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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Creating Reading Excitement with Book Trailers

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Book Report Alternative: Creating Reading Excitement with Book Trailers

Grades 4 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



After reading books, students share book talks through digital storytelling.  First students plan scripts and then find images to illustrate their scripts.  They also add text, narration, music as well as pan and zoom effects.  Finally, the joy of reading is prompted through the sharing of the students' digital stories.

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  • Microsoft Photo Story:  This free downloadable software program allows the user to create digital stories with narration, text and music as well as pan and zoom effects.
  • Book Review Template:  Students use this template to prepare for their digital stories.

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Voukon asks why teachers are still promoting, “the tried and true one-size-fits-all conflict action climax book report” that does not generate passion for reading in students.  Rozema suggests students create online podcasts to create enthusiasm for reading because they provide an authentic audience for the students’ work in addition to an opportunity for purposeful writing and revision.  Furthermore, students must make decisions about voice recording and music.  Similarly, digital storytelling requires these actions as well as decisions about visual content. It digital will create enthusiasm for reading and engage students in multimodal literacy.

Further Reading

Rozema, Robert. “The Book Report, Version 2.0:  Podcasting on Young Adult Novels.”  English Journal 97.1 (Sept. 2007):  31-36.

Voukon, Michael. “Alternative Book Reports.”  English Journal 94.4 (March 2005):  117-119.

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