How do your children share their reading experiences? Movie-making activities help kids talk about favorite books. By creating a movie, your children can share what they’ve learned from reading and tell a friend (or the world!) about their favorite books. Whether your kids like to read chapter books, picture books, or articles, children of all ages can share their reading experiences in video projects.
Making movies requires children to have a vision and create a plan. They must make decisions, think critically, listen to feedback, and take action. When kids create videos, they have an opportunity to combine images, music, and voice to visually communicate an idea. It imbues their reading with a sense of purpose. They might read a novel by a favorite author, or research a topic they want to learn more about.
In this blog post, I’ll share four movie-making activities for kids that are a perfect way to get them talking about their reading. You can use these ideas with lots of different movie-making tools. I’m a big fan of the Adobe Spark tools. (Ben Forta and I even wrote a book titled 40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark.) One of the reasons I like this tool is that Spark Video is free for anyone to use. It works on Chromebooks or any laptop/computer with a web browser. There is just so much you can do with Adobe Spark with your children, from creating websites to making infographics. Since it is an open-ended creation tool, the possibilities are endless.
1. Book Trailers
The purpose of a book trailer is to convince an audience to read the book. To create a book trailer, your child will have to decide what key elements to share without giving away the entire plot. Kids can add images that connect to settings and characters. At the end of their video, they can share one big reason someone else should read the book too.
A video book trailer might end with a phrase like:
- You should read this book because…
- If you’re ready to read this book, you can find it…
- You won’t want to miss this book because…
2. Public Service Announcements
A public service announcement shares information and raises awareness about an issue. Kids can choose a problem in their local community or focus on something more global. They might choose a topic based purely on their interests. Alternatively, you might give them some ideas that connect to a topic they have learned about in school. This type of project can incorporate strategies where children read from a variety of sources to synthesize information.
Topics to consider for a public service announcement:
- Plastic bag use
- Drunk driving
- Wearing seatbelts
3. Author Spotlight
Do you have a favorite author? Your children might have one too. Encourage your child to choose one author to profile in an author spotlight. This movie can share information and might also address English Language Arts goals related to writing.
An author spotlight might include:
- Date of birth
- Most famous works
- Fewer known works
- Lasting impact
4. Monthly Recap
Over the course of a month, your children might read lots of picture books, a dozen current events articles, or one or two novels. Regardless of the specific accomplishments, in video format, have them share what they’ve read in a monthly recap.
Kids can choose images and icons connected to their reading experiences. They might even set goals for next month at end of the video.
Here are a few questions to support goal setting:
- What would you like to read next?
- Is there a genre you would like to explore more?
- Have you heard any exciting recommendations from your friends?
Reading can be fun for your whole family. Getting kids talking about books is a great way to build their excitement and share your enthusiasm for reading. Try out one of these activities with your family and have your children show off their movies to a friend, cousin, sibling, or anyone who can celebrate their reading experiences.
Monica Burns, Ed.D. is a curriculum and educational technology consultant, and founder of ClassTechTips.com. She hosts the Easy EdTech Podcast and is author of Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom. Dr. Burns has worked with some of the EdTech companies referenced in this article. Follow her on Twitter here.