CODE/MOE/UOIT Makerspaces Project

Lesson Plan:  Grade 4 Science & Language Arts:

Endangered Species—PSA Commercial


  • Human activities can have an effect on animal populations, habitats and communities.

Specific Curriculum Expectations:

Language Arts

-create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques;

-reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.

Overall Science and Technology Expectations

-analyse the effects of human activities on habitats and communities;

Specific Science and Technology Expectations

1.2 identify reasons for the depletion or extinction of a plant or animal species, evaluate the impacts on the rest of the natural community, and propose possible actions for preventing such depletions or extinctions from happening

Learning Goals:

“We are learning to get our message across with a message (PSA commercial).

We are learning why species of animals can become endangered or extinct and what can be done to stop this.”

Success Criteria:  

“We will be successful when…

We create a PSA commercial ad that is persuasive;

We can identify the reasons that animals become endangered or extinct;

We can share ways to stop this from happening.”

Lesson Overview:

  • students begin by researching on the Ontario endangered species website. 
  • looking at reasons why they were endangered - could something be done to change the situation?
  • then look at many examples of public service announcements (PSA)commercial ads
  • create a chart of what should be in their commercial ad
  • using the green screen create a commercial - more challenges creating a video
  • criteria - must in an interactive part of the ad - must have an animal in the ad

Materials and Technology:  

  • chromebook
  • green screen
  • iPad

Student Accommodations/Modifications:  

Lesson will be differentiated by:

  • Content, specifically:
  • Process, specifically:
  • Product, specifically:
  • Environment, specifically:  

MINDS ON:  Getting Started

During this phase, the teacher may:

• activate students’ prior knowledge;

• engage students by posing thought-provoking questions;

• gather diagnostic and/or formative assessment data through observation and questioning;

• discuss and clarify the task(s).

During this phase, students may:

• participate in discussions;

• propose strategies;

• question the teacher and their classmates;

• make connections to and reflect on prior learning.

Describe how you will introduce the learning activity to your students. What key questions will you ask? How will you gather diagnostic or formative data about the student's’ current levels of understanding? How will students be grouped? How will materials be distributed?

  • students are introduced to the topic of endangered species and how we can change our lifestyles to help them - introduce Earth Day - read the Lorax
  • research on Ontario endangered species website
  • come up with ideas to help endangered species then look at Public service announcements print ad
  • questions asked - what is the job of a PSA - how do you persuade with very few words(catchy slogan) - what else needs to be on your PSA - what is different from a commercial to print ad - what do you need - how will you create your script? - think about memorizing what you say - no one holds and reads from a paper
  • use green screen to capture what we want our PSA to say  - as a background

ACTION:  Working on it

During this phase, the teacher may:

• ask probing questions;

• clarify misconceptions, as needed, by redirecting students through questioning;

• answer students’ questions (but avoid providing a solution to the problem);

• observe and assess;

• encourage students to represent their thinking concretely and/or pictorially;

• encourage students to clarify ideas and to pose questions to other students.

During this phase, students may:

• represent their thinking (using numbers, pictures, words, manipulatives, actions, etc.);

• participate actively in whole group, small group, or independent settings;

• explain their thinking to the teacher and their classmates;

• explore and develop strategies and concepts.

Describe the task(s) in which your students will be engaged. What misconceptions or difficulties do you think they might experience? How will they demonstrate their understanding of the concept? How will you gather your assessment data (e.g., checklist, anecdotal records)? What extension activities will you provide?

  • students will have a difficult time writing a script to work with PSA - what should be included- what is important what is not
  • memorizing their script
  • holding video camera still - using iPad stand ( separate teaching)
  • speaking loudly and clearly - having a quiet background in a school
  • peer/self-assessment

CONSOLIDATION:  Reflecting and Connecting

During this phase, the teacher may:

• bring students back together to share and analyse strategies;

• encourage students to explain a variety of learning strategies;

• ask students to defend their procedures and justify their answers;

• clarify misunderstandings;

• relate strategies and solutions to similar types of problems in order to help students generalize concepts;

• summarize the discussion and emphasize key points or concepts.

During this phase, students may:

• share their findings;

• use a variety of concrete, pictorial, and numerical representations to demonstrate their understandings;

• justify and explain their thinking;

• reflect on their learning.

How will you select the individual students or groups of students who are to share their work with the class (i.e., to demonstrate a variety of strategies, to show different types of representations, to illustrate a key concept)? What key questions will you ask during the debriefing?

  • this is part 2 of the assignment the next step is for the students to look at which method is more effective - did you get your message across? - create a positive and negative chart for both
  • compare which method is more effective, would there be times where one method would be more effective, could you have changed your PSA to make it more effective?
  • self-assessment
  • may be assessed using a check list or rubric

St. Elizabeth Catholic School—St. Clair Catholic District School Board

Adapted from