What is a PSA?
As a class, watch three to five PSAs.
Ask students what the videos had in common and how they differed.
Explain that the videos they watched are called Public Service Announcements or PSAs. PSAs are videos created to raise awareness and change public attitudes and behavior toward a social issue. Explain that effective PSAs often have a powerful message that sticks with the viewer, sometimes becoming part of society’s collective psyche.
What a PSA teaches us
Ask the students to identify the message behind each PSA and what behavior or habit the videos were seeking to change.
Break students into groups and ask each group to quickly determine: 1) the intended audience of each PSA and why the particular actors were chosen to play their roles; 2) the tone and persuasive tactic each PSA uses to communicate the message; 3) whether the videos use positive or negative reinforcement to spark a behavioral change; and 4) whether they think the PSAs are effective in making viewers rethink and/or change their behavior.
Choosing a PSA
Have students choose a topic and reference Lesson One on composition.