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.

Procedure:
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 and understandable.

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 by...".

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.

Extensions:
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.
Grade Level:
4-8

Subject Areas:
Reading

SD Standards for 4th grade:
Reading
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

Setting:
Classroom

Skills:
Gathering Information, Organizing, Interpreting (identifying cause and effect)

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 information.

Vocabulary:
None
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