as long as I give my new work the same license as the original," students could stand under “Attribution-ShareAlike” OR “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike”

    • Have them change signs four or five times so they become familiar with the terms and allowances of Creative Commons. Then ask them to return to their seats.
    • Once they are seated, have participants use what they learned from the relay to choose one of the Creative Commons licenses for their work.
    • Ask a few volunteers to share their drawings. Ask them which licenses they chose and why.

  3. Make an Animated GIF or a Meme!

    Now that participants are familiar with Creative Commons licenses, they’ll use those concepts to create their own animated GIFs or memes!
    • Have students spend 10 minutes searching for openly licensed images to use in a GIF or meme. Direct them to the instructions for locating Creative Commons works that's in the Open Web Info packet.
      Remind them to pay special attention to the kind of license their images use because they must use the image in accordance with the clauses the original artist stipulated.

    • When participants are finished with their memes or GIFs, ask a few to share out and explain where they found their images.
    • Encourage participants to share their memes or GIFs online and use Creative Commons licensing, whether through their own social networks or through your organization’s website or blog!

Learning Objectives

Learners will be able to:
  • Describe what “copyright” means when it applies to works of media
  • Describe the main goal behind the Open Web Movement
  • Describe various types of Creative Commons licences
  • Perform searches for works of media licensed under Creative Commons
  • Create their own animated GIFs using free online programs



  • How did your opinions about remixing and appropriating original works change from the start of the activity to the end?
  • Is it fair for people to protect their original works?
  • Is it ever OK for people to use NON-open work?
  • Do you think we should encouraging an Open Web movement?
  • Related Activities

    • Continue your group's exploration of the Open Web by reviewing fair use concepts in the Fair Use Music Video activity!


    This activity is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.