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Online boundaries and consent

About this resource

The activities in this suite are designed to support students as they learn about online consent and permission, and how to define online boundaries.

Target audience


Middle primary, Upper primary


Unwanted contact, Respectful online relationships, Refusal skills, Privacy and personal information, Permission, Boundaries, Consent, Choice

Type of resource

Animated slide deck video, pre and post activity slides, lesson plans, student worksheet and follow-up activities


20 to 30 minutes for slide deck session plus discussion and follow-up activities

Australian curriculum

Key learning areas

English; Digital Technologies, Health and Physical Education, Media Arts

General capabilities

ICT Capability; Critical and Creative Thinking; Ethical Understandings, Personal and Social Capability

Key outcomes

By the end of the learning students will be able to:

  • identify consent and permission in a variety of online settings
  • define and practise setting personal boundaries online
  • develop help seeking and reporting strategies.

Using this resource

  • Guide students through questions in the pre and post activity.
  • Watch the animated slide deck and support students to complete the student worksheet. 
  • Follow-up this lesson with regular online safety education. You can use the suggested follow-up activities on this page.

Watch the animated slide deck


Thank you for inviting eSafety into your classroom.

Today, we're going to explore some of the things you need to do to stay safe online.

We'll look at how to say 'no' if something makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable because every child has a right to feel safe online.

We'll also talk about how we can respect other people's rights as well.

During the presentation, you'll be asked to get involved in different ways.

There'll be opportunities to reflect as you fill in the worksheet.

We've included some poll questions that your teacher can help you with, and there'll be opportunities for discussion with your teacher, friends and classmates.

You'll be asked to respond to some questions too, as we go through the presentation.

You should have a worksheet. If you don't, that's okay.

You can use a piece of paper when you see the worksheet symbol or icon that has the paper and the pen.

You'll be asked to write down your response.

Let's start by looking at some case studies.

Our first story is about "Setting rules and boundaries". Let's go!

Milo and Mari love playing their game together online.

They have other friends who want to play as well.

One day they're all online and Gab asks if he and his friend Gordo can join in and play their game too.

Milo and Mari say yes and they send him a code to join in.

This is how they give their permission or consent to join the game.

Permission and consent are used to describe the same thing.

We'll be using these words in this presentation and exploring what they mean.

Once they start playing, they realise that Gab is a really good player.

He's got some great tactics and keeps winning.

Gordo struggles to play because he's only played once before and he's not as skilled as the others.

This makes him angry and frustrated.

The others can hear that he's not happy through their headsets.

He uses bad language and swears at himself.

To make it worse, he starts calling Mari and Gab nasty names.

Milo stops the game because of this bad behaviour and tells Gordo that there are rules and boundaries to follow.

Milo tells him that he has to follow them if he wants to keep playing.

Milo was brave to do this, as he was a bit worried how Gordo would react.

Was he going to become even more angry?

Now we need your help.

Let's look at worksheet activity one.

You can tell that Gordo is angry and frustrated already.

Can you come up with two words that might describe how Gordo is feeling?

How do you think he will react when Milo stops the game?

Your teacher can pause here, so you can discuss and record your answers.

You might have written down that Gordo was feeling angry, embarrassed or upset.

Sometimes the things that we say or do online can upset or hurt others.

Then we might feel bad or sad, confused or even embarrassed.

We all make mistakes, and if you feel this way, you can fix things.

Gordo does feel bad. He now realises he's upset Mari.

He also knows that Mari is now feeling sad and angry because she still wants to play but can't, because of his behaviour.

Gordo decides the best thing to do is apologise and say he's sorry.

Gab suggests that all the kids help design some rules, also known as boundaries that everyone agrees on so they can keep playing.

Let's look at worksheet activity two.

What are some rules or boundaries the kids could set so they can play together respectfully?

Can you list two of these on your worksheet?

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

You might have similar answers to these ones.

All players need to be invited to play, have to agree to these rules, will not swear, will not call each other mean names.

There is an important thing about rules.

If they are broken, there should be agreed consequences.

In this game, if you break the rules, you cannot play.

A boundary or rule is visible and clear to all involved, gives people an idea of what they can or cannot do, helps create a safe space for you, helps you to communicate clearly.

Games and apps have settings to help you create boundaries.

You can block contact with strangers, block rude language, or turn off voice chat.

Check out The eSafety Guide with your teacher or your family to find out how to protect yourself on different platforms, like Roblox, YouTube Kids, Lego Life and Minecraft.

Settings allow you to control who can contact you and who can play.

You can sometimes filter for bad language or turn off voice chat too.

Great job! You guys have completed level one.

Let's start level two.

This section is about being pressured to post.

Some of the kids are posting videos on a video sharing app showing a popular dance.

Belal is very good at dancing, but he doesn't think his family would approve of him being filmed or having his dance moves shared.

He's not on any social media and doesn't really want to be either.

His friends ask him every day to make a video.

They say it will be so cool, but Belal doesn't want to do it.

More of his friends say it will be fun, but Belal keeps saying no.

That's when some of his friends start to tease him.

Belal feels really sad, upset, and let down by his friends.

Let's look at worksheet activity three.

What are some things Belal can say to let his friends know that he doesn't want to be videoed?

He doesn't give his permission or consent, and he doesn't want to appear on social media.

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

Belal could say: 

- 'my parents don't let me use social media' 

- 'I don't want to be in the video, but I will help you with the dance'

- 'I prefer not to post on social media'

- 'please respect my right to say no'

- 'I will help you do the video, but I don't want to dance in it'.

Sometimes it's difficult to say 'no' to our friends, family, friends of friends, adults we know well like teachers, coaches, aunties, uncles or grandparents, or adults we know, but not that well, like the bus driver or shop assistant.

eSafety has created some scenarios to help you to practise saying 'no'.

Your teacher has them in the additional resources kit and this might be fun to do at another time.

If you are in a situation and you want to say 'no' but feel pressured or uncomfortable, you can ask for help from a trusted adult, an aunty, uncle or grandparent, an older sister, brother or cousin, a trusted friend or you can contact an online site like Kids Helpline.

Well, that's level two completed. Well done.

Thanks for your help so far.

Let's start level three.

This case study is about asking for permission or consent before you post something.

In our webinar for National Day Against Bullying we spoke about Amy.

Her friend took a photo of her when she was asleep at school camp and shared it without her consent.

The photo went viral and lots of people looked at it and liked it, but some made mean comments and shared it.

Amy story shows how important it is to ask permission before you take a photo or post it.

It's always better to ask before you take the photo and definitely before you share it.

By asking for permission or consent you can avoid upsetting someone or embarrassing them.

It shows you respect and care about their feelings.

Now your teacher can do a quick count of hands.

Has someone ever taken or shared your photo when you haven't wanted them to, without your permission or consent?

If you feel comfortable, you can put your hand up.

When we ran our live webinar, about half the children your age said this had happened to them.

Is that the same in your class?

Your teacher might like to start a discussion with you about the results.

Let's talk about asking for permission or consent.

If you take a photo with someone in it, you should ask before you post or share it with other people.

If they don't want their photo on public social media accounts, you should respect their decision.

If you've uploaded something and a person asks you to take it down, you should just take it down.

If you don't want an image taken or shared, speak up.

You do not have to give your permission. You can say 'no'.

You can also change your mind and ask your friend to take the photo down, even if you said yes in the first place.

It can be really hard to say 'no' to someone.

And we hope this exercise will help you to find the words to use when you need to.

Now we're up to worksheet activity four.

Can you think of two ways you could say 'no' if someone wanted to take or share your photo and you didn't want them to?

Your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

And don't worry if you can't think of any ideas.

We will share some of the answers that other students gave us in our live webinar, and you could use these if you like.

Here are some ways of saying 'no':

- 'I am worried who might see my photo.'

- 'I've heard that photos stay on the internet forever.'

- 'My parents don't want my photo online.'

- 'Some kids use photos to bully others.'

- 'I'm not comfortable with you posting that photo.'

So far we've looked at three case studies, all involving permission or consent.

And now we're ready to do worksheet activity five.

What do you think consent or permission means?

You can talk about it with your teacher and write down your thoughts on the worksheet.

You may like to brainstorm as a class before you write your responses.

Consent is when everybody involved in the conversation agrees to what is happening.

This means:

- choosing to say yes without someone pressuring you

- giving 'permission'

- making a choice without pressure or threats

- saying 'OK, I agree'

- being comfortable with a choice.

In the offline world we are asked for consent or permission in lots of ways.

Like when we ask to hold someone's hand, join a sporting team, join a game, when our aunty asks 'can I give you a hug?', when we ask to borrow something or ask to share food?

Let's now think about the online world.

Can you think of an example when you might be asked for consent in the online world?

Add your ideas to worksheet activity six.

Once again, your teacher might like to pause here so you can discuss and record your answers.

Here are some ways you can ask for consent online:

- 'Can I join your online team?'

- 'Can you accept my friend request?' Making sure the person really is your friend before giving them access to your information.

- 'Can I sign up with your email?' Consent is also important when you are clicking a hyperlink asking should I click on this?

- Accepting someone's request to chat. Making a decision about who the person is and if it's safe to chat to them.

- And when consenting to share an image.

Well done.

Level three is now completed

Now for level four, which is all about respecting someone's right to say 'no'.

Clover is really excited.

It's her 12th birthday and she's having friends over for a fancy dress costume party.

Clover takes lots of photos and wants to post  them on her mum's social media account.

Clover and her mum use the account to share things with their family overseas.

Her friend, Alma says that she doesn't want her photo to be shared.

Clover feels angry and a bit confused, but Alma is her good friend and when they talk, she realises that Alma has good reasons why she said 'no'.

They try to find a different way to share Clover's photos and respect Alma's wishes.

For worksheet activity seven, can you help Clover and Alma?

What ways can they share the photos without Alma in them?

What do you think her friends can do?

Here are some ideas that our eSafety kids came up with:

- Photoshop the picture, so Alma is blurred.

- Don't post anything.

- Have Alma wear a mask.

- Just post the photos without Alma in them.

- Take photos of the back of Alma's head.

- Use a star or emoji to cover Alma's face.

Respecting other people's boundaries means:

- listening to others.

- accepting people's views.

- asking questions and communicating clearly.

You may not always know the reason someone doesn't want to share their photos or give consent, and that's OK!

That's a great way to show respect.

It's easier to say 'no' if you've worked out boundaries first.

Milo and Mari wanted to play their game without name calling.

Amy just wanted her friends to ask for her permission before her photo was taken and shared.

Alma and Belal decided they did not want their photos on social media.

Hopefully this will help you think about what your boundaries are.

After this is finished, you might like to take some time and work out your own boundaries.

Everyone's boundaries are different and that's OK!

Great job, everyone.

Level four is completed.

Find out more about keeping safe when you use games and apps in The eSafety Guide, which includes links to different games, apps and social media.

You can ask your teacher or parent to help you check it out on the eSafety website.

If someone does cross your boundary or you feel uncomfortable and you need more help, you can report it to the social media site or gaming platform.

If it's serious cyberbullying and it hasn't been taken down, you can report it to eSafety who can help out.

And remember to ask a trusted adult if you have any concerns.

You now have all the information to complete your worksheet, but your job is not over.

Your teachers have been given follow up activities that you can do if you have time.

Plus, you can explore eSafety Kids pages whenever you like.

You can also share your worksheet with your parents and carers.

Ask them the questions and see if their answers are similar to yours.

There is heaps more information for your parents and carers on our website as well.

Thanks for being part of today's webinar.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Online boundaries and consent

Learn about online consent and permission, and how to define online boundaries.

eSafety’s Best Practice Framework for Online Safety has been used to develop this resource. eSafety recommends educators use these resources as part of a whole school approach to online safety.