Video projects can be really exciting for a classroom. The right media assignment might be just what you need to jumpstart a lesson plan and get students excited about a topic. And video assignments are getting easier to coordinate - tools like WeVideo and Magisto are providing classrooms with free and intuitive editing tools that previously didn’t exist.
(In fact, if you’re shopping around for editing tools, we’re going to send you to this article by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning as well as this list by Jon Samuelson. Lots of programs to peruse.)
If you’re interested in some project ideas, keep reading. We have some fun ones for a range of subjects.
GIF-ify an Experiment
The internet loves GIFs - so do students. And there are lots of tools designed to help you make your own little moving picture. All you need is a source video to splice.
GIFs can be a fun way to break down the steps of a science experiment - especially for a chemistry class. In this project, student teams will select different experiments/chemical reactions and record each step, later converting this video into a GIF or series of GIFs.
Sharing these short videos across the class is a nice pre-exam exercise. After putting in the time to film and GIF-ify the reaction, it’ll be hard to forget what happens when you combine hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodide.
What would the world look like if Abraham Lincoln had a Vine account? Or Harriet Tubman? Or Galileo? That’s the premise of this quickie video assignment. Students must research and script a series of brief Vine videos from a historical figure. They are free to use their own smartphones, if they’d prefer.
When viewed together, these brief videos should tell a clear story about a time in history.
Create a Whiteboard Story
Meaningful movie projects don’t need to be a huge production. No costumes. Minimal props. No scenery.
A whiteboard movie is an exercise in writing and storytelling the forces students to think about every word and every frame. (And while using next to nothing for setup!) It’s a choice project for creative writing or art classes, or perhaps classrooms that contain more than a few camera shy students.
Create Your Own How-To
Tasking your students with creating a how-to presentation is a classic exercise in public speaking and instruction. It’s also a very easy project to convert into a media presentation.
Good for home economics, design, tech courses, and many others, this project asks students to select a task - baking a type of cake, using an effect in Photoshop, or maybe setting up lights for the school play - and develop a short how-to presentation.
The script must clearly outline every step and the corresponding video should illustrate exactly what each step looks like. In the example of baking a cake, we want to see the ingredients mixed together, the batter poured, the tin put in the oven, and the golden brown dome taken out when it’s done baking.