external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-2.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-3.pngAfrica Public Service Announcement Project Lesson

By Meg Keefe and Susan Zolin (Social Studies Teachers)
Erica Roberts (Technology Teacher)
Mary Alonzi (Library Media Specialist)
Springman Middle School
Glenview, IL School District 34

Grade Level: 8
Content Area: World Geography
Objective: To use technology as a means of communicating a critical topic to an authentic audience based on independent research.
Timeline: Three weeks (block schedule: meet 3-4 times a week)
NETS Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6
Software: iMovie, GarageBand, and iTunes
Materials and Resources: MacBook laptops, Blue Microphones Snowball, credible online resources, current encyclopedias, books, and almanacs.
Sample Student Projects may be viewed at:

Project Overview: This lesson was taught collaboratively with the eighth grade social studies teachers, the technology teacher, and the library media specialist. At the first block class of this unit, the social studies teachers had the students divide themselves into groups of four. Then they introduced the project to the students, and handed out project packets. The packet information is listed below under Directions, Project Plan, and PSA Group Reflections and Assessment. At the second class, the library media specialist reviewed with the students how to select credible sources online and which print materials would be appropriate for their PSA. Students researched and selected three issues they would consider for their PSA. During the third block session of this unit, the technology teacher introduced the students to iMovie and GarageBand. For the remaining blocks, the students researched and worked on creating their PSA. At the end of the unit, the student groups shared the PSA they created with their peers and assessed their project with their group.


Select from the following list an issue related to your study of Africa. Please review the list and decide which issues are of greatest importance to your group. Please rank your top three choices. Below each issue, please write a brief statement explaining why the topic interests your group. Topics: Impact of AIDS in Africa, Child labor in Africa, Debt relief for African countries, Child soldiers, Tribal conflict (example Hutus and Tutsis), Darfur, Endangered Wildlife, Role of Women in African Society, Hunger and its Causes, Disease: its Causes and Impact on African Society, Lost Boys of Sudan, Africa’s Diamond Trade, or the Plight of Indigenous People (example: the Sans and the Masai).

Spend time researching and taking notes about your issue. When researching your issue, it is important that you read carefully and note the information that meets the research guidelines listed in the project plan. Additionally, you need to conference with your fellow group members to compare your data and decide if you have enough accurate and interesting information for your PSA. You must cite all sources of information used in this project. Eight different sources (two per person for your group of four) of information must be cited using the MLA style. All groups will hand in one typed copy of their combined Works Cited List.


1) Clearly and fully identify the issue around which your group will create your PSA. For example, it is not enough to just write: “Child Labor”, but rather write the following: “Child Labor in Africa.” In addition, submit a brief explanation that helps the audience understand your issue’s impact on African children and their society at large.
2) Clearly explain why this issue matters. Answer all of the following questions: Why must people become better informed about this issue? What threats and or dangers does this issue pose to Africa and its people? What may happen if this issue is not addressed? What positive outcomes may occur IF this issue is addressed? Why does it matter to you? Why should it matter to your peers? List credible sources of information.
3) Provide statistical evidence that supports the issue’s importance. This type of data adds great validity and credibility to your PSA. Numbers tell a powerful story. It is critical that your information is accurate and taken from reliable sources. (Example: the percent of African children who work as child laborers in certain age groups taken from a governmental study). List sources of information.
4) Provide anecdotal (short stories about real people) evidence. It will take time to find this sort of information, but it is the type of information that allows your audience to make an authentic connection to your PSA. Consequently, they will be more likely to remember its message. List sources of information
5) Explain what is being done to increase awareness and address the issue. List sources of information.


What do you consider to be the most valuable part of the PSA project? Please explain why.
What challenges did you encounter while completing your PSA project? Please explain how you responded to the challenges that you have identified.
What did you learn about Africa because of this project? What information will stay with you?
How well did you work with your group? Explain your answer using the plus delta chart as a guide for your reflection.