This lesson was created using the Nortel LearniT 6E + S template for integrating technology within the curriculum.
Students will work in groups to identify a topic or issue that they feel passionate about and produce a short PSA (digital video) or “uncommercial” that demonstrates their perspective or “The Way We See It”. Possible topics include issues encountered in their school or community (i.e. drunk driving, bullying, etc.).
“PSA’s – Public Service Announcements” make use of a variety of media and advertising techniques to inform and educate the public. Sometimes called uncommercials, this approach generally targets a specific issue or group of issues supported by the organization that has produced or paid for the PSA.
Students should be capable of conducting research online and will demonstrate some knowledge of video production and digital video camera operation. Students should understand brainstorming techniques.
Teacher Prep Time:
One to two hours
Teachers should review the Video Production training videos found at Nortel LearniT (www.NortelLearniT.org) and the operation of a digital video camera. They may need to gain some experience with video editing software. It would be useful to have the students explore the training videos as they progress through the project
Estimated Time for Completion:
Eight to ten weeks (one class per week)
Digital video camera and internet-ready computer with a firewire card, word-processor and video-imaging software.
Students will work in groups to identify a topic or issue that they feel passionate about and produce a short PSA (digital video) or “Uncommercial” that demonstrates their perspective or “The Way We See It”. Possible topics include issues encountered in their school or community (i.e. drunk driving, bullying, etc.).
“PSA’s – Public Service Announcements” make use of a variety of media and advertising techniques to inform and educate the public. Sometimes called Uncommercials, this approach generally targets a specific issue or group of issues supported by the organization that has produced or paid for the PSA.
Time Management Tips:
To ensure that students understand the PSA concept, the teacher can begin by showing a number of PSA’s and discussing the techniques that make them effective.
An evaluation rubric has been provided as a Word document.
Picture this: A model walks down the runway in a fur coat and suddenly blood drips from the coat and on to the runway. This “Uncommercial” continues to point out that wearing furs is a form of cruelty to animals and is sponsored by a group known as PETA.
One can hardly imagine a time when our mass media were more capable of drawing our attention to the problems and issues faced by society. The reach of media has grown from the coverage of local stories in its infancy to its current capability to cover worldwide events in real time. Yet, rightly or wrongly, the mass media is often accused of overlooking issues of the environment, political policy, the economy and the general health of our world.
Some corporations are reluctant to fund public service announcements since they generally do not contribute to their “bottom line” or profits and many in fact, are the actual targets of these types of announcements.
There are many organizations that use short video segments to bring their particular issues to the public (i.e. PETA, Green Peace). These videos are commonly known as “Uncommercials”
What are the big issues in your school or community? Who do they impact the most? How do they impact those people? What types of PSAs (public service announcements) do you find most effective?
Working in small groups, you will select an issue or current social problem and produce an “Uncommercial” or PSA. The final product will be a brief video that sends a powerful message about an issue or problem that has meaning to your group. (i.e. Drunk driving, cigarette smoking, drug use, bullying, etc).
Your group will begin this exploration by looking at examples of uncommercials and discussing them with the following questions in mind:
Which ones were the most effective to you?
What techniques do you think made them effective?
Which ones were the least effective? Why?
The following websites contain samples of "Uncommercials" which are both professionally and student-produced. You may want to find some additional sites to add to our list.
Be sure to document the source of your Internet research.
Last Name, First Name of Author (if known) “Title of work/article/page.” Title of Complete Document (if applicable). Date last modified. URL (date visited).
You will need a computer equipped with an Internet connection and a fire wire card, video editing software, and a digital video camera.
In your groups, discuss the following questions. Have one of the group members note the major points of your discussions to provide to other class members.
What is an “Uncommercial”? What is its purpose? How does it achieve that goal?
Which video production techniques were most effectively used?
What were the most common issues presented in the sites you observed? How will you go about producing an effective video?
Other than the sites listed, what “Uncommercial” website do you recommend to the class? Why? Part II
– Review the videos on video pre-production at http://www.nortellearnit.org
In your small groups;
Use one of the brainstorming techniques we have studied to produce a list of social, school or community issues/problems.
Select one topic for your “Uncommercial”
Do some research to familiarize yourself with the issue.
Decide who your audience will be
Decide on an Uncommercial concept or format.
Create your storyboard.
Plan out a schedule for shooting your video.
Create a human resource plan that clearly spells out the rolls or tasks for each group member. TIP:
Try to come to a consensus when selecting your “issue”. It is important that your group members feel strongly about the topic of the video.
Your assignment is to produce a 30 – 60 second public service announcement (PSA) or “Uncommercial”.
You have already demonstrated your understanding of the issues and video pre-production techniques by submitting your storyboard and production plan for discussion with the teacher. Review the videos on video production and post-production at http://www.nortellearnit.org
Organize your materials, props, slides, audio selections etc.
Gain approvals for your shooting schedule from the school, the talent (your actors) and your team members.
Gain approvals for copyrighted audio, images, etc. and release forms from your talent.
Shoot your “Uncommercial"
Edit your project using video editing software. TIPS:
You may want to make use of images, graphics, titles and audio. Be sure to check copyright on these materials.
Show your video to the class.
An evaluation rubric has been attached as a Word document.
Students are encouraged to consider the following ways to further develop or use their skills in this area:
Submit your videos to the local cable TV channel. They may want to run some of your Uncommercials or PSAs.
If you have dealt with issues that have been a concern in the schools in your community, why not arrange to show your videos to other schools?
Now that you know what you know, you might want to take a crack at producing another video for a local non-profit.
How about an “Uncommercial” film festival?
And of course,
Have your teacher arrange with nortellearnit.org?
to devote some web space to upload your videos or upload them to youtube or Google video.