Public Service Announcement

Grade Level: 
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Keywords: 
Advocacy
Public Service
Responsible Decision-Making
Social Awareness
Social-Emotional Learning
Voice
Young people create a Public Service Announcement in order to inform people about an issue and challenge them to take action in order to make a difference. This activity guides them to select an issue, research ways to address the issue, and make a call to action.

SEL Connection: 

  • Social Awareness: recognize community need; develop empathy for another person
  • Responsible Decision-Making: take action that addresses a need

Warm-Up

  • List and discuss two or three social issues, such as kids feeling left out, health issues, or environmental issues.
  • Brainstorm ways to address the identified issue. Ideas don't need to solve the issue, but may make a difference to someone. 
  • Optional: This Map Your Heartbreak activity guides groups to talk about issues they care about and brainstorm creative solutions. 
  • For an example, look up The Unity Challenge to see how one young person took action to address bullying. 
  • Ask each young person to pick one issue and write a draft summary of the problem and a solution. 
  • Optional: They may share their idea with their friends and family members to get feedback. 

Activity Instructions

  1. Pair people up to read their drafts to one another, discuss, and give feedback to develop the feasability of the project. They each practice describing their issue and solution in a couple sentences.
  2. Sitting in a circle with the whole group, participants describe their idea to address an issue. The group listens to all and discusses which idea(s) they want to select to share with others in their community and/or social media.
  3. Select one social issue to address as a group (or each small group may work on separate issues). Each person or team follows the instructions to create and share a public service announcement (PSA). See handout below.

Whole Group Discussion Questions

  1. Why did you select the issue you did?
  2. Who is your audience?
  3. How much information do you need to provide for your audience to understand the issue?
  4. What clever or emotional statement will spark interest in the issue?
  5. A public service announcement informs and persuades people to take action. What action do you want people to take? In the example above, the Unity Challenge asks people to write a powerful word on their hand and post it on social media to join a movement to end bullying. 
  6. What video format (or other media) will work best for your PSA (Flipgrid, Tiktok, YouTube, Instagram, in-person, print)? What visuals and audio can enhance the effectiveness?
  7. What supplies do you need?

Self Reflection Writing Prompts

  • What were some of the most interesting discoveries you made while working on this project? About the problem? About yourself? About others?
  • What were some of the most powerful learning moments and what made them so?
  • How do you feel your solution relates to real-world situations and problems?
  • How will you use what you've learned in the future?
  • What are some ways you could share this learning with your friends or family?

Wrap Up

Each young person has the passion and ability to make a difference for an issue they care about. Encourage them to elevate their own voice on social media to spark others to join their call to action. 

Extension

Reflect on this quote by Margaret Mead: 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.