What is a book trailer and how is it different from a book talk?
Both try to "sell" a book to an audience. A book talk can be presented in real time or recorded and viewed later. Book talks summarize books without giving away too much information and include information about the author. A book trailer attempts to "hook" the audience with images, music and words or short sentences also without giving away the book. A book trailer is similar to a movie trailer and while the preliminary work occurs in the classroom, it is ultimately always published and viewed in digital form.
Naomi Bates is an expert in creating book trailers. She has examples of book trailers she has created on her Naomi Bates School Tube Channel. As you watch these examples and check out the booktrailers available on the BookTrailersForAll website think about what makes each book trailer powerful and effective (or less so) and what you do and do not like about each.
How do you create a book trailer?
Here is Naomi Bates' Prezi on how to create a book trailer.
There are three important steps before you begin putting a book trailer together. Spending the time planning, giving and getting feedback at each stage makes for more powerful and successful book trailers.
1 Think Card
Think Cards looks like giant bookmarks. Complete a Think Card as you read or reread your book. Make a list of key words, emotions, character traits, places, symbols, themes, colours, atmosphere, and message that describe the book. Practise by using a picture book if you like.
2 Planning Template
Once the book has been read and the "Think Card" has been completed, it is time to move on to the planning template. The planning template helps you organize what you recorded on your "Think Cards" into catagories that are part of a book trailer. As you complete the planning template, think back to the trailers you analyzed. Use the planning template to record powerful words, sound effects/music, pacing, mood, story highlights, and images that you want to use for your book trailer. Again using a picture book to practise the planning stage can be useful.
3 Story Board
The story board is the final stage before beginning work on the computers. This is where you plan out your book trailer slide by slide on paper, including the words and images you want to use. The following are "givens" that you must include in your book trailers:
- the first slide must be a hook- usually in the form of a question (eg. What would you do if you were given a second chance?.... not " my book is....")
- use short phrases or words, and questions through out the book tailer
- the last slide should be a question (eg. "will he survive or be eliminated like the rest?")
- followed by a picture of the cover of the book and author's name
- then the credits
- students could add another picture of the book and the author's name at the very very end
Hand in your story board for feedback and to make sure all the "givens" were included, prior to beginning your trailer.
Building Your Book Trailer
The next step is collecting images that reflect the storyboard descriptions,... a very time consuming job. The images should help to explain and/or reinforce key content. However, before you collect the images, you need to understand copyright and copyright issues. The following blog post written by my colleague, Travis Richey, helps explain copyright.
Know Your Rights...and Copyrights
The Internet is more than simply a place to find information. It is a place to be creative and express yourself.
When we create, we use things we find around us. On the Internet, you will find words, pictures, music, and videos. Each of these are the creation of someone else. It's fun to combine the creations of someone else with our own to express new ideas. People do it everyday. It's how we communicate.
This blog is written by me, Mr. Richey, but I also use information, pictures, and videos from other websites to help me express my ideas. But I know that not everything on the Internet is there for the taking. Not everyone wants to share.
It is as important to respect each other on the Internet as it is in the "real world". Just as I wouldn't steal from someone in my neighborhood, I shouldn't take what's not mine on the Internet without permission. When I create this blog, I try to use only things others are willing to share. That way I respect the right of others.
How do you know what you can use without abusing the rights of others? Check out Creative Commons.
It is an excellent place to search for information, images, sounds, or videos you are free to use in your own creations. It's just like searching Google, only everything you find can be shared. It's never been easier to do the right thing, have fun and be creative!
Here is a blog post about Creative Commons 14 Tools to Teach
Here is a link to
You can also use one of the following websites to find images:
Wiki Media Commons
If you are using Windows Movie Maker (WMM), you will need to save your images as jpeg files. Open a Word document to save the URLs for the images and names of the image creators. This way you will have all the information you need to complete the credits for your book trailers. You could also use programs such as Animoto or iMovie to make book trailers.
Windows Movie Maker (WMM)
When all the images are collected import to WMM. This is the time when students add transitions, effects, titles, credits to their book trailer. Make sure you remind students to save save their work often.
See link to manual below for more information on how to use WMM.
Adding the music is the last step.The music should clearly communicate the mood of the book without detracting from the images/graphics. Usually, best music to use with book trailers has no lyrics. The music is also subject to the same copyright laws as images are, so use the website listed below to find music that has been ok'd to share. The great thing about this website is that the students can search for music by mood (eg. relaxing, edgy, driving, etc..).
Free Play Music
Here are other music websites you can use:
Free music: Jamendo
The rubric below is used for evaluating the finished book trailers.
The resources, ideas, handouts/graphic organizers and lessons above are designed and selected to help you and your students create booktrailers. The project is a good way to assess reading comprehension but also an excellent exercise in higher order thinking.
Thanks to Jane Spies, the teacher-librarian at Lansdowne Middle School for permission to reproduce and adapt the work that she and her teaching partner, Kristy Kilpatrick, published on Jane's Lansdowne Library Wiki . Jane's work was inspired by and built upon the work of another colleague, Lorraine Powell, teacher-librarian at Hillcrest Elementary, who provided the initial versions of the templates for the Think Card, Planning Page and Story Board, and the reference to the work of Naomi Bates.