Tag Archives: project

Book Trailers

28 Mar

My 5th graders recently began making book trailers.  What is a book trailer you ask?  It is similar to a movie trailer- a short video that tries to get you to read a book.

We began this with group trailers.  I read The Gold Cadillac by Mildred D. Taylor to my class.  They worked in small groups of 2-3 to create a book trailer using Photo Story.  Students found photographs at Schools Clipart for their projects.  They then either used the music maker within Photo Story or music from FreePlay Music for their trailer.  We looked at examples of other trailers such as the one here and here.  Talked about the role of images and music in the trailer, and learned how to give enough information to hook a person, but not so much that it became boring or gave away the ending.  I have posted below a couple of examples from our class.

We are in the middle of creating individual trailers now.  I will post an update once the students finish those.

This project was a lot of fun and the students really got into it- even those kids who are virtually non-readers.  They all enjoyed reading the books, because they were thinking about how to turn it into a trailer.  I am so proud of how they are turning out!

I plan to share any comments left with the student, so if you are as impressed with their work as I was, please leave a comment.



12 Jun

Photostory is not a new application, but one that does deserve a mention every now and again. It is a free download available through microsoft and will allow users to combine pictures and music into a short “movie”.

In my 5th grade classroom, I used it to have students create a “movie” about the Gettysburg Address or the speech I will Fight No More Forever. We had studied both speeches and the time periods from which they were given. The unit’s culminating activity was to make the movie. I have listed the steps below:

1. Students typed up the speeches in powerpoint. They put 1-2 sentences per slide (using solid colored slides) and saved these as a .jpg. To do this, you go to file-save as and then below where you type the file name, go to file type and change it to .jpg then click save.

2. They then went onto schools.clipart.com to find pictures relevant to the speech they chose to work on. The pictures had to be relevant to the time period or to the words said in the speech. These were saved into one folder, along with the slide .jpgs.

3. They imported the slide .jpgs and the pictures into Photostory. They then spent a lot of time arranging, editing, and making transitions.

4. The next step was to add music. Photostory will let you choose the style, mood, intensity and volume of the music playing in the background. My rule was that the mood had to reflect the poem and/or photos. As long as they could justify why the mood fit, I allowed it. Some chose a somber tune to reflect how many died, some select something driving and upbeat to reflect the chaos of war.

This project was very simple and the kids picked up how to use photostory with little to no prompting from me. I was truly impressed with some of the end products. I would not hesitate to use this program with grades 3-12. I believe that you could probably even do it with younger kids, but I would provide a single folder on the desktop with pictures they could select from.

Ideas for use: poetry, speeches, story retelling, visual timeline, and endless other uses.