Here's What To Do

Because this activity requires some technical knowledge to produce the video, plan to familiarize yourself with the equipment and software before working with the teen. As an alternative, find someone who has this technical expertise who can support you and the teen throughout this activity, particularly though the process of making and editing the video. Many teens are already skilled at or would enjoy learning about filmmaking.

1. Start by talking a little bit about what a public service announcement (PSA) is and what it is meant to do. Ask if there are any PSAs the teen knows and likes. Talk about your own favorites and share one or more as examples. (A search of YouTube might help you locate some that would be fun to share.)

2. Together, watch a few of the PSAs on the Ad Council: PSA Gallery and BoostUp (click Videos) websites. The Ad Council PSAs are professionally made; the other site, which is aimed at keeping teens in school, hosts videos filmed by teens themselves.

Note: See the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Ad Council website if you experience difficulty watching the videos or seek the help of someone with technical expertise who can make sure your computer is properly equipped.

3. Provide a copy of the PSA Activity and Questions Sheet and answer the first set of questions together under the heading Step 1: Thinking About PSAs.

4. Talk to the teen about issues relevant in his or her life. These may be personal issues, social issues, school issues, community issues, or whatever issues seem to be important to the teen. This activity works best if the teen is passionate about the issue you select for the PSA. Talk about the idea of making a PSA and find out what the teen would like to accomplish or learn in doing so. Keep this goal in mind throughout the remainder of the activity.

5. Move on to Step 2: Choosing Your Topic and Step 3: Thinking About Solutions on the PSA Activity and Questions Sheet.

Note: This part of the activity will continue over multiple days while the teen completes research and explores possible solutions for the topic. You will want the teen to have a good base of research and a strong understanding of the topic before beginning to script and film the PSA.

6. Once your research is complete, continue on with Step 4: Planning Your Own PSA. This step involves completing the PSA Script Outline together.

7. Make a plan for filming the video. For some background information, watch Shotlists and Storyboards on the Nortel LearniT: Video Production website. Use the information in the PSA Script Outline to make a storyboard and shot list for the video.

Additional things to do before filming include
  • Arrange to use a digital video camera.

  • If more than one person is needed for the video, ask friends to play parts.

  • Collect any props you will need.

  • Set up time to rehearse before filming.
8. Once the video is filmed, you can help the teen edit it using Windows Movie Maker or another editing program. (Tips for Using Movie Maker will guide you if you donít know the program.) Save the video and encourage the teen to share it with friends and family.

9. Refer back to the goal discussed in Step 4 and find out whether it has been accomplished. If not, talk about ways to take this activity one step further in making the goal a reality