Lesson Plan

Book Trailers

Use book trailers to summarize a given narrative through a character's point of view.
Petra L.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

1. Identify the features of a book trailer as a genre.

2. Summarize a given narrative through the viewpoint of a chosen character.

3. Develop their summary into a storyboard for a book trailer.

4. Collaborate within a small group to develop a story board for a book trailer.

5. Gather the needed pictures, text and video needed to create a book trailer.

6. Revise and publish a book trailer summarizing a given narrative.

English Language Arts
Grades 1 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Other — Studying book trailers as a genre on You Tube

Because many of my students were not familiar with book trailers, we watched several produced trailers on www.youtube.com, created by both publishers and students.  We sat back and enjoyed watching trailers for a few minutes, but then focused on book trailers as a genre and the features included.

As a class, we brainstormed, then recorded the features of book trailers.  My students came up with: short, has music, has video, has pictures of the character and setting, has short text, has voice overs, the music matches the feeling of the book, and the most important...book trailers DO NOT give away the ending! :)

2 Small Group Work

Google Drive
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After reading the book When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead aloud with my class of 4th graders, my students (as a group) generated a list of all the characters found in the book.

As a model for this project, I chose the character, Jimmy from the story. Out loud, I told the story of When You Reach Me through Jimmy's point of view.  I told the class about the problems he faced in the book and the solutions to the problems.  I also talked about how other characters had an impact on the outcome of my story.  Students then chose a character from the generated list that they would like to summary the story through.

Working with partners who chose the same character, students wrote a "Fab 5" Summary (from Aimee Buckner's Notebook Connections). Included in this summary, students wrote: who is main character? What do they want? But, what gets in their way? So, what do they do about it? Then, what happens.

This summary can be written in their writer's notebooks or on a shared Google document in which partners could edit and add to their partner's writing.

This summary helped my students focus their thoughts through the viewpoint of a character in the story.

3 Direct Instruction

For the following lesson, I have selected 4 of the 10+ trailer templates available on iMovie to keep my students focused.  Together, we watch the sample trailers on iMovie.  I ask them to think about which theme would be most appropriate for their character's story.

At http://www.icreatemagazine.com/tips/top-10-imovie-trailer-templates/, I download and print the storyboards my students will need.  I then model my thinking aloud on which text I should include to summarize the story and engage my viewer.  I also model my thinking as to which pictures or videos I might want to put in place to go along with my text.

4 Independent Practice

Students then take their storyboards and use one of our school iPads to shoot video or pictures they will need for their book trailer. Using their storyboard, photos and videos, they type and drag everything into the iMovie app.


5 Wrap Up

Students then share their iPad with me and we view their book trailer together and make any last minutes changes needed. When it is complete, I upload it to my You Tube account.  At the end of the week, we enjoy everyone's trailer as a class.