Why do you think there are currently so many wildfires in the Pacific Northwest? How do you think the fires can be brought under control?
Why do you think the U.S., Australia and New Zealand decided to become partners during the fire season more than 50 years ago? Why do you think the arrangement has lasted so long?
More than 4,000 people volunteered to help fight the wildfires. Many will not be accepted. Why do you think that is? Do you think it’s a good idea not to accept help from everyone who volunteers? Explain your response.
According to the article, military assets cannot be used against wildfires until all civilian resources are deployed. Do you agree with this mandate? Why or why not?
- Prior to conducting this activity, obtain examples of public service announcements from print media, radio and television.
- Present the examples to the class. Discuss how they are alike and different. Guide students to recognize that, regardless of the format used, each of these is an example of a public service announcement (PSA). Explain to students that a PSA is a message to the public that is intended to raise awareness or change people's attitudes or behavior toward a social issue. Invite students to share examples of PSAs they've seen.
- Discuss the basic elements of a PSA. Point out that the content and approach of the message can vary widely, depending on the target audience.
- Then have students brainstorm ideas for a PSA related to the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. Encourage students to think about the topic from all angles. For example, a PSA could tell people how to prevent wildfires or what to do if a fire is approaching. It could also introduce them to volunteer opportunities or inform them about regulations or punishment for people who start wildfires.
- Give students time to create a PSA. Invite them to share their finished products with the class.
As students present their public service announcements, challenge classmates to identify the purpose and central message of each. Discuss how the content and approach of each message is tailored to attract a specific target audience.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
As a class, identify a topic and a target audience. Also decide which medium-print, radio or TV-should be used. Then divide the class into small groups. Provide the necessary supplies-art materials and poster board, audio equipment or digital cameras. Have each group create a PSA on the identified topic for the selected medium.
As a class, identify the target audience and decide whether to develop the PSA for print, radio or TV. Provide the necessary supplies-art materials and poster board, audio equipment or digital cameras-for the medium selected. Then divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to brainstorm ideas for a PSA. Remind students to keep the target audience in mind as they write and produce their messages.
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to brainstorm ideas, identify a target audience and select a medium-print, radio or TV. Provide art supplies and poster board for groups creating print messages and audio equipment or digital cameras for those developing announcements for radio or TV. Challenge each group to develop unique and appropriate messages that will attract the specified target audience.
Assign each student a partner. Instruct each pair to choose a topic. Encourage partners to brainstorm creative ways to get their message across to two different target audiences or through two different mediums. Provide access to art supplies and poster board, audio equipment and digital cameras. Give pairs time to create two different PSAs. As pairs present, challenge them to explain how addressing a different audience or using a different medium influenced the content and approach of their message.
Smithsonian article that looks at past wildfire prevention advertisements, including Smokey the Bear.
Smithsonian article about danger of drones as it relates to the wildfires in the Northwest.
Students will create an anti-smoking publicity campaign based on their research into the effects of smoking.
Students design an environmental public-service campaign to compel people to stop deforestation in the Amazon.