In my new position as a technology coach one of the things I try to do is provide sample projects that teachers can do in their classroom with their students.
Since my interest is science I tend to pick projects for that field. The video above is one that I worked on with a group of fourth grade students. It is based on a video style used by Common Craft in their In Plain English Videos. They are very good very simple videos put together using paper creations.
Other teachers in other districts have done this and one even put an instructional video on YouTube to help students understand the process.
To prepare the student I had working with me on this project (which we did end of year after state testing) I made them watch one Common Craft video and the instructional video. I then showed them the three videos below that someone made (about the difference between banks and credit unions) based on the same style to give them a sense of the playfulness and "acting" they should do (those videos really got them jazzed to make it engaging).
I gave them a quiet place, a video camera (flip), tripod, paper, pencils, and a black sharpie marker and crayons. Their instruction was to come up with a video that could be used as a public service announcement that would be used to teach people about some topic of concern. This group choose keeping South Carolina water clean. The two girls I had working on this were very bright and came up with pretty good reasons. I was involved in a very limited way. I did jump in when we had to edit their clips together in Movie Maker (we used Movie Maker Live which is the new version of Movie Maker and a lot more user friendly for students). Once the kids got the general gist they were able to pretty much do it on their own. I was actually really impressed and they were super proud of the results!
This would make a great end of year project for students (probably in grades 4 and up) and can be used outside of science. I was thinking any historical event or even a creative book review.