Saturday, July 16, 2011

Teens and the Sun: Public Service Announcements

I feel like such a hypocrite writing this minutes after smoothing aloe vera gel on my daughter’s sunburn from a long day at the pool.  Our topic this week on the Gateway is sun safety, and I have not been a good example!  Today’s blunders remind me how valuable it can be to help our students learn from other people’s mistakes, so they don’t have to make every mistake on their own.  I could start a sun safety lesson tomorrow by bringing in my daughter as evidence of the sun’s powerful rays…or by using another primary resource like a video I find online.  There are videos out there showing the consequences of too much sun exposure, and you can find ones that are appropriate for many different age groups.

A YouTube video, Dear 16 Year Old Me had been circulating around Facebook for a while before I finally watched it.  Once I watched this tearjerker about Melanoma, I saw some real potential for using it in a junior high or high school classroom.  The power of the video is that it shows actual young people dealing with this scary disease.  These are people who were (not too long ago) 16 and carefree, which may help students connect with them.  We don’t necessarily want to scare our students into taking care of their skin, but we want to scare them enough to think about the things they are doing to their bodies.  On a side note, please preview this video, as it contains some adult language in the discussion of melanoma.

It would take a major paradigm shift to change the idea that bronze is beautiful, and videos like this are hoping to make at least a small difference in people’s opinions and decisions regarding sun safety. Watching a video on the topic could be a good introduction and discussion starter about skin cancer, sunscreen, and tanning.  Allowing students to research and create their own YouTube public service announcements in response or in addition to this movie will really help drive the information home.  It would allow students to challenge their creativity while they work to create a product that will entertain and educate their classmates.

If you search The Gateway to 21st Century Skills for “sun safety,” you will find more than a dozen resources to help you dig deeper into the topic with your students before they create their videos.  I recommend checking these out along with the three resources Joann discusses in her post this week.  Two of her suggested resources include a section on creating public service announcements about sun safety.

There are many other videos besides the popular Dear 16 Year Old Me available online.  You can also find professionally created public service announcements on YouTube to use as examples for your students.  My personal favorites were the different versions created for Australia’s Slip, Slop, Slap campaign.  The tune from the newest version and the eighties version might get stuck in your head for a while, so watch out!  Somehow I missed the slip, slop, slap today, shame on me!  Maybe the students will come up with a better campaign to help me out.

We would love to see some student-created video presentations.  If your students create videos, please share on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

~Peggy's Corner - July 7, 2011~

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading our blog! We are so glad you are joining in the discussion.