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Socially-based Curriculum Unit: Mental Illness Public Service Announcement


Students will research a particular mental illness, then script, rehearse and present to the class a short public service announcement (PSA) to increase awareness and tolerance in the general public about this illness.
Curriculum Link:,7219,546,541,442,365,Documents&MediaID=2074&Filename=mental-illness-unit-plan.pdf&l=English Author: Rachel Collisha, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation

Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives

The goals of this activity are:
1) Students gain empathy for people who suffer from mental illness and learn to recognize and avoid stereotypes.
2) Students become aware that many mental illnesses are diagnosed in adolescence.
3) Students practise research skills and find out how to access community resources.
4) Students practise presentation skills for a specific audience with a specific purpose.

Description of Activities

After developing research questions, then researching a particular mental illness, students will script, rehearse and present to the class a short public service announcement (PSA) regarding. Students may choose either a television (visual/skit/power-point) or radio (oral only) format. The PSA must increase awareness and hopefully tolerance in the general public about this illness.

Culminating Activity and/or Assessment

Performance Tasks and Other Evidence That Will Demonstrate the Knowledge and Skills Acquired:

Presentation of a public service announcement

Research notes and script

Notes from other students’ presentations

Notes on research questions and conclusion

Assessment Criteria:
Formative assessment by teacher:
• of research notes by a completion check followed by a summative teacher evaluation of notes using the rubric in Appendix D
• of script as students are writing and rehearsing
• of notes from student presentations – could be followed by a reflective paragraph or unit test question
• of ability to formulate research questions and draw conclusions based on teacher observation and group discussion

Summative teacher evaluation of public service announcement and research notes using the rubric in Appendix B

Instructional Materials Needed

Projector and internet connection to be able to demonstrate PSAs from the links provided, and student-use computers or access to a library to allow students to research.

Instructional Materials Provided

Complete lesson plan instructions, including links to Canadian resources for PSAs and research.

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Additional criteria

Cost: Free

Curriculum type: Unit

Academic subject area: History/Social Sciences

States' Career Clusters: Human Services; Education & Training

California Industry sector(s): Education, Child Development, and Family Services

Duration: Five 75 minute lessons

Grade Targets: 11, 12

Levels of Expertise for CTE: Capstone/Advanced, Concentration/Skill building

Standards Addressed: Alignment with Common Core, NGSS, C3 or CTE Standards evident

Source: Organization/Publisher-developed

Curriculum Link:,7219,546,541,442,365,Documents&MediaID=2074&Filename=mental-illness-unit-plan.pdf&l=English

Reviewer Comments

Developed for an 11th grade course, Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology.

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