Book Trailers & Multimedia

There is no better way to spread the love of reading than inviting students to create their own book trailers.  Not only this, but students must also be able to analyze a literary text at a deep level, in order to create a trailer that depicts character, conflict, and theme, while appealing to their peers’ reading sensibilities at the same time.

6th Grade Book Trailers

Book trailers can take on a variety of forms:

  • Still images, text, and voiceover narration or passage read alouds
  • Video footage, where students act out key scenes from the book
  • Combination of video footage, still images, text, and voiceover

A wide range of media literacy skills can be embedded in the book trailer production experience, including:

  • Storyboarding
  • Digital Citizenship:  Respect for intellectual property when using images, music, and stock footage
  • Persuasive and storytelling qualities in the use of images, voice, music, text, and video
  • Editing
  • Publishing multimedia and the various file formats and sharing options


iMovie for iPad:  iMovie for iPad is easy to use and allows students to use text titles, still images, and footage.  Students can use the library of music and sound effects or use creative commons music and sound effects from sites like FreeSound (sound effects), CCMixter, Soundcloud, Purple Planet, and the Free Music Archive.  Most of these sites do not require you to sign up to download music, with the exception of FreeSound and you must be 13+ for that one.

7th Grade Book Trailers:

WeVideoThis Chrome and web-based app allows for students to collaborate on the same project and it works and feels like iMovie.  This is a solid chrome solution for movie production.  If teachers create a pro account (paid), students may join through a “class code”.

Adobe Spark Video:  Part of the Adobe Spark suite (Video, Post, and Page), Adobe Video is a web-based app that allows the user to import still images and video.  The “themes” limit the user to layout, colors, and font styles (“adobe knows best”).  Like other Adobe products, the app is user-friendly and creates beautiful products.  Users can add their own voiceover, and the photo search menu pulls images that are either public domain or creative commons.  The app automatically creates a CC attribution for photos at the end of the video.  Videos can be exported as an MP4 or shared as a link.  And by the way, there is an app version for tablet devices.  Students under 13 need parent permission to create an Adobe ID and use this tool.

Animoto:  Animoto is a web-based app that is simple to use.  The app has a music library with contemporary sounds.  Users can add images, video clips, and text, as well as select a “style” that is animated and engaging.  There is no voiceover feature with this app.  Students under 13 need parent permission to use this tool.  Here’s a library of student-created trailers using Animoto.


Here are a few teacher-tested storyboards and graphic organizers to help students plan:

90-Second Book Trailer – This one is inspired by the 90-Second Newbery Contest.  Here is a rubric to help students think about their use of media.

 Book Blast – This MS Word Doc by teacher Ms. Dietrich  helps students create a script to narrate a “book blast”.

Book Trailer With a Focus on Theme – This storyboard template leaves room for students to document their image sources along the way.  I used this one for Animoto book trailers. It helped students be accountable for using media with proper attributions and citations.