Call me crazy, but one of my favorite things about going to the movies—next to stuffing myself with popcorn, of course—is getting there early to check out the previews.
I'm not sure when it happened, but publishers like Simon &Schuster have actually started making trailers for books, giving previews a life outside of the theatre. It’s an impressive and rather ingenious marketing strategy, but I happen to think that book trailers also have some promising applications for the classroom.
Burying the Book Report: Using Book Trailers in the Classroom
The idea would be to have your students create their own book teaser-trailer with free and easy-to-use software from Animoto. There are a number of spins you could put on the assignment. Maybe you want to assign a different chapter (or section of a chapter) to each student and have them create trailers based on their assigned section. Once you are done, you could have your students upload them to YouTube or their own personal blog and discuss them as a class to see how each trailer works in a rhetorical way.
Regardless of how you use the project, you need to know where to start. We’re going to walk you through the process.
Animoto is a web-based video creation app, so there’s nothing to download and it’ll work whether you’re using a Mac or a PC. The Lite version is FREE, but limits you to creating 30-second videos. If you’d like to create full-length, HD videos, you can upgrade to Plus or Pro for a nominal fee.
How does it work? Browse Animoto’s photo and music library (or upload your own), add text and watch Animoto do the rest. That’s why Animoto is particularly great for younger kids. Instead of getting bogged down with cumbersome software, your students will be producing eye-popping book trailers in no time.
An added bonus with this app is that your students can copy and paste video’s pre-generated HTML code and share their work through social network sites or on their own blogs with a simple click.
You’ll quickly exhaust Animoto’s photo library, so we suggest you look elsewhere for “royalty-free” images. Here’s where you’ll find them:
As with Animoto’s photo library, you’ll find that their music selection is also rather sparse. If you want royalty-free music or sound effects, here’s where you’ll find them:
Have not thought about this, but could get kids intersted.
Hi, Darcy: Thanks for commenting. If you decide to give this a try with your class, keep me posted on how it goes!
I love this idea! I find that some students have trouble picking out relevant information. This would be a great project to get them thinking about the "who, what, when, where and why" in a hands-on, visual way.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Rachel! If you decide to give this a try, keep me posted on how it works with your students.
Have a great day.