Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Trailers: A Place In Our Classroom Communities?

It's summer and I'm sitting here thinking about book trailers.  Yes, book trailers.  

This year my students were so interested in connections between the internet and literature that I want to spend some time investigating these links.  I hope to learn more about author websites, literacy apps for iPod/iPad, picture books available on e-readers, and other ways literature links to their world.  

One connection I think may be powerful in our reading community is book trailers....but where to start?

Where do you begin looking for book trailers?  What do you look for?  How will they be useful with young readers?  I wasn't sure.  So, I did what I always do now.  I asked my colleagues on Twitter.  

Who better to begin this summer investigation than Mr. Schu Reads?  I must admit that Mr. Schu may be the reason I have been thinking about trailers.  He is good about tweeting links to new trailers and keeping us informed of books soon to be released.  You'll want to follow his blog, Watch.  Connect.  Read., as he is constantly sharing new information about children's books.  I asked for help, and he was quick to my rescue (thanks, Mr. Schu).

Like I said, he's an expert.  I began looking through the trailers he had suggested.  Here are some of my thoughts as I watched.

Some book trailers seem to be intended to advertise and generate interest.
These book trailers create interest in reading.  
Shoe-La-La!   Karen Beaumont (author)  Leuyen Pham (illustrator)


They help get kids excited about new books with favorite characters like Knuffle Bunny.

They tell kids about books by favorite authors as in these trailers:

They bring new book possibilities to young readers.
Little Chicken's Big Day Jerry Davis (author) Katie Davis (author, illustrator)

While some trailers generate excitement about what a story will be about, others tell the story in purposeful ways.
Young readers can listen to stories at home.  Repeated readings can help support young language learners.  

Like repeated readings, listening to stories can make them more familiar and easier to read independently.

Listening to books can help children develop a sense of story putting the sounds and rhythms of language in their hearts and in their heads.  
Ladybug Girl Goes at the Beach  Jacky Davis (author) David Soman (author, illustrator)

Some trailers can support learning about the craft of writing.
Book trailers can help young writers learn how authors and illustrators work.
Yes Day!  Amy Krouse Rosenthal (author) Tom Lichtenheld (illustrator)

Authors and illustrators can help young writers know what is essential in good stories. 

I'm thinking there is some potential with book trailers so I'm going to keep searching and pondering.  How do you use trailers with young readers?  Where do you find them?  Are there particular characteristics you look for in trailers?  I hope you'll share your thinking.  Is there a place for book trailers in our reading communities?

A Few Channels For Trailers:


  1. Now I know what I will have to make space for in my summer to-do list: book trailers! Thanks for sharing...

  2. Cathy~ You have created an amazing resource for many! Many, many, many thanks for your time and sharing your knowledge! Your help will touch MANY kids!

  3. What an eye-opening post. I have used book trailers to entice my students with an eagerly awaited (by them or me) new book, but you took the concept so much farther. Thanks for the ideas.