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Book Trailers

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Keywords: movie making, book reports, reading, novel study,
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Special Needs, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 3 through 12
School: Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Merritt Is, FL
Planned By: Heather Mason
Original Author: Heather Mason, Merritt Is
Students in groups of three to five will choose a novel they will all read. While reading they will meet to have multiple discussions on theme, character, plot, author's purpose, etc. Once they have finished the novel, they will write and produce a "book trailer" to be shown on the announcements. A book trailer is a short film that tell about the book and get other students to read it without giving away the plot.

They will start by completing a simple chart that asks them to outline the characters, plot and theme of the book. Using that information, they will brainstorm ideas on how to "sell" their book.

Once they have an overall plan, they will create a story board highlighting the scenes they will cover and in what order. They will also write a short script for the trailor. The final product will be only one to three minutes long.

Once the story board is done and approved, they will begin filming. The date of filming will be decided on ahead of time to allow for props and costumes to brought in if necessary. Student will only have one day of actual filming. Student will do all the filming; I will only be a facilitator.

Finally, using either the Flip's editing software or Movie Maker (already available on our computers), students will edit the video and save it in a form that can be sent and used by the TV production club.

This project isn't just designed to be fun. I have quite a few low level readers and special education students on my role. By letting them choose another outlet to discuss their reading, the will be more involved and better able to communicate than if they had to write. Advanced students, on the other hand, will be challenged by the new media form; they are used to book reports.
I have requested five cameras so that I can have multiple groups filming at the same time.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The book trailor idea can be expanded to demonstrate knowledge in other areas. They could film a trailor for a movie about the Revolution, the Pluto debate or a word problem.
Students will watch the video in class and peer critique it for content.
Materials: Video Cameras, Flip Video, Tripods
Other Items: 5 Flip cameras, $179.99 each, total of $899.95
5 Flip video tripods, $14.99 each, total of $74.95