A great idea just got better thanks to one of my students, Austin Hoehn. The original great idea came from Paul Bogush's site as one of his 13 assessments that don't suck ...
I used Paul's RSA Animate idea in my Social Studies 9 class last year. The students were given a section of the text dealing with the effect of the American Revolution on Canada - why Nova Scotia didn't join the revolution, the Loyalists' arrival in what is now Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, the migration of the Black Loyalists and finally the Constitution Act that created Upper and Lower Canada. Here is an example of that effort. It was fun and effective. Effective in that the students read for a purpose and worked together to create a product they were proud of.
Before Christmas this year I tried this project with my BC First Nations 12 class. I gave them a big topic - the history of First Nations People in BC in 5 minutes or less. The biggest problem for the students even though they were sharp grade 11 and 12 students was to decide what was important and not important in that history. They figured it out but it took a long time - much longer than I expected. Next time I will either break the project into chunks or work on skills that help them summarize.
Another big problem was solved by one of my students. Austin Hoehn suggested that instead of filming the students as they draw, we should draw a whole section and then erase it backwards (from the final picture drawn to the first) and then reverse the video. The voice over would then be done over the reversed video. It was a big time and stress saver because the students could put their ideas with strong pictures on the board without doing a practice drawing on the big board or a large sheet of paper. It is a cool effect too. Take a look here and here.