Colby Hawkins
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Middle School, High School
  • Global Goals
  • Lesson Plan
  • PSA
  • Public Service Announcement
  • SDG
  • Sustainable Development
  • United Nations (UN)
  • filmmaking
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Sustainable Development Goal PSA

    Sustainable Development Goal PSA


    This lesson is designed to get students acting as changemakers and contributing to the sustainable developments goals. Students will be tasked with creating a public service announcement to bring awareness to local or global challenges.


    In this lesson, students will be introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and be tasked with creating a PSA to call others to action to contribute to one or all of these global goals.

    This lesson is designed for a 9th grade World Geography class related to Utah Core Standards for Social studies world Geography strand 5, specifically relating to 5.1 & 5.5. This lesson could also just as easily relate to science standards such as ESS 4.4.

    Time Frame - 1 week

    Format - This lesson is planned for in-person synchronous instruction but could be adapted for virtual asynchronous instruction as well.  

    Background for Teachers

    To teach this lesson you will want to have some familiarity with the Sustainable Development goals. You will need to know what is meant by sustainable development. You will also want to be familiar with why filmmaking is beneficial for students. Filmmaking can be a time-consuming process, but it also comes with the huge benefits of student engagement and high-level learning. Students will develop skills that are useful for producing media and having their voice heard by potentially a global audience. 


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Learning Intentions 

    • Students will understand the purpose the Sustainable Development Goals

    • Students will recognize how the SDGs relate to real world challenges in their own lives

    • Students will identify ways that they and others can contribute to achieving the global goals

    • Students will communicate in a way that brings awareness to issues and calls others to action


    Success Criteria

    • Students will research actions and efforts that can be taken to contribute to the one or more SDG

    • Students will create compelling PSA type videos to bring awareness to issues and communicate ways people can take action to contribute to these goals. 

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    Prior to this lesson, students will need to have a basic understanding of what is meant by sustainable development. Students should also have a basic awareness of some of the challenges faced throughout the world that these goals seek to address such as poverty, hunger, gender equality, etc. 


    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Throughout the lesson, the teacher should use interactions to gauge what support and scaffolding students may need. The script and storyboard should give the teacher a good idea of what additional scaffolding students need to be successful in creating their PSAs. This lesson can be personalized by allowing students to select any challenge/issue that they would like so long as it connects to one of the 17 goals. Instruction on digital citizenship should be interwoven into the lesson and into discussions with groups or individuals, especially on the proper use and citation of borrowed multimedia. 

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction

    Introduce the Sustainable Development Goals

    Introduce the Sustainable Development Goals with this video - Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around the Globe. Ask students to share their thoughts or reactions to the goals. 


    Identify which goals apply to a real-life situation - have students watch the following video and try to identify which goals they think apply to this situation. It would probably be a good idea to project or give students access to the goals such as this website.


    Read about a different real-world example that comes from the US


    To go through this first section you could use this Google Slides Presentation Part 1


    We Can be Changemakers - SDG PSA Project

    Ask students to think about how they might be able to contribute to these global goals as they watch these two videos:


    Discuss as a class, ideas they had as they viewed the videos


    Choose a Few of these examples of Youth Changemakers to View:


    Ask students to reflect on what they have seen so far and think about what they are inspired to do.


    Introduce the PSA Project - Students are going to be tasked with creating a Public Service announcement that brings awareness to an issue in their community or in the world that they are passionate about or would like to bring attention to. They will need to identify which of the SDGs the issue is related to. Here is an example of a PSA related to SDG 6.


    Students should now get started planning for their project these are the suggested steps:

    • Start by brainstorming issues or challenges that you, your community, or people in the world face that you are passionate about or would like to bring awareness to

    • Select one of these issues and make sure you can identify which of the SDGs the issue is related to

    • Do some research to find out what is being done or could be done to help solve the problem or at least be part of the solution

    • Start planning your PSA 

    • You will be required to submit a script and a storyboard for your video

    • Begin collecting footage, finding images, etc.

    • Gather media and begin editing your PSA


    You could use this Google Slides Presentation for Part 2 


    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments

    The teacher should be present and circulate the while students are brainstorming, researching and planning their PSAs. It might even be a good practice to conference with students and/or groups about their plans before they get too far into the filmmaking process.


    The script and storyboard should be good formative assessments to help teachers get a good idea of what students understand and what guidance they need as they produce their films. 


    When the PSAs are done it would be best practice to view them and offer feedback before the final submission is due. 


    I would suggest sharing/celebrating the student films in some manner whether that be showing them in class or having students view a certain number outside of class that are posted on an LMS or class website. 


    This is a suggested rubric to use for the final project submissions and to provide feedback




    Points Possible


    PSA is 5 minutes or less



    PSA tells a cohesive story with clear message



    PSA is clearly linked to UN SDG(s)



    PSA reflects high quality work (audio is clear, editing is intentional, transitions/effects add to the message, etc.)



    PSA includes complete citations for all multimedia borrow for the PSA