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Lesson Plan

MyTube: Changing the World With Video Public Service Announcements

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time At least six 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Tampa, Florida


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Study what makes a persuasive argument by critically analyzing different public service announcements (PSAs)

  • Learn the question-finding strategy and apply it to a topic of interest

  • Practice persuasive writing by creating PSA scripts

  • Use a variety of media techniques to enhance what they have written in their scripts and create and edit video PSAs

  • Use video techniques and persuasive writing strategies they learned about while creating their own PSAs to evaluate those of their peers

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Session 1

1. Show students the PSA you have chosen from the Ad Council: Childhood Obesity Prevention, or AdCouncil: PSA Gallery website. Discuss the PSA. What makes it believable? What problem is it trying to address? How does it do this?
2. Watch the PSA again and using the transparency of the PSA Outline, explore the structure of the PSA with students. Fill in the boxes as you discuss and identify the scenario, goals, reasons, facts, and sponsoring organization. Explain to students that they will use the same type of structure for their own PSAs.

3. Watch the PSA once more. Ask students to look for the following:
  • How the actors portray the message.

  • The persuasive techniques used in the video

  • The use of voiceovers (if any)

  • How the PSA uses text on the screen

Homework (due at the beginning of Session 2): Have students search a variety of media sources including newspapers, magazines, television, and a variety of Internet sources for information about obesity and healthy eating (or the topic you have chosen for their PSAs). They should bring these to class in the form of original sources (Internet documents can be printed) and notes they wrote. You can also ask students to look at the Bullseye video on the AdCouncil: PSA Gallery website or can show it to them before Session 2.

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Session 2

1. Lead students through questions that are designed to help them explore the issue they are discussing by looking for what is unusual and unclear. If you are using childhood obesity as your topic, sample questions for discussion include:
  • What did you find in your research about healthy eating and childhood obesity that surprised you?

  • How does this information conflict with your beliefs?

  • How are the facts different than you expected?
2. Ask students to try to ask questions that are aimed at finding explanations for the problem they are exploring. Sample questions for discussion include:
  • How can you explain a lack of healthy eating in young people?

  • What steps can you take to find explanations?

  • What rationale can you give for this behavior?
3. The final series of questions should be imaginative, speculative, and exploratory. Sample questions include:
  • What are some other ways to promote healthy eating in young people?

  • What would you do if you were in charge of a national healthy eating campaign?

  • Can you imagine all the benefits young people would have if they started eating more healthy foods and maintained a healthy weight?
4. Once students complete their questions they should work in groups of five or six to begin planning their own PSA using the PSA Outline. Ask them to complete only Section 1, thinking how they could act out the problem. Makes sure students understand that they need to dramatize their issue in 30 seconds or less. Circulate among the groups while they are working and when you see a good example, have those students model for the class. Note: Allow students to select their own groups to maintain interest and motivation.

5. Once students have their dramatic actions recorded on the storyboard, they can begin to think of a slogan or saying that best depicts the goal of their PSA.

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Session 3

This session should take place in a computer lab or a classroom equipped with one computer for each group of students. Students should bring their outlines from Session 2.

1. Students should use the Persuasion Map to plan the rest of their storyboards. Have them enter a goal or thesis and then list their reasons that support this goal and some facts from their research for each reason. When they are finished, they should print their maps.

2. Students should use the information from their Persuasion Maps to fill in their outlines as follows:
  • Section 1: What type of words should flash across the screen to put across the message or your goal? Think of a catchy phrase or slogan.

  • Section 2: How could you discuss the reasons in the video? How do you convince people to listen to your message?

  • Section 3: What are your facts? How will you share these facts dramatically?

Homework (due at the beginning of Session 4): Students should visit the Let's Make Movies! website. They should then use the outlines they created to make a storyboard and shot list for their video. You might also want to give them time during class to rehearse before they film during Session 4. They should collect any props they will need as well.

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Session 4

As many groups as you have cameras should film their PSAs at a time; remaining groups can rehearse until it is their turn. Assist as necessary–you can either film for them or allow them to film with your guidance. Once students are done filming, you can download all files into one computer and then save them to a USB flash drive. You can also have students download their files directly from the video camera during the next session.

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Session 5

This session should take place in a computer lab or a classroom equipped with one computer for each group of students.

Students should work on their PSAs in their groups. They should follow the instructions on the Using Movie Maker to Create Public Service Announcements (PSAs) handout to edit and render their PSAs.

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Session 6

1. Students should share their PSAs with the class. If you have one available, they can use an LCD projector to show the entire class their video. Alternatively, students can do a museum walk, where half of the class shows their PSAs on individual computers while the other half goes to each “exhibit” to watch the videos. After every group has seen all the demonstrations, students can switch places until every student has seen every PSA.

2. Once the viewing is completed, have a class discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the PSAs. Ask the following questions:
  • Which did you find most convincing?

  • Which slogan was the catchiest and reflected the goal the best?

  • What reasons were most convincing?

  • Whose facts did you most believe? Why?

  • What videos were the most powerful? What features did they incorporate? How did the images make you feel? How did the text on the screen add to the message?

  • How did the voiceover contribute to persuasion?
3. After the discussion, ask students to fill out the Evaluating the Products and the Reflecting on the Process sheets.

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Students should use the Evaluating the Products and Reflecting on the Process handouts to assess their own and each other’s work. Use these evaluations to complete your own assessment of student knowledge of the lesson objectives. In addition, keep your own anecdotal notes as students work through the various media techniques and elements of persuasive writing.

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