Advertisements or commercials inform the public about products they can buy (like cars, shoes or
fireplaces) or services they can pay for (like lawyers, music concerts or cinemas). Public service
announcements (PSAs) instead inform the public about a message or an idea. Some of the most
famous PSAs that might be familiar to students involve campaigns encouraging people to stop
smoking, or to vote for a certain political party. Public service announcements can be effective
because they use traditional advertising techniques in a familiar format.
Are they Controversial? Not necessarily! Some public service announcements express a strong
opinion, or try to encourage people to change their mind about an idea (eg messages about
government policy). Other announcements try to raise awareness (eg environmental issues), raise
money for a charity (eg an AIDS campaign) or encourage better health (eg healthy eating, stopping
smoking or drinking and driving).
I am going to take advantage of your interest—and practice important critical thinking and literacy skills—by having you make and edit your own videos that deal with important social, economic, and political topics in Africa.
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.
You will research your topic in-depth, identifying the causes and effects.
Students use their research and a Persuasion Map tool as a basis for writing scripts for their own PSAs.
You will then create a PSA and use Windows Movie Maker to edit their videos.
Persuasion Map Tool:http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/persuasion_map/