MyTube: Changing the World With Video Public Service Announcements
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Chances are that your students are all watching and enjoying videos found on the popular website YouTube.com. Take advantage of their interest—and practice important critical thinking and literacy skills—by having them make and edit their own videos that deal with important social, economic, and political topics. First, students will watch examples of online public service announcements (PSAs) and probe the multiple meanings of these video texts by asking challenging, open-ended questions. They use their responses and a Persuasion Map tool as a basis for writing scripts for their own PSAs. Students then create short video clips and use Windows Movie Maker to edit their videos.
Persuasion Map: This tool provides an easy-to-use graphic organizer that will help students visually organize and support their persuasive ideas.
From Theory to Practice
In a multiliteracies classroom, students must learn how paper, live, and electronic texts interact with semiotic systems (aesthetics and visual, nonverbal communication, text semiotics, and language/language-based codes) and how these work in social, cultural, economic, and political contexts.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
- 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
- 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
Materials and Technology
- Digital video camera
- Windows Movie Maker (download)
- Computers with Internet access
- Transparency and overhead projector
- LCD Projector (optional)
- Using Movie Maker to Create Public Service Announcements instruction sheet
- Evaluating the Products handout
- Reflecting on the Process handout
- PSA Outline handout
|1.||This lesson plan has students create their own video public service announcements (PSAs). It uses childhood obesity as a sample theme, but you may choose to have them pick a theme for these PSAs as a class or may assign them to work on a topic that is related to something you are studying.
Visit the Ad Council: Childhood Obesity Prevention, Boost, AdCouncil: PSA Gallery, and Media Awareness Network: Public Service Announcements websites and take a look at some of the PSAs they contain. Your goal here is to familiarize yourself with the format so that you can help students analyze them. If you use childhood obesity as the topic for your students’ PSAs, make sure you look at the videos on the Ad Council Childhood Obesity Prevention website. These PSA’s can be found under the Television link under Campaign Material. You may also want to show the PSA video titled Bullseye on the AdCouncil: PSA Gallery website. In addition, you may want to select one PSA from the Boost website to share with students during Session 1 just to provide more examples for students. While the BoostUp videos are not about childhood obesity—they are about the importance of staying in and doing well in school—they provide some alternate formats for PSA’s. (If possible, arrange to use an LCD projector to show the video and also for student demonstrations during Session 6.)
|3.||Review the PSA Outline handout, which is designed to help your students analyze and create PSAs. Make a transparency to use during Session 1 and one copy for every five or six students in your class to use during Session 2.
|4.||This lesson is based on the question-finding strategy found in Puzzle Them First! Motivating Adolescent Readers With Question-Finding by A. Vincent Ciardiello. You will use this strategy when viewing the PSA with students during Session 1. Question-finding is a process that leads students to investigate the multiple meanings of texts and ask challenging questions. It consists of two stages wherein students first gain an awareness of a puzzling or disturbing situation through discussion and teacher scaffolding and then begin to frame puzzlement and wonderment questions as follows:
|5.||If your classroom does not have computers with Internet access, reserve three sessions in your school’s computer lab (see Sessions 1, 3, and 5). Make sure that these computers have Windows Movie Maker on them and download it as necessary.
|6.||Visit and familiarize yourself with the Persuasion Map tool. Bookmark this tool on the computers students will be using.
|7.||Arrange to use at least one digital video camera during Session 3. You might also check with students to see who has a camera, phone, or wireless handheld device that can film digital videos and ask them to get permission to bring these in on the day you will be filming.
|8.||Review the Using Movie Maker to Create Public Service Announcements handout before making copies for all of your students. If you are not familiar with filming and editing digital videos, visit the Let's Make Movies! website and review some of the links.
|9.||Make one copy of the Reflecting on the Process handout for each student in your class. Make enough copies of the Evaluating the Products handout so that each student in your class can fill out a sheet for the work each group does.|
- 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
|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:
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.
|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:
|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:
|3.||The final series of questions should be imaginative, speculative, and exploratory. Sample questions include:
|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.|
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:
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.
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.
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.
|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:
|3.||After the discussion, ask students to fill out the Evaluating the Products and the Reflecting on the Process sheets.|
- Set up a video-short center where students can post relevant topics and continue to create PSAs on important topics throughout the year.
- Students can also create audio-only PSA podcasts. The Tech-Ease website has video tutorials for podcasting with Audacity (for Windows users) and podcasting with Garageband (for Mac users).
Student Assessment / Reflections
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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