Inspiring Change with Public Service Announcements – 8122

Inspiring Change with Public Service Announcements – 8122


Throughout the school year, English 9 students read and study novels that revolve around a theme of social injustice. In this project, students work in self-selected small groups to apply their knowledge of persuasive appeals and rhetorical devices to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that addresses an issue of social injustice relevant to the students’ community. Prior to selecting a topic for their PSA, students conduct research by surveying community members in order to identify relevant issues and collect statistical data that may be referenced in the PSA. After selecting an audience and topic, groups work collaboratively to analyze the data collected; then, write, film, edit, and publish a PSA that is meant to incite positive change for the issue faced by the target population. Finally, the groups’ videos are published to the web and advertised to via social media in order to raise awareness and inspire social change.

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Initially, students create and distribute online surveys to collect data that is used in selecting their project topic. Then, students analyze and use the collected data to make decisions about the topic and audience for their project. Next, students conduct additional research to gather data needed to support their arguments, and assess the validity of data derived from internet searches. Finally, students identify and extract relevant data that supports the message of their PSA, and display the information in a logical way that appeals to the viewer.

During this lesson, students work in self-selected collaborative groups to plan, film, edit, and publish their PSA video. As part of their collaborative planning, students use shared Google documents to write and edit a script, and to outline project tasks. Students contact and interview “experts” both on and off campus, and advertise their published PSA videos through social media. Students use their cell phones, email, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to promote change in the global community. One group’s project, in particular, was selected by Cue Courage, a national organization fighting to “end the epidemic of bullying” in schools. Upon completion of the project, students complete a reflective survey. Students also use the description piece of the Student 21 entry to breakdown their creative process, explain why they selected the content, technology applications, songs, and other components to align their projects with persuasive elements and rhetorical devices.

From start to finish, students are tasked with identifying and selecting the most appropriate digital tools to complete each component of the project. First, students select the most appropriate applications for creating and distributing the initial surveys. Students also determine which video editing software applications are needed to complete this project. At the end of each group’s presentation, the class provides immediate feedback using their analytical and reflective skills. Students also provide oral feedback, both positive and negative, that is sensitive to others’ feelings. Lastly, students complete a reflective survey and submit their projects to the Student 21 site, which contains a thorough reflection of the choices they made throughout the completion of their project.

All components of this project challenge students to think creatively and devise solutions that allow them to produce a quality PSA video. After surveying the community, students write scripts that are appropriate to their selected topics and audiences. Students must also film and edit video footage that appropriately communicates the message of their PSA to the targeted audience. Students must also devise creative advertising strategies that help expand their viewership for their PSA videos.

Download Files


  • H21 Lesson Plan
  • Guidelines + Timeline
  • Rubric
  • Student Artifacts
  • Student Reflections

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