I have been planning lessons for year 7 Library lessons, and decided to plan some lessons around book trailers. I have seen examples of publisher-created trailers to promote new titles on YouTube, which look very good and thought this would be an interesting creative activity for pupils to participate in. Creating a book trailer would be a great way for pupils to show how well they have understood a book, and give them the platform to be creative in how they would represent the book to market it to others.
After a little research, I considered two methods by which trailers could be created. The first was to use a service such as animoto (http://animoto.com/), which allows you to create a 30-second video. There is a simple interface through which users can add text, images and music and then this is converted into a movie. This method of creating a book trailer would be relatively simple for pupils, making the process straightforward. It would also create something that looks fairly high-quality too, giving them a satisfying end-product. The downsides are that videos are limited to 30-seconds long on a basic account, and that pupils will have a limited amount of control over the final product. There are a number of “themes” that can be chosen from which determine the look and feel of the final movie, and so pupils would be restricted to this selection and so any major attempts at creativity would be limited.
This is my example of a book trailer using Animoto
The second option came from reading a wiki created by Joy Millam (http://booktalksandmore.pbworks.com/) which described how to create a book trailer using Powerpoint and Windows Movie Maker (WMM). This approach is more complex as it requires the use of WMM software which many pupils will be unfamiliar with. Pupils create a slideshow using PP, save this in jpeg format and then import these jpegs into WMM to then create a movie. This approach will give pupils the opportunity to learn new skills and experience through using WMM. It also allows complete control over the final movie, from transitions between slide images, lengths of time for each image and choice of music. My concern however, will be whether the process will be too complex, no matter how detailed the instructions, for year seven (eleven year old) pupils.
This is my attempt to be used as an example in the lesson
I planned two lessons at the end of July using the PP/WMM method, as I felt this would be the most valuable in terms of skills learned, and creative control over the end-product.
For some reason I can’t embed the worksheet/booklet, but the link is http://bit.ly/9k8lml
On reflection of these planned lessons, I am concerned that this might be too complex for use with classes of 20-30 pupils of very varied abilities. So, one option could be to trial both methods with my book groups in the first term to see which they think is the best approach. This would be a perfect opportunity to try both as the group will be small (approx 10 pupils), much more informal and relaxed. Also it will be a double-lesson, meaning there will be more time to go through the whole process rather than across two single sessions as planned. By doing it in this way, I will be able to get quality feedback from the pupils and revisit the lesson plans if necessary.
So, on reflection, I will trial both methods and take the advice of the pupils themselves as to which will be the best approach.
The process of planning sessions around book trailers has forced me to use these tools, learn new skills and attempt to plan lessons that will facilitate pupils’ learning of these skills. Reflecting on the methods after a period of three weeks away from work has also helped me to view each anew, to see the possible drawbacks of each and to re-assess how I will integrate these lessons into the second module of Library induction.