I love First Chapter Friday so much that I decided we needed to inject some book love into another day of the week. After all, it’s 2020, and we need every little spark of joy we can get. I was tired of waiting until First Chapter Friday to celebrate books, so Book Trailer Tuesday was born!
It’s as simple as it sounds: Show a book trailer and get kids excited about more books. That’s it. Book Trailer Tuesday is all about generating more interest in books, exposing students to new titles, genres, and voices, and cultivating a love for reading. In other words, it’s every English teacher’s dream.
If you’re wondering what a book trailer is, go to YouTube and pursue that rabbit hole right now. There are tons of great YA, middle grade, and children’s book trailers on YouTube. So check a few out and head right back here to make plans for your very first #BTT this Tuesday! Let’s get started!
Why You Should Try Book Trailer Tuesday
Book trailers are the perfect way to hook students on more books and generate reading interest with almost no prep! Here’s why you and your students will love them:
1. Book trailers will expose your students to more books.
No offense to your beautiful classroom library, but book trailers will expose students to books in a way that your bookshelves just can’t. Your books are no good if they’re just sitting there…so bring them to life on the big screen with book trailers! If you show a book trailer every Tuesday, students will have been exposed to 36 new books by the end of the year! Combine Book Trailer Tuesday with First Chapter Friday, and you’ll double that impressive number!
2. Showing book trailers will help you get to know your students as readers and give better book recs.
After showing a few book trailers, you will quickly catch on to the genres, plots, authors, and topics students love. The more you learn about your students’ reading preferences, the better books you’ll be able to feature every Tuesday! You’ll also be able to give better book recs to individual students who come to you when they need a new book. The book trailer titles will be fresh in students’ minds, and if your students are anything like mine, they’ll be much more likely to pick up a book after watching its trailer. I can host book talks all day, but there’s nothing better than pressing play and letting the trailers speak for themselves.
3. Book trailers are low-prep but HIGH-impact.
Seriously, Book Trailer Tuesday couldn’t be more easy. It’s almost too easy when you consider how much reading interest book trailers generate. The only “work” you have to do is find a new book trailer every Tuesday. Better yet, find a good book trailer playlist on YouTube or ask your students for suggestions. Book Trailer Tuesday is a great option if you can’t commit to First Chapter Friday. Think of it like a trial run or condensed version of the joy that is First Chapter Friday.
4. Book Trailer Tuesday works well in ANY environment: traditional, hybrid, or virtual.
Whether you’re pressing play in a physical classroom or linking a video in a digital classroom, this is an activity that works well in any setting. Students will always get excited when they hear the word “video,” no matter where they are!
5. The entire Book Trailer Tuesday process takes less than 3 minutes.
Yep, you read that right. (More on that in the “HOW” section below). We all have 3 minutes…whether that’s at the beginning or end of class. And it doesn’t even have to be a Tuesday. Book Flix Friday, anyone? Watch it Wednesday? It’s easy to fit this in a busy schedule because it does not take much mental effort or time. If you love the idea of First Chapter Friday but don’t have the time to devote to it, Book Trailer Tuesday is an easy alternative. And if you’re already doing First Chapter Friday (like we are), Book Trailer Tuesday will complement it perfectly. 3 minutes, people! It is quick, easy, and high-impact, so you have nothing to lose!
How to Facilitate Book Trailer Tuesday
Are you convinced yet?! If so, here’s how to make Book Trailer Tuesday a success in your classroom. Warning: If it sounds too SIMPLE, that’s because it is! 🙂
1. Find engaging book trailers on YouTube.
There are plenty of book trailers on YouTube! Many are on publishing company channels, others are independently made, and some are even teacher- and student-created. I will add more to this list throughout the year, but here are a few good ones I’ve found and/or used so far:
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Matched by Allie Condie
- I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
Know of a great book trailer? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to this list!
2. Briefly introduce the book.
This is optional, but 30 seconds of introduction helps! Show students the cover, highlight the author and any of their popular titles, and generate a little pre-viewing interest. You can read parts of the back cover blurb before or after the trailer if you want to hook students even more.
3. Show the trailer.
Most are around a minute long! Remind students that book trailers are like movie trailers; they’re designed to hook you and leave you with unanswered questions. Encourage students to think about those questions and make predictions.
4. Quickly chat about the book.
After the book trailer, ask students if they’re interested in reading the book. I have my students record their answers so I can keep track of them, but you don’t even have to do that. You can poll the class or facilitate a quick discussion. I keep this part quick – a minute or so.
5. Have a copy of the book on hand (or info on where to find one).
If possible, it’s great to have a copy of the book so you can lend it out to students. If a title is really popular, I’ll take names to draw in a “book lottery.” If you don’t have a copy, that’s fine. Just make sure you give students information on how they can access it. I always check our school’s library, as well as our public library’s collection of ebooks and audiobooks.
That’s it! If you think it’s too good to be true, I can assure you that it’s just as low-stress and high-engagement as it sounds! If you try this strategy out, I would love to hear how it goes! Tag me in pics on Instagram @writeonwithmissg and feel free to leave comments here. I would love to know what book trailers you use so I can add them to this blog post! Thanks for reading, and enjoy your first-ever Book Trailer Tuesday! 🙂
Need more engaging teaching ideas? Check out the following blog posts: