Purpose of the Activity:

  • To thoughtfully design the message and communication vehicle for a PSA
  • To create a storyboard for the PSA
  • To create a script for the PSA
  • To create a production plan for the PSA


  • Students can access the storyboarding and scripting links to PSAs from the CCGH Intern Website.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Process: Students develop a deeper understanding of communicating effectively through media
  • Process: Students develop project management skills
  • Product: Students develop a PSA concept proposal & pitch
  • Product: Students develop a PSA storyboard
  • Product: Students write a PSA script
  • Product: Students develop a PSA Production Plan

Ideas for Presenting PSA's

The Process

Total time frame: 10-15 Project Blocks

Step 1: Brainstorming the "Dramatic Vehicle" for the PSA
Brainstorm individually and in groups the dramatic vehicle for the announcement (the image, story, poem, etc. that will give the idea its impact)

PBL+MM Brainstorming Guide
Brainstorming is a useful way of getting started or generating new ideas. It can be done as a class, in small groups, or by individual students. Once students are familiar with the process, student can use this technique on their own when they are stuck, revising their work, or moving on to a new phase.

Step 2 - Powerful Images Activity
PBL+MM Powerful Images Activity
By closely examining images and audience reactions, students hypothesize about how and why images can be powerful.

Step 3 - Style & Purpose Activity
PBL+MM Style & Purpose Activity
Students examine three different styles of writing to gain a better understanding of how text is tailored to specific purposes. In doing so, students are better equipped to critically analyze the writing they encounter and tailor their own work to their own purposes.

Step 4 - Define Your Audience
PBL+MM Defining Your Audience
By defining their own audience, students are better able to communicate their message effectively. This activity helps students develop a clearer picture of the purpose of their project, who their audience is, and what they want to communicate to that audience.

Step 5 - Making a Pitch
  • Using the ideas that they have generated in Steps 1-4, have students create a "Pitch" about their plan for creating a PSA
  • Use the Peer Design Review Activity to have students refine their ideas
  • Students should not progress to Step 6 until their "pitch" has been approved by the teacher.

Support for Step 5:
PBL+MM Making a Pitch
In this exercise students make a persuasive presentation of their project plan as a way of organizing the pre-production work they've done so far, getting peer and teacher feedback, and assessing their readiness to proceed with the project.

PBL+MM Peer Design Review Activity
Design reviews throughout the project give students the chance to learn from each other and learn to critique constructively. Design reviews are short structured events, in which a group discusses the work they have done so far, and their plans to complete the project. Their peers critique the plan and offer suggestions. Students can learn a lot from each other.

PBL+MM Across Group Help Strategies
When groups are working on their projects, it's valuable to have strategies for the groups to share questions with each other. Students learn from each other, generate new ideas, and get important feedback from other groups.

Step 6 - Develop a Story Board
  1. Use the resources below to help students learn about what a storyboard is and their role in video production and digital storytelling.
  2. Have students create a storyboard of their PSA.
  3. Have groups use the Peer Design Review Activity to refine their storyboard before submitting it to the teacher for final approval.
  4. Students should not continue on to Step 7 without gaining approval for their storyboard

Storyboard Support: see especially, "Creation" for a step-by-step description. The Storyboard Artist Creating the Storyboard
PBL+MM Storyboarding Guide

Step 7 - Write a Script
Have students write a script for their PSA, based on their approved storyboard.

Script Extension: use the following transcripts for PSAs

Step 8 - Develop a Production Plan
Create task list and assign duties. This may involve auditions. Determine with materials and other resources will be necessary
Create a schedule for media creation, filming, rehearsal and filming.

Support for Step 8://
PBL+MM Project Management
This activity helps students to begin developing an overall plan for managing their project. This plan may include a schedule, division of labor, budget, research plan, and/or list of needed materials, equipment, and resources. Teachers will review plans and meet with students to provide feedback on the structure and contents of the project management plan. Early and late drafts will be used for reflection and assessment.

PBL+MM Design/Idea Book
The design/idea book is a notebook where each student will record his/her ideas, plans, designs, revisions, problems, solutions, and questions about the project. The book will help both students and teachers plan, keep track of, and assess the progress of the project, and will also provide a record for the student of what worked, what didn't work, and some ideas for the future. Design/idea books can be used alongside Project Journals which are similar in format but focus more on what students have learned, the process of working in groups, and general reflections on the project.