Lights, Camera, Action

Pedro's book trailer-click to watch

Pedro’s book trailer-click to watch

I wrestle constantly with how much time I should devote to information literacy skills and how much to promoting the sheer joy and love of free, independent, voluntary reading. My passion is the latter, but my lessons for upper grade students often favor the former. The older my students get, the less cool recreational reading is for many of them. Is the emphasis on information literacy, then, misplaced?

As the “invested, introspective and inspired’ librarian that I aim to be, my mission is to save my students from the terrible fate of a bookless future. (Okay, that’s a little melodramatic, but it got your attention, eh?)

Click here to watch AIdan's book trailer

Click here to watch AIdan’s book trailer

So swings my pedagogical pendulum. And did I mention that there’s technology integration to think about?

Kerri W's book trailer-click to watch

Kerri W’s book trailer-click to watch

Tick–Information Literacy

Tock–Free Independent Reading

Tick–Big 6 and the Inquiry Process

Tock–The Book Whisperer (awakening the inner reader in every child)

Tick — Digital learning

Tock – Old-fashioned paper based instruction

Tick–Standards for the 21st Century Learner

Tock–Readers Advisory

As is often the case, a conversation in the teachers’ lounge morphed into a project that quieted all this incessant tick-tocking. One of my colleagues asked me if I could teach the students how to make book trailers. She had seen me working on one during a summer iPad workshop. Here was an opportunity for me to “practice what I pixel”—I could “sell” books to reluctant readers, while teaching a valuable 21st century skill with an authentic purpose. The Fifth Grade Book Trailer Project was born. Still a novice with iMovie, I enlisted the help of our technology specialist and we were off and running.

Information Literacy? Check. Students learned about both safe and copyright free image searching as well as crediting sources.

Free Independent Reading? Check. Students were given (almost) complete autonomy in choosing books for this project

Grace's book trailer-click to watch

Grace’s book trailer-click to watch

Inquiry Process? Check. Successful image searches required thoughtful development of key words.

The Book Whisperer? Check. Allowing and encouraging students to read what they want, in class and out.

Jasmine C's book trailer-click to watch

Jasmine C’s book trailer-click to watch

Digital Learning? Check. Not only was the creation of an iMovie a motivator, but it also became an authentic task when we determined that we could link the book trailers to our online catalog. How exciting to see your own production featured in the school’s catalog for everyone to see!

Old-fashioned paper based learning? Check. Storyboards were created by hand so that students knew exactly what they were expected to do before beginning the movie-making process.

Hayden's book trailer-click to watch

Hayden’s book trailer-click to watch

Standards for the 21st Century Learner? Check. Students used “technology… to display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess”.

Readers’ Advisory? Check. What better reader’s advisory than a recommendation from a fellow student?

Amanda's book trailer, click to watch

Amanda’s book trailer, click to watch

Actions speaking louder than words, please enjoy these short iMovies (45 second to two minutes) about our students’ favorite books. (And if you would like to see more, contact me for the links to the rest of these award-winning productions!)

Roll the credits, please…. Thanks go to Andi Daunais, Nick Greenwood, Lisa Miranda and Jenn Potter and all the wonderful fifth graders at Peaslee School.

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2 Comments on “Lights, Camera, Action”

  1. […] went to watch all of the iMovies that the 5th graders had finished.  Nancy blogged about it at Lights, Camera, Action and included links to some of the movies.  We are also linking them to the catalog in Destiny […]

  2. […] the Readers Theater I wrote about here (thanks Amy Melisi) or the Book Trailers I wrote about here (thanks Andi Daunais and Lisa Miranda and Nick Greenwood), teacher partnerships and new […]


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