October 4, 2013

Friday Freebie: Book Trailer

I had planned something else for today, but just had to change and share some great videos with you that my sixers are creating. Their assignment was to create a book trailer about a book that they have recently read. They were required to read two books over the summer. The first book was promoted via a Newbery Book Report and the second with this book trailer project. My sixers had been waiting for this video project; they've seen the three classes ahead of them produce poetry videos and book trailers and couldn't wait their turn.

I begin the project by sharing a book trailer for a book we are reading or have read in the past (a quick search via Google or comparable search engine will yield you results for a myriad of trailers). We talk about the video's features: graphics, text, video, pacing, effects, etc.; and how these combine to entice the viewer into reading the book. I end this first lesson by asking them to consider what a book trailer for their second summer book might look like. They are asked to simply jot down their ideas for tomorrow's lesson.

On the second day, I present the project sheet to the class. You can download this sheet HERE. It is in Word format so that you are able to edit it as you might see fit. It contains the specific pieces of information that they must include in their own trailer: graphic of the book's cover, the author's name, pictures, background music, minimum length, credits.

I also show them two book trailers from former students, one that meets the criteria and one that does not. As we view the trailers we discuss whether the video meets the requirements or not. This lesson ends with an invitation for my sixers to explore the links given on the instruction sheet and an invitation to bring their technology "tools" to school the next day so that they can begin working on their videos during free time. I only have five computers in my classroom, so I bend the rules (with the permission of the school president) of no personal ipads, ipods, or laptops by inviting them to use their tools at schools... we have a long and detailed discussion of do's and don'ts with these tools as well.

On the third day, I demonstrate how to make a simple video using Animoto, a free online video editor. I've blogged about this terrific website before so I won't go into its virtues now. I walk them through the features of this editor, demonstrating how to select a template; how to add a picture, a video clip, and text; and how to publish the final video. At the end of this lesson, my sixers are invited to begin experimenting by making a "for fun" video, one to just help them navigate the app, editor, or piece of software they are choosing to use.

The final developmental lesson that I present is how to download/upload photos, graphics, and music, and how to save these items to a flash drive. Along with this lesson we discuss copyright infringement and fair use for education copyright. I insist that they include simple citations for any media that they will be including in their book trailer. The exception to this is media used directly from a video editing website does not need a citation.

In past years I have required my sixers to use Animoto for this project. However, this year, because several of the girls and one boy were already using a video app called Video Star, I left out the Animoto requirement and gave them several options for creating their book trailer. Even so, I did create an Animoto account for each of my sixers. As it turns out, after three days of experimenting, all 22 sixers are using their Animoto Education accounts to create their trailer.

Yesterday and today I started receiving email notifications that book trailers were being published (they're not due until Oct. 23rd). This particular crop of sixers is usually a bit slow in completing a project. I generally have to provide loads of encouragement and plenty of reminders. I was suppose to give them the assessment rubric today to help them understand my expectations but ran out of time due to recess duty, a visit from a new born, and a school photo op... sigh!

Here are the first few trailers... LOVIN' them!

For this last trailer I can only provide a link. The author changed her password and I don't have it here at home: The Encyclopedia of Me.

I can't wait to see what the coming week will hold with my sixers' videos. Several others are in process and just waiting to be published. Maybe I'll be able to share them during the week.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6

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  1. What a great idea! Love how they are learning to make things in programs they will hopefully use again!

    Learning is for Superstars
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  2. I am starting to use Animoto with my 5/6's this year. They are at the practice video stage and love it!


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