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W540 Computers in the Curriculum

Critical Thinking and Collaborative Learning


Title Introducing, The PSA
Grades 11-12
Estimated Time
3 Sessions (double-blocked)
Lesson Author
Eric Nentrup
Overview
Persuasive Writing can no longer stop with a plain text essay. That content needs to be delivered
in a format that will reach the intended audiences. Our students have the means to do just that
with the right digital tools.
The 30-second PSA (Public Service Announcement), uses a tried and true method for raising
awareness for a particular issue. This form is incredibly useful for students to develop professional
communication skills that are relevant to the world at large. Listen to Terri Fredricks opinion on the
activity:
Hypothetical assignments may not give students a deep sense of context, and students
may continue to perceive the instructor as the real audience for such
assignments. (Frederick, 2008)
And, Stephen Wilmarth, in Curriculum 21 asks the question of PRODUCT:
Are students improving their ability to think critically, to express themselves, and to
develop usable literacies by participating through blogs, wikis, podcasts, video
productions on sites such as YouTube...? (Jenkins, 2006b) (Wilmarth, 2009)
Such an activity inherently generates critical thinking, as the student wrestles with the best way to
reach an audiences sentiments. Add to it the framework of a PBL classroom, and the student also
gets the benets of exercising collaboratives skills to achieve a result greater than herself.
Students will work quickly, in teams to choose an issue and produce the spot, following the format
and various techniques demonstrated by effective PSAs. They will do over a VERY brisk 3 session
sequence. This introductory activity can lead to an entire unit on the PSA, one that could easily
expand to include an entire campaign of materials, and the adoption of a local agency to promote.
Upon completing initial production of their spot, the teams will work cross-collaboratively with
other teams for peer feedback during a focus group, whereupon they will make improvements to
their spot, before uploading to the class YouTube channel for release.
Theory to
Practice
Students need to learn fundamentals WHILE constructing meaning, not as a prerequisite. And
the application for their meaning must be AUTHENTIC.
Wilmarth, S. (2010). Chapter 5. In H. H. Jacobs (Author), Curriculum 21: essential education for a
changing world (Kindle ed., p. 1269). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development.
Fredrick, T. (2008). Practicing Professional Communication Principles by Creating Public Service
Announcements. Business Communication Quarterly, 71(1), 58-63.

Standards
COMMON CORE
11-12.SL.1 Speaking & Listening Comprehension and Collaboration
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups,
and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 1112 topics, texts, and issues, building on
others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
11-12.SL.2 Speaking & Listening Comprehension and Collaboration
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually,
quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the
credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the
data.
ISTE | NETS
2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including
at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
4. Communication and Collaboration
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve
problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:
d. identify and dene authentic problems and signicant questions for investigation.
Learning Targets The Student Will Be Able To:
Initiate a collaborative discussion with the class, and in groups in order to:
Engage her classmates on controversial subjects
Build upon anothers ideas with their own original thoughts.
Do all with CLARITY and PERSUASION.
Integrate multiple sources of information into ONE original communication piece,
demonstrating:
informed decision-making
workable problem-solving
shrewd evaluation of sources
Work effectively in serving a team with a dened role
Contribute to the team effort with:
meaningful research and content
well-managed execution of digital tools to communicate.
W540 Computers in the Curriculum
Critical Thinking and Collaborative Learning
Resources and
Preparation
Materials and Technology
Classroom projector or HDTV with access to YouTube.com
iPad 2s
Popplet App (for brainstorming)
Celtx Scriptwriting App (with built-in AV script template)
PSA Analysis worksheet (digital)
iMovie
GarageBand
iMic
Websites
YouTube.com
Public Service Announcement entry on Wikipedia.org
Esquires 5 Most Disturbing PSAs of All Time.
Preparation
YouTube will have to be UNBLOCKED to access the embedded PSA examples in the
Esquire.com article. Make certain you can access ALL of these sites prior to the lesson.
Sift through YouTube and other online video sources for exemplary, high-prole 30-second
PSAs. Especially seek out ones for which entire CAMPAIGNS can be found (including print,
radio, and more recently, web elements). Create a PLAYLIST of the examples you wish to use.
Find contrasting CRITICISMS for at least one of these high-prole campaigns to share with the
students and start their thinking about MESSAGE CONSTRUCTION.
Pre-seed teams of students with balance across LEARNING STYLES, as well as COGNITIVE
ABILITY and TEAM CHEMISTRY.
Instructional Plan
Session 1:
DO NOW (4 minutes):
Quietly take out your iPad and view the following video:
[INSERT LINK TO CHOSEN PSA, APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR STUDENTS]
Write a short response to the video and be ready to share out. Here are some thought provokers:
(What was this video? What was it about? How did it make me feel? Did it change any previous
opinions I had on the issue? Did it convince me it was important to have an opinion on the issue?)
INTRODUCTION (15 minutes):
Ask: Who has a STRONG opinion about the video? (wait for volunteers...take THREE)
Ask: Does anyone know what a PSA is? Does anyone know what it stands for? Wait until a student
looks it up on their iPad and gives the right answer.
Quietly take out your iPad and view the following video:
[INSERT LINK TO CHOSEN PSA, APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR STUDENTS]
Write a short response to the video and be ready to share out. Here are some thought provokers:
(What was this video? What was it about? How did it make me feel? Did it change any previous
opinions I had on the issue? Did it convince me it was important to have an opinion on the issue?)
INTRODUCTION (15 minutes):
Ask: Who has a STRONG opinion about the video? (wait for volunteers...take THREE)
Ask: Does anyone know what a PSA is? Does anyone know what it stands for? Wait until a
student looks it up on their iPad and gives the right answer.
Ask: now that you know these types of ads have a specic name, can you think of any examples
youve seen? (wait for examples)
Explain how the PSA is used to get attention and drive the viewer to taking action. Explain how
the producers of such ads sometime push the envelope and make the viewer extremely
uncomfortable.
Show the 5 examples from the ESQUIRE article, asking for student volunteers to read the WHY IT
WORKS section following the viewing. Discuss the summary, and ask for further unpacking and
analysis from the students. Ask if they knew the truths being communicated in each of these ads.
Ask: Do you agree with these assessments about why each ad works? Did the producers go too
far...not far enough?
Announce: We are going to be working in pre-selected teams to produce our own original PSAs
over the next 3 days. We will write, shoot, edit, and revise. You will serve as focus group to one of
the other teams, providing feedback on their rst edit, and nally debate the efcacy of all the
groups in a nal premiere. You will evaluate your teammates using an evaluation form.
W540 Computers in the Curriculum
Critical Thinking and Collaborative Learning
Instructional Plan
Session 1: Introduction
1. Get in your teams
2. Read aloud the LEARNING TARGETS and ask for any clarication
3. Decide roles ( Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Graphics)
4. Discuss what issue you wish to address and your stance on the issue
5. Share out to the whole class what you will represent
6. Together, using POPPLET, brainstorm the aspects and issues that need to be represented in
your CONSTRUCTED MESSAGE. Start with the central issue and branch out.
7. Conduct research online to support and sharpen the aspects you wish to address.
8. Outline your script making certain to end with a CLEAR call to action for the viewer.
9. Using CELTX, choose the AV Script Template and start to draft your script.
10. Consider all elements: Audio (narration, music, sound effects), Images (video, photos),
Graphics (text, illustrations, numbers)
11. Submit your draft by the end of the period (via email or posted to the team or class website).
EXIT TICKET (4 minutes):
What do you hope to learn through this project? What do you see as the strength you bring to your
production crew? Submit a short response to this in the COMMENTS of this post.
HOMEWORK (2 minutes):
Work at home, virtually with your teammates to further develop your script via your iPad or the free
download of the Celtx app for your computer. ALL teammates have opinions on the script to
contribute!
Session 2: Production
DO NOW (5 minutes):
Get in your teams and get ready to PRESENT your script draft!
AGENDA:
Present Drafts (8 minutes...2 min. per team):
Each teams producer will quickly walk through the script from FADE IN, explaining the sounds and
imagery as well as the key messages they are communicating in their script. Ad hoc feedback can
ensue, but not be too involved.
Production (65 minutes)
Producers make any adjustments they need to make to the script
Teams break down the script according to their role and get to work:
Pre-production crew: Writer/Directors begin shooting & recording narration
Post-production crew: assist as both on-screen talent as well as well as monitoring the
script for possible post-production issues.
By the end of the period, you must have completed shooting/recording your 30 second spot,
and be moving into post-production.
Make the most of your production values, going back to other PSAs for ideas on camera
COMPOSITION
HOMEWORK:
Plan to stay after or work on your own to get ALL necessary material in the can.
W540 Computers in the Curriculum
Critical Thinking and Collaborative Learning
Instructional Plan
Session 3: POST-PRODUCTION
DO NOW (4 minutes):
Get in your teams and get organized. You will need EVERY minute today to work effectively.
POST-PRODUCTION (45 minutes)
Producers, alert the team that the day is about supporting the work of the post-production half
of the team.
Editors will need time to assemble the material from the day before.
Graphic Designers will need time to nish building any graphics that they didnt nish.
Both will need help from the Writer/Director interpreting material in a manner that is most
effective to the message you are constructing.
While editors are working, producers should meet with the producers from another crew to
establish a time for reviewing each others drafts and conducting a peer review.
BREAK:
Announce to the whole class that it is time to move into the FOCUS GROUP portion of the activity.
Ask: Can anyone explain the difference between offering constructive criticism and just being a
plain ole hater? Ask for a second example.
Explain: As you come together for the FOCUS GROUP, be sure to offer constructive criticism. The
goal isnt to beat the other group, but to give fresh insight into this project theyve been working on
for a while now. This is called BEING OBJECTIVE.
FOCUS GROUP (10 minutes)
Producers should meet with the producers from another crew to establish a time for reviewing
each others drafts and conducting a peer review.
During this time, ALL members of EACH team are required to offer at least ONE comment of
constructive criticism. If you cant, you werent offering your classmates the value of your full
attention. Try again!
Make sure that someone from each team is taking notes as the other team gives feedback.
REVISIONS (20 minutes)
After completing the FOCUS GROUP reviews, return to the editing table and implement the
changes you agree with.
Producers should confer with each other if there is any confusion about the feedback.
Once completed, the nal edit should be uploaded to the class YouTube channel. Cross-posting
to a team website (using Posterous.com or Tumblr.com), as well as a students Facebook and
Twitter accounts is highly encouraged. (Open yourself up for feedback from the world!)
PREMIERE (7 minutes)
After the nal video has been submitted, complete the day with a viewing of all 4 ads.
After each one, give time for INDIVIDUALS to submit their evaluation in the comments of the
YouTube posting for each video.
EXIT TICKET (4 minutes)
Evaluate your peers on your crew. Did they each do their jobs? Use the Google Form for Peer
Evaluation.
UDL
Considerations
-Make cerLaln Lo alerL 8CuuCL8S ln each group Lo needs of cerLaln Leam members (learnlng
sLyles, exLra ume, accommodauons)
-Allow Leams Lhe freedom Lo creaLe Lhe sLyle LhaL Lhey deem approprlaLe Lo achleve Lhe end resulL
of Lhe message Lhey choose.
-MonlLor Leams for loang" and alerL roducers Lo Lhe observauon
-rovlde parLners or Leacher-sLudenL supporL for Lasks LhaL sLump a sLudenL
-Allow for group reasslgnmenL Lhrough dlscusslon wlLh Leam producer and member ln quesuon
Assessment PSA Analysis Worksheet
Script
Version 1 of PSA
Peer-Editing
Release Version of PSA
Google Project Evaluation Form
Google Peer Evaluation Form