Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Trailers Final Project

I have a book trailer project that I do with grade 3 students using Photostory. Students need to talk about the problem in the story and get viewers excited to read books. This project is hard for students and has been time-consuming. I decided to introduce book trailers in grade 2 so that I can reinforce what is happening in the classroom, as well as, build on the language arts curriculum from year-to-year. The unit they had just finished is Reading: Serious About Series (Week 23, 6 Weeks), and can be located on Rubicon Atlas.

Grade 2 students made a book trailer using the iTouch and iRig microphone. The students just finished a unit on identifying character traits in stories. I had students get into their current character groups and pick a book to read that they really liked. First I showed them an example that I had done. Next they were told to make sure they had the Title, Author, Character, Problem (don't give away the solution), and give the author's message.

I was surprised by how many students said they were "nervous." I don’t get this reaction in grade 3 and I think it is because they are only doing audio through photostory. One student was so scared he actually hid. He had to do it next library visit and I videotaped him in my office. He was fine then. Perhaps I should give them the option next year of doing audio or video.The first class I had students do the video themselves but this didn't work because they were putting the microphone too close to their mouths and moving all over the library. It was too chaotic so the next group I tried to videotape them myself. This too was chaotic and took too long. The following group I had a library assistant help me and that was just right. Yes, I do feel like Goldilocks in my lessons. I usually don't get the kinks out until the third time.  With the assistants help I was able to tell students where to go and conference with them.

This was a difficult lesson to do in 30 minutes. I was literally sweating by the end of class. The first class I had the students choose their own books. This took them too long – from 10-15 minutes. The second class that came in I emailed the teacher and asked if she would have the students come down with a book from their classroom. From then on students came with their own books.

I uploaded the videos to YouTube and the IT person had some students (page 3 or this example) put them on their blogs.  Not everyone was able to do this because of time and difficulty. I created a book trailer blog with student videos. I plan to use this from year-to-year and build a database of book trailers made by students.

I am collaborating with another grade 2 class in Bangkok where students created book trailers. We are going to read and comment on each's other books, but they just finished so I will have to update this post when we finish.

Here's the powerpoint I did for the class presentation. There's video's in it


  1. The book trailers are an excellent way for young learners to talk about books. It gives them a format to be successful. It is a way for them to practice their speaking skills. Participation is 100% and all the kids can build confidence. All students are at a different place with their language skills and this allows for those differences. Great diffentiation Barb.

  2. [...] Walter for working together to make this final project even better to our students. Thank you to Barb Middleton for sharing ideas and supporting kids every day at school. This has been a wonderful opportunity [...]