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Media Literacy in the Public Service Announcement (PSA)

At any level within K-12 schools analyzing and/or making Public Service Announcement (PSA) is a fantastic way to engage students in real-world issues, argumentative writing, and civic action.

Super Battery Fairy – Award winning classic TMS-Student PSA Collaboration
Students Deconstruct how they made Super Battery Fairy

Suggested Process for Producing Issue-driven Student PSAs

Identify a problem, and research solutions

  • What is the issue you want to change?
  • Who is the audience that can help you make that change?
  • What do you want that audience to do?
  • What tone will you create with the elements of video (images, sounds & words) that will move your audience to take action?
  • How will you reach your audience?

Deconstruct and discuss examples of PSAs to understand choices (media & tone)

Decide as a class what you want to say, and how you’ll say it

  • Decide on tone
  • Roughly outline beginning/middle/end
  • Establish roles: actors, writers, directors, camera operators, video editors…

Develop a Script and Storyboards

  • Write persuasive essays or poems and adapt into scripts, AND/OR
  • Write the PSA using storyboards along as a form of writing

Production: Shoot, search for and make the video, photos, graphics, and sounds you need

Post Production: Editing

  • One or many small groups mix together media based on the storyboards
  • Option: divide up the media onto different computers then put them back together into one final production or upload separate parts to the internet to assemble
  • Option: collaborate with teachers/professionals as needed; be sure that students are making critical decisions about how meaning is made

Activate the videos to impact real audiences!

  • Share widely with classes, assemblies, or publishing parties
  • Post to the school website
  • Submit to social action video contests and campaigns
  • Poll and hold discussions with real audiences

Guide to planning a PSA project with your students

Links to PSA examples, and a guide for in-class deconstruction of PSAs as a path to making your own

PSA Mind Map
Use this Interactive Mind Map to guide discussions and brainstorming

Watch these students explain and show their process of producing a PSA — works for all ages!

More TMS-student PSAs