Student Task

Listen Up! PSA for Change

Do Something
Grade Level


Students produce digital media to raise awareness and encourage change related to an anti-bias theme.


Estimated time

Two to three weeks


Quality technology use in the classroom, focused on social justice and active learning, engages students and promotes academic achievement. PSA for Change allows students to explore social justice ideas and themes using familiar technology they enjoy.


Get Ready

  1. Assess technology strengths among your students. Many know how to record, edit and post a video, but others may need assistance. Consult technology teachers or media specialists in your school.
  2. Review your school’s policies on use of student images and using social media in the classroom. Secure permission slips if necessary.
  3. Inventory resources and supplies such as digital cameras and computer lab access. Some students may have phones with video capability; make sure to provide all students access without singling any out.
  4. Determine whether students will work in groups or individually.

Get Set

  1. Provide students with information about supplies, work schedules and due dates. Use the rubric to define expectations and project components and to clarify how you will assess student work.
  2. Show examples of brief, direct public service announcements created by professional organizations and schools, such as this one from Liberty Middle School in Madison, Ala.
  3. Ask students to conduct a media survey by watching television and accessing social media as they naturally would and recording the number of anti-bias themes or social justice messages they encounter. Discuss the findings in class.
  4. Instruct students to complete the Do Something Student Planning Guide and to brainstorm and sketch out an outline of their PSA.


  1. Allow several class periods for students to film, record and create their PSAs
  2. Share student PSAs with family and community members. If social media is prohibited, screen the videos and digital posters in the cafeteria, classroom or other school space.  If social media use is encouraged, consider setting up a class Facebook page, YouTube channel or wiki to share PSAs with a wider audience.


Use journal writing or Talking Circles to facilitate student reflection. Some suggested reflection questions:
  • What did you learn from the PSAs that you watched? What was your favorite PSA? What were its strengths? Why was the PSA effective?
  • Discuss the effectiveness of using digital media for social justice change.
  • What did you learn from this experience? What about the process stands out for you?
  • How do our PSAs relate back to the central text?

English language learners

English language learners can benefit from exposure to a variety of PSAs. Explicitly teach the purpose of PSAs and any associated vocabulary, including technology-related words. If students are actors in the PSA, have them practice their lines with you before recording.

Connection to anti-bias education

PSAs encourage students to create messages of action and raise awareness of social issues. This task moves students from passive forms of social action (“liking” something on Facebook or commenting on YouTube) into active use of multimedia to effect change.

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