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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Four Things Students Need to Create Good Book Trailers

Creating book trailer videos is a great alternative to a traditional written book report assignment. In a book trailer video students highlight their favorite elements of a story and try to entice viewers to read the book themselves. Much like a movie trailer that tries to get viewers to watch the full movie, a book trailer should give viewers just enough to be interested in the full story without giving away the conclusion to the story. If you have heard of book trailers and wanted to try having your create book trailers, here are the four things they'll need to get started after reading a book.

A script/ outline:
Before I let students start to assemble a video, I make them write a script or outline for the video. Writing a script or outline forces students to think about the points that they want to emphasize in their videos without thinking about the technical aspects of the video creation process. By having students submit a script or outline to me before they start creating a video I can review it for accuracy.

Images:
Your students will want to use pictures in their videos to represent key elements and characters in the books they have read. You could have students draw pictures to use in their videos. They might also take pictures of their own to use in their videos. Both of those methods avoid any danger of copyright infringement.

It's not always possible for students to use images they own. In those cases you'll want them to use images that are either in the public domain or images that are labeled with a Creative Commons license. Some video creation tools like Adobe Spark include a Creative Commons image search tool. Otherwise your students will need to conduct an online search for images. One place that I frequently use to find Creative Commons licensed images is PhotosforClass.com. Flickr's The Commons and Pixabay are two places I often visit for public domain images. You can watch video overviews of those resources in this post.

Audio recordings:
At a minimum your students will need to have a music track in their book trailer videos. Many video editing tools include a library of free music that students can use. The odds are good that your students will also want to include some voice-over elements in their videos. The video editing tools Stupeflix, Adobe Spark, WeVideo, and iMovie all have built-in voice-over recording tools. Outside of those tools your students

Many of the aforementioned video editing tools offer sound effects too. Your students may want to look for sounds beyond what's included in their video editor of choice. The following two resources offer nice collections of free music and sound for student projects.

The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various creative commons licenses. The New York State Music Fund provided initial funding for FMA. FMA seeks to maintain a high-quality resource through the use of selected curators who approve or deny all submissions to the collection. Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats. The music collections can be searched by genre or by curator.

Sound Bible is a resource for finding and downloading free sound clips, sound effects, and sound bites. All of the sounds on Sound Bible are either public domain or labeled with a Creative Commons license. You can find sounds for use in podcasts, videos, slideshows, or other multimedia creations.

Video editor:
Currently, Adobe Spark and Stupeflix are my favorite tools for creating simple book trailer videos. In the videos embedded below I provide tutorials on how to use both of those free tools. Stupeflix does not require users to have an email address or to register for an account. Adobe Spark does require users to register.