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The Truth About Climate Change According to Kids

School: Presumpscot Elementary School

City/State: Portland, ME

Grade(s): 3

Format(s): Video: PSA

Subject(s): Science and Technology

Project Overview

Students created a storyboard, wrote interview questions and conducted the interviews. They also wrote the narration and participated in the acting, filming, photography, and the voiceover—and created the visuals (lobster drawings and greenhouse effect poster) for this PSA.

We Asked The Teacher:

And she, in turn, asked her students:

1. What was compelling for your students about this?

  • “We were all a part of this!” - Layla
  • “We persevered and worked hard to write a script that had words from every student.  Every person had an important part in our movie.” - Eliana
  • “We need lots of people to know how to stop climate change.  If they watch our movie they will know what to do and we can all work together to stop climate change.” -Ethan
  • “At first I didn’t want to be in the movie but it was powerful to me hearing my own voice in the movie.  I felt like I could help make a change. “ - Faisa
  • “People need to know!” - Celia
  • “This project was compelling to me because we were teaching other people about climate change.  It also taught us about climate change because we needed information to make our movie.”- Emma
  • “We are teaching kids and adults that we need to change the way we are living.  If we keep using greenhouse gasses it will impact us all”.  Leighton
  • “Making a movie about climate change was compelling to me because with technology our message can go all over the world.” - Nour

2. What were the challenges?

  • “It was hard to be responsible with the camera, I had to hold it still and I needed to be serious when I was videoing Ivy’s interview.” - Ethan
  • “Speaking in front of a camera is challenging.  Even though I practiced a lot, I had to redo my line four times to get it right!” - Ahlaam
  • “Writing the script was the most challenging.  We had to read books and articles, interview experts, watch videos and do field work to get information. We did a lot of drafts and we gave each other feedback.  Then we realized that some things we still didn't really understand so we had to do more research.  It took a long time to write the script.” - Kelson
  • “We were learning so some of the pictures and videos were blurry the sound was bad so we couldn't use them.” - Isabelle
  • “It was hard to get your voice just right, not too fast and not too slow and not too loud or too quiet.” - Kaden

3. What makes this particular piece a model for other students?

  • “This movie is explained by kids so other kids can understand it.”  - Shea
  • “We have experts to help explain the impact of climate change.” - David
  • “Our movie is a good model for other kids because we have everything you need in a movie like experts, important facts, videos, images, and actors.  It also shows other kids all over the world what they can do to help.” - Emma
  • “We care about climate change.  We were focused and only talked about lobsters and climate change in our movie.” - Kaden
  • “Our movie is about something real that is happening in our community.”  -Aliyah 
  • “Kids did the work.” -Logan

4. What would be your advice to a teacher that is inspired by this project?

  • “Make it your own.  Find something that kids can connect to and make sure everyone has a part.  You should know that it will be hard sometimes but learning will be fun.” - Layla
  • “My advice is to connect with a lot of experts.  It helps to have explanations from different experts.” -Faisa
  • “Talk to students about what they feel comfortable about doing.  Some kids want to be on camera, some kids want to interview experts and some kids want to take pictures.”  - Ahlaam
  • “Students need a lot of time to practice explaining before making the movie.”-Kelson
  • “Have your kids write the script.  It was easier for us to remember our lines because we came up with them!”  -Isabelle
  • “Make sure you pick a problem that needs to be changed.  You need to know your students well so you know what they will be interested in.” -Nour

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Addresses a timely topic that is relevant to everyone
  • Shows what can be accomplished by elementary age students
  • An excellent example of students addressing an authentic need in their own community
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