In my class this week we began exploring literary elements. I introduced my students to the elements of character, setting, conflict, and theme. We have also been working on the skill of summarizing. We are working towards a class learning goal of being able to have thoughtful and critical discussion about our reading. These “discussions” come in many formats – book talks, informal conversations, letter essays, and this year they will include digital book trailers.
In order to understand the process my students will have to go through and to prepare a “how to” lesson for them I decided to create one myself first.
I used the IMovie app on my IPad and chose to start with a manageable task by using a picture book. I went right to one of my perennial class favourites – Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller.
I was using the trailer project option in IMovie. It provides a great selection of pre-set trailer projects which users can input their own pictures, videos, and wording. The program offers a variety of themes such as family, retro, scary, and adventure. Within each theme the user has about 8 frames (with a varying number of images/videos) to create their trailer in.
I first began by mapping out the story (on paper) focusing on the elements of character and conflict. I then chose images from the book which would support the 8 lines I wrote to convey my message and took pictures of them. An alternative to using pictures from the book would be to search creative commons for images from the internet which would support the text, or to create video which could be inserted.
From there it was a simple process of inputting the text and images.
In the end I had a 1 minute trailer which succinctly shares the gist of the story and invites viewers to read the book.
I can now use the trailer to introduce the project to my students, critique the product, and develop criteria with them.