Objective: Students will learn how to promote understanding, cooperation, pride and
action towards a community goal of keeping water resources clean through the use of a
public service announcement (PSA).
Materials: paper and pencils, list of local TV and radio station addresses, envelopes
and postage stamps, tape recorder (optional), background music tape (optional)
Background: Public service announcements (PSA's) are 30 to 60 second spots on
TV and/or radio which are used to publicize a community service project, or to inform an
audience about a specific problem. PSA's can be used to help promote understanding
toward a community goal. A well-written PSA can serve as a springboard for increased
media attention on a specific problem.
After researching a nonpoint source pollution problem that is happening in your
community, write the copy (script) for the PSA. The goal is to inform, with the hope of
changing your audience's beliefs or behaviors. Students may want to include a catchy
"jingle" or slogan to get the message across.
Consider existing community attitudes. Do you want to dramatize the severity of the
problem or appeal for help?
Appeal to the self interests of the audience. Some of these may be fishing, camping,
hiking, boating, swimming, picnicking, business, civic pride, or tourism.
Make sure the information that has been written on the PSA is accurate, brief, interesting
Have students time the PSA to fit an allotted time segment.
Always include a tag line to be identified with your project: "This has been brought to you
After completing the PSA, make copies and send them to all local radio and TV stations
with a brief explanation about your topic.
If students have made a recording, make sure to include that in the mailing to the radio
and TV stations.
Sponsor a poster contest on the PSA's specific topic.
Perform skits or plays at a community playhouse developed by the class, wearing
t-shirts made for the occasion with your PSA's jingle prominently displayed.
Ask a local grocer to advertise your PSA's theme on brown grocery bags.
SD Standards for 4th grade:
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.1; 4.R.2.2;
4.R.3.3; 4.R.5.1; 4.R.5.2
Gathering Information, Organizing,
Interpreting (identifying cause and
Prior Preparation: Students should
set a target audience. After selecting a
specific topic, students should contact
a local TV or radio station and ask for
guidance and advice from the public
service director. Have students
research the topic for the most current