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Nature PSA/Visual Argument

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Keywords: PSA, visual argument, English, Technology, environment, nature, STEM, interdisciplinary
Subject(s): English/Language Arts
Grades 10 through 11
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Engineering Science University Magnet School, New Haven, CT
Planned By: Karen Robinson
Original Author: Karen Robinson, New Haven
Objective: Students will be able to design and create a visual argument in response to environmental issues.

Over a few weeks, students learn the steps in developing an effective argument.
1. Creating a claim: Is your claim arguable? Is it provable? Does it answer the question? Does it make sense?
2. Developing the warrant and evidence: How does your claim relate to the bigger picture of society? What evidence makes the most sense to my argument?
3. Writing a conclusion: Do NOT repeat you introduction! Take your argument a step further... Now that you've made your argument, what will change if the world agrees with you? And what is your call to action? (What do you need everyone to do in order to make your desired difference?)

After writing several drafts of a written argument, students will watch and look at ads and analyze the arguments being made. It is here the project will be introduced.

1. Students will read various texts (poems, short stories, essays, etc.) revolving around nature and the environment. (Assignment is differentiated by texts chosen.)
2. With their groups, students will identify the arguments being made in each text and discuss whether they agree with the argument or not.
3. Students will choose the argument they feel most strongly about and develop their own argument.
4. Using story boards to create their own videos and scripts, students will develop and create their own PSA, or visual argument, to help preserve an aspect of nature. They are to apply all of the knowledge they have learned throughout the entire lesson, in regard to creating an effective argument, research and citing sources (previous unit), as well as applying their skills learned in their technology classes.
5. Students will present PSAs.
Because we are limited in our technology, students were not able to record and edit their projects completely or as well as they (or I) would have liked. Having a class set of Tablets would alleviate that, as they would each have the means to both record and edit.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project lends itself nicely to interdisciplinary units, as it incorporates English/Language Arts, Science, and Technology.
While watching each others' PSAs, students are to identify the argument being made, as well as the call to action.
Materials: Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Camera/Video Accessories
Other Items: 15 Tablets, $59.99 each, total of $899.85