Fifth grade students revisited favorite (and new!) picture books while creating book trailers for younger students using the iMovie app. When you tap the + sign in iMovie, two choices are presented: new project or new trailer. We used “new trailer” for a few reasons. One of the most important is that there are built in templates and you can find matching printable storyboard templates online:
I prefer these, because they have built in prompts that are helpful:
I started by having the students view examples of book trailers, commercial trailers as well as student-designed trailers. What is the purpose of a trailer? What is commonly included? In small groups, students then selected a book and a theme (adventure, retro, romance, scary, etc.) They were required to provide a statement that explained why the theme they chose was appropriate for their book. This prevented them from all choosing the scary theme (which is quite popular!). It also ensured that students read the book they selected.
Storyboarding is a critical step for any multimedia project, so even though the students are frustrated that they haven’t touched the iPad yet, they are required to complete the storyboard with page numbers or descriptions of pictures and the text they will include. Once the storyboard is completed, it’s a transfer from paper to iPad. Changes are inevitable, but without a plan, the project can quickly digress into confusion. A major lesson we learned is that the place holders in the template cannot be deleted.
My favorite part of this project is viewing day. Even without popcorn, viewing the trailers is a great learning experience as I don’t provide too much instruction on using the app, but rather let students “experiment” on their own. It’s interesting to see what they have figured out, and a great time to have them share their new learning with the rest of the class. “How did you do that?” is a common question. Additionally, the younger students LOVE watching featured trailers in centers and often request the books that are previewed.
Copyright questions abound. The students are required to use pictures from the book, is that acceptable? Is it acceptable as long as the trailers are viewed in-school only? If I include a link to a trailer here, is that a copyright violation? (This is one of my favorites: https://vimeo.com/93997146)
I’m imagining a problem-based research project for next year...