Teachers will always ask students to read books and share what they have learned. But, how students share that knowledge and achiever higher levels of thinking by synthesizing and making personal connections can be achieved by going beyond text on paper.

The current generation will do a quick search on YouTube to troubleshoot a hard level on their video games. They live in a video world and love to share their thoughts in pictures, video and sound. To support a more engaged learner on your next reading project – consider a book trailer. It’s like a movie trailer but it’s about a book.

After we completed our historical fiction unit, my fourth grade students created 30 second video trailers on the book they had read. They included the title, author, and comments on why the book was part of the historical fiction genre. Further, they included a tease or shared an exciting part of the book – all using a simple microphone. Later we added pictures related to what we were saying and even background music from the public domain. If they write their script for homework, this can be achieved in two classes.

Here are a few:

Journal of Ben Achida – Trailer by Alex 4MR

A Long Way from Chicago – Trailer by Eden 4MR

Year of Impossible Goodbyes – Trailer by Kevin 4MR

We store them on our school library server, but these could just as easily be saved as regular podcasts on iTunes. We used GarageBand using MiniMacs and USB headphones with a microphone; but PhotoStory for the PC would work just as fine (and for free)

Here is some more information about Book Trailers and other software that can be used (even some image and sound libraries)

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