Student-Created PSAs Ignite Critical Thinking

Which of the following is not a topic covered by among the “non-commercial” television commercials known as PSAs?

Soon after seeing these expert produced areas, numerous teachers had their trainees create their own. A coworker sent me this– his trainees anti-tobacco PSA– in the style of Animal Planets Crocodile Hunter.

The public needs to recognize the circumstance as an issue.
The scenario protests the general values accepted by the society.
A big section of the population recognizes the problem as a legitimate issue.
The issue can be corrected or minimized through the joint action of people and/or neighborhood resources. (Source).

Some had responses right away, others struggled. One trainee stated the “pot holes” in his neighborhood was a social concern.

I brought with me a PSA addressing youth cravings, told by star Jeff Bridges. I typically find its helpful to show several media examples to offer students with a context and a sense of scope.

Smokey Bear ads, credited with saving countless forest acres, first appeared in 1944. Read the history.

Here is a student-produced PSA about “Global Warming”. Prior to you see their production, they take time to reveal you the actions they used to create the message.

Next, I examined the 4 elements:.

With that, I held up a blank 8 X 11 sheet of paper with 2 columns: one labeled audio, the other labeled video. I discussed that PSAs are very first written before a minute of video is produced. I discussed to them that it would be their task to not only write a description of the advertisement, consisting of discussion, however also time it so that it is precisely 30 seconds long. I urged them to neglect the video column for the time being and just focus on writing.

I was recently invited by a middle school instructor to present her trainees to Public Service Announcements. As a media teacher, my goal is constantly to engage my audience (instructors and students) in both examining AND making media messages.


( Source).

Judging the PSAs.

Next, I specified “social concern,” thinking these students might need clarification:.

Why PSAs Are Important.

More than most likely you have actually seen, heard or check out a PSA on tv, on the radio, or in a newspaper or publication. What about your students? Would they understand what these unique messages are developed to do?

With students seated in groups at tables, I challenged them to come to a consensus about one problem they would deal with for that week. Once they did, I provided the script design template for their 30-second commercial. Next, I assisted them focus by asking questions like:.

Their teacher confessed that her trainees knew little bit, if anything, about the subject so I recommended some background articles for them to read prior to my arrival. Here are 2 for your consideration:.

I explained that PSAs are ads however theyre not selling a product.

Storyboards are utilized extensively in advertising, movie and television production. Often students will inform me: “I cant draw.” I advise them that producing storyboards is not about artistic capability, however rather it includes thinking seriously about what this (something on the page) may appear like. Theyre utilizing a different part of their brains when students draw. Perhaps more importantly, theyre starting to formulate a concept of how a “shot” in the business might appear. Typically their camera shots will look like the original storyboard illustration.

Working with their teacher, we concurred that I would present the subject during one class duration. The trainees would work for a week, and I would return a week later on to see their finished productions.

PSAs are “a message in the public interest distributed without charge, with the goal of raising awareness of, and changing public attitudes and behavior towards, a social concern.”.

( Source).

I began to integrate PSAs into my media literacy workshops after seeing among the national TRUTH anti-tobacco spots. The TRUTH project, targeted at youths, was an outcome of the 1998 federal tobacco settlement in which millions of dollars streamed into states. The TRUTH site is still going strong with a current focus on giving or preventing up vaping.

One of the largest manufacturers of PSAs in the United States is the Ad Council. Heres one about Women in STEM


After being presented to the students, I chose to begin from scratch– and I started with this definition:.

what do you already learn about your problem?
what do you desire your audience to know?
where will you go to research it?
what crucial info does your audience require to know?
what will be your “contact us to action”?

Teaching With and By Example.

After enjoying each PSA, I prodded them with this question: what were the strengths and weak points of the PSA you just enjoyed? Instead of me playing the function of judge, they provided exceptional feedback the creators could use to enhance their production.

Prior to returning, I sent their teacher a rubric for how to judge their productions. I planned to utilize it but decided instead to challenge the class to provide a critique of their peers PSAs.

Youth Hunger. Environment Change. Forest Fires.

The organization Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance) advises us: “PSAs encourage trainees to develop messages of action and raise awareness of social problems. This task moves students from passive types of social action ( preference something on Facebook or discussing YouTube) into active use of multimedia to impact modification.” (Source).

I advised the students to “simply close your eyes and listen,” after which I asked them: “what did you hear”? My objective here is to highlight that sounds (including music) are necessary aspects in these areas.

The Ad Council has its roots in the public service “war ads” developed throughout World War II, with messaging like Loose Lips Sink Ships and Women in War Jobs.

As you probably guessed, theyre all subjects of public service statements (PSAs).

Since of time restrictions, I did not introduce the idea of storyboards, however I recommend teachers include this next step. Storyboards are where artists produce visual representations of what is on a script. Storyboards include “frames” which represent camera shots. I utilize a 6-frame storyboard. (After writing their scripts, developing a storyboard would be the next action.) In reality, manufacturers utilize both the script AND the storyboard as the basis for how the last PSA will look.

Why teach with and about PSAs?

How to Create the Perfect Public Service Announcement.

Student PSAs Create Connection to Critical Issues.

When I first began integrating PSAs into my workshops, it was also clear that students do this best when they work collaboratively. Whichs important whether they one day become associated with collaborative enterprises like video production or simply need to be able to work well as part of a team.

They have to come to a consensus about a topic. They have to conduct research study into real world issues. They have to decide if a source is trusted or not.

YouTube: Changing the World with Video PSAs (lesson strategy).

PSAs: A How-To Guide for Teachers.

One of the largest producers of PSAs in the US is the Advertisement Council. I began to integrate PSAs into my media literacy workshops after seeing one of the nationwide TRUTH anti-tobacco spots. The company Learning for Justice (previously Teaching Tolerance) reminds us: “PSAs encourage students to develop messages of action and raise awareness of social problems. In genuine life, producers use both the script AND the storyboard as the basis for how the final PSA will look.

Resources for PSA Projects.

Create a Public Service Announcement (Common Sense Media).

The Advertisement Council.

I have actually believed long and hard about why a teacher needs to devote the time to doing this task with their trainees. It is clear that our students are enjoying and discovering from new platforms like TIkTok and the appeal of videos they see on YouTube. Theyre being exposed to many messages, a few of which may not be positive and might even be incorrect or deceptive.

Civil Service Announcement Rubric (International Literacy Association).

Civil Service Announcement Lesson Plan (Scholastic).

Frank W Baker has actually been blogging about media literacy here at MiddleWeb because 2012. He routinely leads workshops for students and instructors. (Learn more.) His most recent book, released by Routledge/Eye On Education is “Close Reading The Media” and consists of ideas for lessons and jobs throughout the academic year. Frank curates the popular Media Literacy Clearinghouse site and shares daily tips and media literacy lesson concepts on Twitter @fbaker.

Todays students also have extraordinary chances to utilize smart device cams to modify and shoot video and upload it to a streaming platform for others to see.

Have you ever engaged your trainees in creating PSAs? What was the result? I d appreciate hearing from you about the experience. And if you have not tried this idea before but decide to dive in, let me know how it goes.

Have you ever engaged your trainees in developing PSAs?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.