Tag Archives: trailer

BookFlix Friday (11) — Crown of Midnight


BookFlix Friday is a meme started by David Etkin of {Eat the Book} where we post book trailers that we plan to share with our students to get them reading.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?(Goodreads summary)

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

I shared this title in my Waiting on Wednesday post this week, and I had to share the trailer today because I think it’s one that will really grab the attention of my students. I mentioned in my WoW post that I think the anime-ish quality of the cover will entice more of my male readers to pick up the series, and I think that the trailer only helps that cause.

I had a student last year who always wanted title suggestions for books with “action, stealth, and a warrior’s heart,” and I think this year I will start him out with this series!

My only complaint about the trailer are the blurbs. My students don’t really care if a book received a starred Kirkus review, and even if they did, the blurbs move too quickly for them to read it. I would rather see that time used to talk more about the book and drawing us in to the story. Just my 2 cents!

What do you think of the trailer? Does it make you want to read the book? Would you share this with your students?


Student Made Book Trailers


Last night, I was chatting with some fellow Texas educators on the #txed Twitter chat, and I mentioned that my students were currently creating book trailers. There was some interest in how I had my students create them, so I figured the best way to disperse info was to do a blog post!

Prepping Students

I’m a firm believer that students need mentor examples when they’re working on any project. I keep examples of everything we do so that I have examples of what my students should do. Before we start the project, I show my students examples of storyboards former students have completed. As they’re looking at the storyboards, I play completed book trailers and show them how each planned “slide” became the trailer together. We also talk about what worked and what didn’t with each trailer — Was it too fast so we didn’t have time to read the words? Was the font written in a color and style that was easy to read? Was the picture good quality? Was there continuity of photos chosen to depict what a character “looks” like? This helps the students have an idea of what I expect and what the project is all about.

Prepping Computers

Before we start anything, I have everyone on a laptop and we create their [Name’s] Book Trailer Pics folder (where they save their pictures) and their Book Trailer Sites document (where they save website citations of pictures they use). Students complete their storyboards at different intervals throughout the days and class periods. Creating these necessary pieces saves time so that students can jump right in when they complete their storyboard.

Creating Storyboard

I found out the hard way that telling students they’re going to make a trailer and releasing them to the interwebz was a recipe for disaster. That’s why rule #1 with my students while working on their trailer is:

You don’t touch a computer until your storyboard is complete!

There’s a two-fold reason for this:

  1. When I have students create their trailer I’m assessing their comprehension and knowledge of the book that they read. I don’t want them to google a summary and use someone else’s thoughts. I want to hold students accountable for their reading.
  2. Having a storyboard gives them a plan. We’ve all been guilty of falling into a rabbit hole while on the internet. We search and click and click and click and search and click…and before we know it, it’s time for bed. When that happens for a student working on a project, they’re set up for failure.

My storyboard is super simple. My students and I create it together (I’m a firm believer in modeling!), but for lower level teachers or to save time, you could always create a master copy and provide copies for students.

(1) Fold paper “hot dog” then in half twice so that you have 8 boxes. (2) Trace creases and number boxes on front and back. (3) Measure 2 fingers and draw a different colored line on front and back. (4) Top section is for picture description. Bottom section is for summary text. (5) Final storyboard!

Completing Storyboard

In the “text” portion of the storyboard, students write exactly what we will read on the screen when we view their final project. I tell them that I want a summary of the book that includes the main events. Their last slide (#16) must be a question that prompts the viewer to wonder about the ending of the story. They can have other questions throughout the storyboard, but the last slide must be a question.

In the “pic” portion of the storyboard, students write a quick description of the picture they want to find for that slide. Some students would rather sketch a picture, which is awesome as well!

I recommend to my students that they complete the whooooole text part first, then go back to decide what picture they want. This helps them get into a groove and stay focused on the continuity of their summary. Some students don’t listen at first (I’m just the teacher, what do I know, right?), so if they get stuck while working I’ll give a gentle nudge that they try it my way…and it almost always works better for them.

Here are some examples of completed storyboards:

My class periods are about 45 minutes, and I planned in 3 class periods for storyboard work. After that, in my plan/timetable they should be on the computer. I tell them that if they’re not on the computer by this point, they run the risk of not having time to complete their trailer or put the fancy bells and whistles on. Their lack of work now can effect their work/grade later. Some will say, “Can I just get on the computer? I know what I want to do!” and the answer remains the same…you don’t touch a computer until your storyboard is complete!

Ready For Computer

Once a student is finished with their storyboard, I give it a quick check and clear them for the computer. I have a class set of copies of the Movie Maker Directions which I keep in sheet protectors. The student gets their laptop from the cart, gets a copy of the directions, and off they go! If they ever ask me a question, I respond with, “What do the directions say?” because everyyyy click they need to make is accounted for in the directions!

I uploaded the directions to SlideShare, so feel free to download and use for your projects if you also use Movie Maker!

Once students start on the computer, there’s very little that they need my help with. They have a partner read over their text and make sure there aren’t any typos, and I’ll read over it as well if they want me to.
I have had students in the past who wanted to take their own photos or draw pictures for their project. This is always awesome! I just tell them to take/draw&scan the pictures  and bring them in on a jump drive so they can use them!


So that’s pretty much that! As their last step, students add music in the background of the trailer, but I don’t have the instructions with me, so I will make that a separate post!
If you use this post and have any feedback, I would love to hear it! What do you do differently in your classes?

BookFlix Friday (10) – The One and Only Ivan


BookFlix Friday is a meme started by David Etkin of {Eat the Book} where we post book trailers that we plan to share with our students to get them reading.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

The One and Only Ivan

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.(Goodreads summary)

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

I read The One and Only Ivan for the first time this week, and I was absolutely blown away. It is completely deserving of all of the awards and praise it has received! My librarian ordered a copy after I asked her to, and I can’t wait to share the trailer and the book with my students now that I’ve had a chance to read it!

BookFlix Friday (9) – Paranormalcy


BookFlix Friday is a meme started by David Etkin of {Eat the Book} where we post book trailers that we plan to share with our students to get them reading.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal. (Goodreads summary)

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

This book was on my Top 10 Tuesday post this week for series that I want to start. Also, this is a book on our intermediate grade Name That Book Contest. I’ve have friends who really love the series, and I was lucky enough to read Kierseten White’s newest book, Mind Games, and it was uh-mazing. If the Paranormalcy series is near as good, I can’t wait to start it!

BookFlix Friday (8) – The Future Of Us


BookFlix Friday is a meme started by David Etkin of {Eat the Book} where we post book trailers that we plan to share with our students to get them reading.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right – and wrong – in the present. (Goodreads summary)

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

I loved this book, and I adore the book trailer. It gives such a quick, perfect preview of the book. My students were amazing that “that noise” was the sound of the computer connecting to the internet. It’s next to impossible for them to imagine a world without facebook! They absolutely love the idea of being able to see their “facebook future” as they put it. If you haven’t shared this trailer with your students, it is destined to get this book the shelf and into a reader’s hands.

BookFlix Friday (7) – If I Stay


BookFlix Friday is a meme started by David Etkin of {Eat the Book} where we post book trailers that we plan to share with our students to get them reading.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands. (Goodreads summary)

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

I think that this is such a great example of a “fan-made” trailer! My students love this trailer, and many of my students have picked up this book because of it. However, when you read If I Stay (and the sequel Where She Went) be sure that you have a box of tissues handy!

BookFlix Friday (6) – Boy21


BookFlix Friday is a meme started by David Etkin of {Eat the Book} where we post book trailers that we plan to share with our students to get them reading.

Boy21 by Matthew Quick


Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he’s called “White Rabbit”, the only white kid on the varsity basketball team. He’s always dreamed of getting out somehow with his girlfriend, Erin. But until then, when he puts on his number 21, everything seems to make sense.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. A former teen basketball phenom from a privileged home, his life has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he now answers only to the name Boy21—his former jersey number—and has an unusual obsession with outer space.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, “Boy21” may turn out to be the answer they both need. (Goodreads summary)

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

Boy21 was one of my absolute favorite reads of 2012. Some people might shy away from this because “it’s about basketball,” but it is about so much more than basketball. Friendship. Loyalty. Finding yourself. Family. This is one that I’ve booktalked to my students, and it is always checked out!