Let Them Know!

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Students will be able to create a PSA in an effort to teach others about the plight of the Little Brown Bat.

Big Idea

The science and engineering practice 8 (Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information) is critical in the growth of scientific thinkers. This lesson will blend the content and the communication standards.


5 minutes

As I know that I will be requiring my students to create a PSA, my question to engage them today will be geared towards that form of communication.  

First, I ask the students "What do you know about commercials?  What is their purpose, why do we remember them, and are they long or short?"

Next, I engage the students in a conversation about whether they think a 30-45 second "commercial" or "communication" would be long enough to inform people of our efforts and the reason for them. 


Mini Lesson

10 minutes

To help the students understand that public service announcements are informative and usually  suggest action from people, I show the following clips and ask the students to examine them for the intended message and the audience. 

Active Engagement

25 minutes

My students have had previous experience with animoto.com, which is the program I have chosen to have them use for their PSA assignment. If you choose to use this program, but are new to it, the following clip may be useful.


I prompt the students to brainstorm a PSA focus and begin to create a project. I intentionally do not place any parameters on this activity at the moment, as I want the student's work to flow artistically for the time being.  This will be important to have in place in the following lessons, as I put more requirements on them.

As I circulate, I will question students on their reason for creating the PSA (message) and how they plan to suggest action from their viewers.

This clip showcases a student explaining her reasoning for building her PSA in a certain way.  She is using her information from her research during our ELA block of time about bats to create her video.  I also prompt her, through questioning, to consider how humans might be effected by the lose of the Little Brown Bat. 

This student has a beginning video that teaches about White Nose Syndrome, which is one of the reasons the Little Brown Bat population is swiftly decreasing. 

When I approached this student, I was attracted to his timing of information and plea for help.  I try to suggest that he add some informative text to his PSA, without taking away from the artistic style of his work. 

Closing and Sharing

5 minutes

This project will span several days, and will be layered with lessons on how to build a successful public service announcement. Therefore, our closing will be simple today.

I have the students share what they worked on today and ask the students to trade computers twice and watch each others PSAs.  I suggest that they share their compliments and their suggestions with each other, in order to improve in our next working session.