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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Creating Reading Excitement with Book Trailers

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


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


Materials and Technology






  • Computers with Internet capabilities and Photo Story
  • Classroom with LCD projector and whiteboard/interactive whiteboard
  • Computer headphones and microphones (optional)

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  • Book Trailers for Readers

    For examples of book trailers, use this website.  Note the link to student-made book trailers.

  • TeacherTube

    Search using the terms “book trailers,” and several examples are available.  Also, teachers can use the tutorial for Photo Story.

  • SchoolTube

    More searchable student-made examples are available here.

  • YouTube for Education

    Many schools block YouTube but may allow this portion of YouTube. It is searchable for book trailers.  Also, downloading videos and saving them outside of the school may be an option.

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  1. Check that the computers students will use have Photo Story downloaded.  If not, download the software.  Ask your technology coordinator for assistance, if necessary.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the software using the Microsoft Photo Story Instructions and the tutorial on TeacherTube.  Create a book trailer for a book your class has read, or use the websites to find some samples for the students to view in the first session.  Some possible examples are Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhai Lai from YouTube, Rules by Cynthia Lord from TeacherTube, Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm from Book Trailers for Readers, and How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart from SchoolTube.
  3. Make copies for each student of the printouts What Will I Read Next?, Book Review Template, Book Trailer Rubric, Checklist for Book Trailer Script, Book Trailer Checklist, and Microsoft Photo Story Instructions.
  4. Reserve time in the library or computer lab for five sessions—one session to save images, three sessions to create Photo Stories, and one session for students to share with a partner to check the project before showing the class.
  5. If possible, have the image websites bookmarked on the computers.  If that is not feasible, you can sign up for a wiki at Wikispaces where you can create a class page for the links and where you could post the book trailers.  If that is not possible, make copies of the Image Websites, one per computer.

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