Monday, November 5, 2012

Using "Commercials" to Get Kids Excited About Books

In a recent blog post, I suggested a list of books to use as read alouds for the month of November. The list included my favorites along with titles that were suggested by fans on the Clutter-Free Classroom Facebook Page. I so love getting suggestions from you all...even though it's harmful to my wallet. :)

A reader (Hi Missy!) recommended a book she had just read aloud to her 5th graders, Wonder by R.J. Palacio. A couple readers "liked" her comment and another reader (Hi Laurie!) commented that she also felt it was a fabulous read aloud.

I was intrigued.

So I rushed over to Amazon and saw that almost 300 people gave it a "5 star review."


I'm really working hard this year to help my students LOVE to read and to teach them how to be "self-selected readers." I allow time for them to talk about what they are reading and make recommendations to their peers. I realized that this strategy was working for me too because I found myself interested in this text because of what others were saying about it.

After checking the book out I noticed there was a trailer for it.

And I watched it.

And it made me REALLY want to read the book.

And that got me thinking.

If I was excited about reading a book because of a trailer (which is essentially a commercial) then I'm sure our highly visual, plugged-in, tech-loving students will very likely have the same reaction. So now I am on a mission to find more quality books that offer trailers and plan to show them to my students when I introduce the book to our classroom library.

click here to: Watch the Trailer for Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Have you used book trailers in your classroom? Do you have any to recommend?

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  1. This is a great idea! I'm always looking for some tech-savvy way to introduce or teach a concept. I can't [always] compete with a cartoon!

  2. I love this idea! If you consistently had students make trailers throughout the year, then by the end of the year you would have a whole video library of book trailers! Then, at the beginning of the NEXT school year you could introduce several books that students could find in your classroom library by showing some of the video trailers that previous classes had made! GREAT idea! love!

    The Classroom Game Nook

  3. On a similar note, my daughter actually got super excited about writing a review for Amazon. We read a couple of reviews, and she got the idea, it's basically a mini book-report, with an opinion. She was highly motivated and did a great job, and got a huge kick out of seeing it on there (there is a way of inputting that somebody under 18 is writing the review and it is totally safe).

  4. The last few years I have had my third graders make book commercials for the independent reading books they liked. They had to write a lead to engage the listener/viewer then write a review that leads the reader in suspense and needing to read the book to find out what happens. The kids really enjoyed writing them and they also illustrated 3-4 parts of the book that they included in their review. We videotaped them in the beginning like an oral report (just the student standing and showing their pictures and giving their review) then later we taped the pictures only and the students did voice-overs. Its a fantastic way to get students interested!

  5. You can go to YouTube, type in a title with the word "trailer" after it, and find many of the titles you are looking for. Some are made by classrooms, others by publishers. Here are a couple of links to fun sites:
    You can also do a search for "book trailers" (in any search engine) and get results. I have used these before book orders, in a regular classroom, and in a library when I was getting my endorsement. They are a fun way to hook the kids!


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