Making PSA's That Stick!

Our 8th grade science teacher asked me to come to her classes today to talk about creating Public Service Announcements (PSA's). She's having her students enter a contest on the creation of PSA's for endangered species.

I asked her about her timeline for the project and when I found out that the kids have ample time, I asked if I could hold off on showing them about the mechanics of creating the ad, and concentrate on the idea of how to create messages that "stick." The fact is the students can figure out the software (they'll be using iMovie on the iPad). However, I have found that students don't often know how to "craft the message."

So, today I'm sharing ideas from one of my favorite books, "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath. On their "Made to Stick" website, they offer this description of the book:
"Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the Heath brothers reveal the anatomy of ideas that “stick” and explain sure-fire methods for making ideas stickier..."
 Specifically, they say "sticky messages" have one or more of the following SUCCESS elements:

S = Simple (Finding the core message and getting that across)
U - Unexpected (Violating a schema to grab attention)
C - Concrete (Using sensory language/images)
C = Credible (Adding credibility through authorities and/or statistics)
E = Emotional (Tying messages to the audience's heart strings)
S = Stories (Getting the message across through story telling)

The Heath brothers offer some great resources on the "Making it Stick" concept on their website at (You do have to sign in with your email address, but it's well worth it!)

To really drive the message home to the kids (or I guess I should say to make it stick), I created a presentation with examples of ads that exemplify each idea. Hope you enjoy!


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