Assignment: Public Service Announcement

Create a short public service announcement about a topic of your choice.

This could be set in a historic period (e.g. about rationing in WW2 Britain), or modern (the importance of voter registration or sexual health awareness). The aim is to persuade people to act in a specific way.

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Suggested techniques

You can do this using an on-screen presenter, or completely with voice-over.

Intersperse the presentation with still images and video if appropriate. You could do this as a studio presentation or lecture, and display the images on a screen behind the presenter, or else you can make the images go full-screen. Construct scenes that illustrate the topic under discussion.

Add extra content on-screen by using text to complement what you're saying.

Add appropriate background music to create atmosphere, and ensure you have a striking title sequence.

For teachers: benefits to students

  • Students have to understand not just the issue being tackled and the proposed solution, but why that course of action was proposed.
  • This helps students understand propaganda and how people are persuaded into taking that action – emotionally, rationally, or legalistically.
  • Dramatic reconstruction makes for a good group project.
  • Adding multimedia content enables the student to approach the subject in a richer way than just using written text and still images.
  • Finding images and music to enhance the presentation requires detailed research.
  • Providing narration builds confidence in speaking without needing to do it in front of an audience or camera.
  • Creating a multimedia presentation helps develop presentational skills and requires the student to consider what information is best presented using the different media: spoken, written, or visual.

Suitability

  • Ages 14+
  • Suitable for groups
  • History, politics, current affairs

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