The basic idea is that your middle, high school, or college students are going to retell a classic work of literature that can be read by little kids. They have to research, think about audience, use images, and summarize in a way that is entertaining.
I've done this assignment with options in foreign language or even using braille, but the basic assignment is to tell a story for a new audience without destroying the message.
You can use my list, or you could have students choose their own favorite books, like Twilight, and make them appropriate for 1st graders.
My wife went to the local elementary school with these stories and had the older kids read them to some of hte younger kids. My own kids liked reading some of the samples I brought home, too. Fun research and textual manipulation, which doesn't happen every day.