Book Talks & Trailers

Teach with Picture Books

A picture book trailer provides just a glimpse of the overall story, with plenty of visuals and just enough hook to draw in the viewer.

So how can classroom teachers make the best use of these videos?
  • Book trailers can create a sense of anticipation for an upcoming novel or even picture book. A teacher can whet appetites for the next day's reading by showing a book trailer at the end of each day. (Example:  Swindle book trailer)
  • By their short nature, book trailers provide a clear model of summarizing. Trailers may additionally provide models of other literary techniques including cliffhangers, foreshadowing, mood, pacing, and tone.
  • Prior to the introduction of a novel, the trailer is an alternative way to provide a general story outline, apart the back cover blurb. This allows students to focus less on the overall "story line" and to concentrate more intently on literary elements. After seeing a preview for a movie, we often feel that we can predict the entire movie's story line, yet we go to see it anyway. Why? Because we want to fill in the gaps that the preview intentionally created. We also want to enjoy the visual elements, the witty banter, the twists and turns that the trailer only hinted at.
See more ideas at:  There's now a Kids' Lit Book Trailer Ning.

Enhanced Podcasts

Kathy Kaldenberg, Librarian, Solon High School shares enhanced podcasts written and produced by 7th graders.

Encourage your community members to subscribe to podcasts using RSS.

Check them out at:

Using Book Trailers to introduce Novel Units

Christina Nakazaki is a MS Language Arts teacher who has her entire LA curriculum online at and creates book trailers to introduce each of her novels.  Check out her YouTube page for some fabulous examples!

Book Trailers

Laura Beals D'Elia, Librarian and Technology Teacher at Fay School in
Southborough, MA suggests creating short book trailers using free video editing software (iMovie, MovieMaker, Photostory) to promote new books that are being released.  Include images, titles, narration and audio music. Embed the movies on your library home page.  She also recommends

Excellent list of Book Trailers on Joyce Valenza's Book Leads site:

Kathy Kaldenberg keeps a playlist on YouTube of favorite book trailers.

"At our middle school media center, we created a YouTube playlist that we run on an old LCD projector on a loop when there is student traffic. The most popular video? Don't interrupt me when I'm reading a book"

BookCasting Club

Stephanie Thomas, Librarian at Parkrose High School, has a Bookcasting Club where the students come in after school and record an audio Vodcast promoting a favorite title.  Check out their Vodcasts here!

The Lightning Thief read by Ian F.

Book Trailers

Michelle Harclerode's students make their trailers with Photo Story 3.  She then linked their trailers together using Adobe Premiere 10.0 (but could also be made into a YouTube playlist). If you want to learn more about making trailers with links and handouts you can visit her site Book Trailers For Readers

Book Trailers are easy to make in iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.  They don't need to be too long - just peek the interest of your students.  Use copyfriendly images and record your book talk in GarageBand or Audacity.  Some of the slides for this book trailer were made in PowerPoint and then saved as *.jpg.

This project takes the same book trailer above and embeds it in a ThingLink Image.  Notice how you can add text & video into the image (which was created on an iPad using Comic Life).

This book trailer was make with iMovie by a La Salle Prep student.  The audio was recorded in Garageband.

Twelfth Night using Xtranormal

Public Service Announcements

Have students create short 15/30 second audio Public Service Announcements (using Audacity, Garageband, etc) to be played over the school PA system during announcements.  Great for Teen Read or Banned Books Week.