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April 13, 2016

Earth Day Public Service Announcements

By Kriscia Cabral
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    One of my favorite times of the year is when we stop to show appreciation for our planet. I wanted this past year’s Earth Day activity to be something that could reach more than just the lives that were inside my classroom. I wanted the activity to be shared globally. To do this, I investigated the concept of creating Earth Day PSAs. Read on to see how you can prep now for a student-created finished product that’s ready to go by Earth Day!

    A public service announcement (PSA) is a public message designed to impart information in hopes to change the receivers' perception and/or behavior.

    To start the project, I went straight to Scholastic’s plethora of resources! Scholastic created a lesson plan with step-by-step instructions on how to Plan Your PSA. After reading over the directions, I worked out how I could tweak the lesson plan and make it work for my second and third grade class. Here are the steps I followed:

     

    Introduction

    Share the definition of PSAs to the class and watch a few examples:

     

    After watching the example, we had a whole-class discussion where I asked the following:

    • What did you notice?

    • What was the message?

    • How did they deliver the message to you?

    On the board, I wrote up the answers we find to these questions. I made a point to mention the importance of images, necessary words, and authentic research that can be shared accurately. I explained to the class that they were being assigned the task of working in a small group and creating a public service announcement that encourages people to take care of Earth.

    Next, we talked about the process. Here, I reminded students of the writing process and how we start with a brainstorm, then draft and revise. We go back and make changes, we ask our peers to critique and offer advice, and after all revisions have been made, we publish. The same concept is applied to this project. I separated students into groups and got started.

     

    Brainstorming

    Looking at the task at hand, students asked questions about what information they will need to research in order to guide their thinking and planning for their PSA. I shared a Symbaloo site with students filled with Earth Day sites, visuals, and handouts that students could use as a reference and place to start their research.

     

    Storyboarding

    We discussed the idea of storyboarding and how it is similar to the first draft of a story. I shared the examples that are available on the Scholastic lesson plan page. I reiterated a couple of points to the class:

    • This is a rough draft; finishing is valued more than perfection.

    • The storyboard should clearly flow and transition through the PSA being created.

    • Whatever is storyboarded is what will be used as a guide when filming.

    Once storyboards were created, we gathered back as a class to share. This gave everyone an opportunity to hear ideas from peers and make any final changes to their storyboards.

     

    Video Production

    I didn’t have enough iPads for all the groups at one time, so I had three groups working at one time while the other three groups did Earth Day research, activities, and games while they waited. Scholastic has some great April Printables that I wanted students to complete during a more center-based time. The Printables I chose are shown below. Scholastic offers quite a few activities that correlate with Earth Day learning. The first one shown below is a book that students created about Earth Day and recycling.

    Click on any of the printable images to obtain your own.

     

    Before any groups went out to record, I sat the whole class down and talked about the use of iMovie. I showed students how to open the app (which comes standard with every iPad). I showed students how to:

    • Find the iMovie app

    • Start a new project

    • Use the iTrailer template

    • Insert pictures

    After a visual demonstration, reminders of expected group norms and behaviors, the first three groups were on their way. Once they finished, the next three groups did the same.

     

    Presentations

    With guidance and support, every group was able to share a finished product. For groups that caught on faster than others on how to use iMovie and iTrailer, I had them partner with groups that needed tech support in order to finish. This allowed me as the facilitator to monitor all groups process and upload videos so that they could be shared publicly.

    There are lots of places to upload videos for public sharing: YouTube, SchoolTube, iTunes, or your Learning Management System. I chose to use a site called Vimeo. I appreciate Vimeo because of the security, password settings, and easy-to-share links. I find most parents appreciate the ease of the links and ways that they can share them with family members if they choose.

    After videos were uploaded, we viewed them together as a class. We critiqued each other’s work by sharing a kind comment, specific suggestion, and helpful advice for next time. Then we celebrated by sharing our message with “the world.” I passed the link to families along with the password and invited them to spread the information to extended family in hopes of keeping the message alive! Here is a video clip of the PSAs my second and third graders created.

    The Earth Day PSAs were a hit with students. It gave them the opportunity to research and learn more about our Earth and why we have Earth Day. Students got to collaborate and think of ways to creatively share a message using a small number of images and text. The engagement was visible, the learning was purposeful, and now my students have a better appreciation for the earth and why we celebrate it every year.

    For more fun with Public Service Announcements, try these fun "Back-to-School PSAs" from fellow blogger Alycia Zimmerman.

    What ways are you planning to celebrate Earth Day with your class this year? How have you used PSAs in your classroom? I’d love to hear from you! Please share in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    One of my favorite times of the year is when we stop to show appreciation for our planet. I wanted this past year’s Earth Day activity to be something that could reach more than just the lives that were inside my classroom. I wanted the activity to be shared globally. To do this, I investigated the concept of creating Earth Day PSAs. Read on to see how you can prep now for a student-created finished product that’s ready to go by Earth Day!

    A public service announcement (PSA) is a public message designed to impart information in hopes to change the receivers' perception and/or behavior.

    To start the project, I went straight to Scholastic’s plethora of resources! Scholastic created a lesson plan with step-by-step instructions on how to Plan Your PSA. After reading over the directions, I worked out how I could tweak the lesson plan and make it work for my second and third grade class. Here are the steps I followed:

     

    Introduction

    Share the definition of PSAs to the class and watch a few examples:

     

    After watching the example, we had a whole-class discussion where I asked the following:

    • What did you notice?

    • What was the message?

    • How did they deliver the message to you?

    On the board, I wrote up the answers we find to these questions. I made a point to mention the importance of images, necessary words, and authentic research that can be shared accurately. I explained to the class that they were being assigned the task of working in a small group and creating a public service announcement that encourages people to take care of Earth.

    Next, we talked about the process. Here, I reminded students of the writing process and how we start with a brainstorm, then draft and revise. We go back and make changes, we ask our peers to critique and offer advice, and after all revisions have been made, we publish. The same concept is applied to this project. I separated students into groups and got started.

     

    Brainstorming

    Looking at the task at hand, students asked questions about what information they will need to research in order to guide their thinking and planning for their PSA. I shared a Symbaloo site with students filled with Earth Day sites, visuals, and handouts that students could use as a reference and place to start their research.

     

    Storyboarding

    We discussed the idea of storyboarding and how it is similar to the first draft of a story. I shared the examples that are available on the Scholastic lesson plan page. I reiterated a couple of points to the class:

    • This is a rough draft; finishing is valued more than perfection.

    • The storyboard should clearly flow and transition through the PSA being created.

    • Whatever is storyboarded is what will be used as a guide when filming.

    Once storyboards were created, we gathered back as a class to share. This gave everyone an opportunity to hear ideas from peers and make any final changes to their storyboards.

     

    Video Production

    I didn’t have enough iPads for all the groups at one time, so I had three groups working at one time while the other three groups did Earth Day research, activities, and games while they waited. Scholastic has some great April Printables that I wanted students to complete during a more center-based time. The Printables I chose are shown below. Scholastic offers quite a few activities that correlate with Earth Day learning. The first one shown below is a book that students created about Earth Day and recycling.

    Click on any of the printable images to obtain your own.

     

    Before any groups went out to record, I sat the whole class down and talked about the use of iMovie. I showed students how to open the app (which comes standard with every iPad). I showed students how to:

    • Find the iMovie app

    • Start a new project

    • Use the iTrailer template

    • Insert pictures

    After a visual demonstration, reminders of expected group norms and behaviors, the first three groups were on their way. Once they finished, the next three groups did the same.

     

    Presentations

    With guidance and support, every group was able to share a finished product. For groups that caught on faster than others on how to use iMovie and iTrailer, I had them partner with groups that needed tech support in order to finish. This allowed me as the facilitator to monitor all groups process and upload videos so that they could be shared publicly.

    There are lots of places to upload videos for public sharing: YouTube, SchoolTube, iTunes, or your Learning Management System. I chose to use a site called Vimeo. I appreciate Vimeo because of the security, password settings, and easy-to-share links. I find most parents appreciate the ease of the links and ways that they can share them with family members if they choose.

    After videos were uploaded, we viewed them together as a class. We critiqued each other’s work by sharing a kind comment, specific suggestion, and helpful advice for next time. Then we celebrated by sharing our message with “the world.” I passed the link to families along with the password and invited them to spread the information to extended family in hopes of keeping the message alive! Here is a video clip of the PSAs my second and third graders created.

    The Earth Day PSAs were a hit with students. It gave them the opportunity to research and learn more about our Earth and why we have Earth Day. Students got to collaborate and think of ways to creatively share a message using a small number of images and text. The engagement was visible, the learning was purposeful, and now my students have a better appreciation for the earth and why we celebrate it every year.

    For more fun with Public Service Announcements, try these fun "Back-to-School PSAs" from fellow blogger Alycia Zimmerman.

    What ways are you planning to celebrate Earth Day with your class this year? How have you used PSAs in your classroom? I’d love to hear from you! Please share in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

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