Tag Archives: book trailers

Reel Reading for Real Readers: Stephen King Fest

ReelReading2I am not much of a horror reader, but I am a Stephen King fan. I remember the first of his books I read was It, but I don’t think I finished it. Too chicken. I also read The Long Walk, which I thought was an okay read until the end, and I thought it was stupid–probably because it made me mad.

My favorite King book is Misery, maybe because it’s more realistic than some of the others. Annie Wilks is a truly frightening character. (Now that I am a Criminal Minds re-run junkie, Annie scares me even more.)

Since I am trying to get many of my student readers to reach beyond YA fiction, I’m thinking a few Stephen King book talks with a few book trailers might be just the thing for Halloween.

The movie for Misery was almost as creepy as the book.

And, of course, the new movie version of Carrie is in theaters now.

Reel Reading for Real Readers: Columbine by Dave Cullen

20130207-190708By far the best book I read this summer was Columbine by Dave Cullen. As part of my class at #UNHLit13, I chose to read this book and study it for craft with three other teachers. Maybe that’s why it’s my favorite.

I’ve been in book clubs before, and I’ve had my students conducting literature circles for a long while now, but I’ve never experienced the power of studying a book like this one.  Maybe it was the subject matter. Maybe it was the amazing group of professionals who were invested in the process as much as I was. Whatever it was, Dave Cullen has crafted a masterful piece that moved me.

I want my students to experience this kind of emotion when they read a book. I also want them to see the art in crafting language. (I’ll use excerpts in mini-lessons throughout the year.)

These are the first clips I will show my students this year, and I guarantee my copy of Columbine will land in a student’s hand, and the waiting list will start out long. I better prep the school library to get their copy ready, too.

Reel Reading: How about these book trailers?

20130207-190708It’s been a long time coming, but my students have finally produced some pretty good book trailers. I began showing trailers as a way to introduce books and encourage reading at the beginning of the year. Every Friday was silent reading day, and every Friday I chatted with kids about books they’d finished. We wrote on sticky notes and made a “recommendations” wall. We stood up and “testified” to the truth in books and how they touched our souls. No doubt, since I promoted reading more during class time this year, I created more readers.

Evidence? STAAR EOC scores are in. Almost every student who passed their reading test has been vocal in our classroom conversations about books this year. (One kiddo surprised me and scored satisfactorily–his average is a 26, but he passed the reading test. Go figure.)

I know. I know. Test scores are not everything. But… my readers certainly scored better than my non-readers.

On my classroom wall, I have my own six word memoir:  “Reading makes you smarter. Try it.” Those who did have done better than those who have not.

2 reading smarter

Our book trailer project is the culmination of our reading efforts this year. I wish we would have more time to polish them up, make sure we cited image sources, spelled words correctly and all that, but exams are next week, and bell schedules are crazy with awards assemblies, etc. Our time is gone.

Here’s a sampling of the most interesting of my student-made book trailers. Although not perfect, remember, these are 9th graders in an on-level English I class, Title I school. I’m a little proud.

Crackback by John Coy, created by Brandon. He used photos from our own football team.

Brandon Crackback

Unwind by Neal Shusterman, created by Heidi. Look at her hook!

Heidi –Unwind

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer, created by Biridiana. She learned the medium on her own and came up with this!

Child Called It- Biri

The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal, created by Kristen. Okay, so the trailer’s not great, but the video of the girl is Kristen herself. Cool.

The Lifeguard- Kristen

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles, created by Brenda. The use of quotes from the book creates the book’s selling points.

See You at Harry’s- Brenda

Reaction by Lesley Choyce, created by Ashley. Other than her characterization using Juno… <smile>

Reaction by Ashley

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, created by Jonathan. This one got traction when we showed it to the class. Wish it had more umph at the end.

Dahmer- Jonathan

I’d love to hear your ideas of using book trailers to create readers– or anything else you can teach me about books, kids, and reading!

Reel Reading for Real Readers: Summer YA Book Trailers

20130207-190708Pinterest, I love thee!

I didn’t think I would, but when my daughter told me that people were refurbishing and painting “old and ugly furniture like you have in the house, and you can learn how to do it on Pinterest,” I took a peek.

Yeah, ideas galore. (I even took my daughter’s advice, and who knew I could paint such beautiful furniture?)

But, here’s the thing:  There are boards for almost Everything. Even Summer Reading ideas for YA.

Oh, yes, please!

So, #ReelReading will take a break until school starts up next fall, and in the mean time– go check out this awesome board. I’m sharing it with my students next week.


Reel Reading: A Child Called ‘It’

20130207-190708.jpgI’d love to get my students to do some of this cool typography. Since they will be making their book trailers this week, I wanted to show them this option for their creations.

I’ve had great success getting even the most reluctant readers to read A Child Called ‘It’ by Dave Pelzer.

See? Isn’t all that letter and word movement cool?

If students like the topic of abuse (which I don’t quite understand), they might also like Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons. I haven’t seen the movie, but this trailer looks like it’s pretty well done.

Maybe next time I’ll look for happy topics.

Sheesh, Amy. This is depressing stuff.

Reel Reading: ROOM. Oh, my sweet Jack!

20130207-190708Few books hit me in the gut and make me weep, but ROOM by Emma Donoghue did just that. Told from the point of view of just just turned 5-year old Jack, this story of abuse, survival, and enduring love packs a punch that leaves you gasping.

Soon after I read ROOM, I heard the real life story of Jaycee Dugard and hurried to the book store to buy the book that shares her story, A Stolen Life.  Oh, my! Terrifying, horrifying, and. . . hopeful.

A Stolen Life

I have students, mostly my reluctant readers, who devour the book A Child Called ‘It‘. These kids often enjoy (or at least have a love/hate relationship) with  these other titles, too.

What is it within us that makes us want to learn of others’ suffering so?

Reel Reading: The House of the Scorpion

20130207-190708I love to watch student-made book trailers, especially when the students are not mine, and I’ve already read the book. I guess I see with a teacher’s eye:  Did the student get the gist of the book? Did she love it and want others to read it as much as I did?

I felt a thrill when I watched this trailer for Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion. The images and music parallel one another nicely, adding that touch of intrigue, which parallels the adventures in the book. The few errors in writing make me smile– my students will do that, too.

My kids will soon start creating their own book trailers. They got to choose the books they read. They get to figure out how to format and create a trailer that will get others to want to read that book. Should be interesting to see what they come up with.

I cannot wait.

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