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11 Birthdays Book Trailer Assignment

It's the birthday of the avant-garde composer Igor Stravinsky (1882), born in Oranienbaum, near St. Petersburg, Russia. His first major success as a composer was a ballet based on a Russian folk tale, called The Firebird (1909). It was wildly popular, and he traveled all over Europe to conduct it. He then got an idea for a ballet about a pagan ritual in which a virgin would be sacrificed to the gods of spring by dancing herself to death. Stravinsky composed the piece on a piano in a rented cottage, and a boy working outside his window kept shouting up at him that the chords were all wrong. When Stravinsky played part of the piece for director of the theater where it would be performed, the director asked, "How much longer will it go on like that?" Stravinsky replied, "To the end, my dear." He titled the piece The Rite of Spring. At its premiere in 1913 in Paris, the audience broke out into a riot when the music and dancing turned harsh and dissonant. The police came to calm the chaos, and Stravinsky left his seat in disgust, but the performance continued for 33 minutes and he became one of the most famous composers in the world.

-- The Writer's Almanac

Have you ever been to the movies and watched the previews for upcoming attractions? If you are like me, you have seen lots and lots of them!

Those previews for movies got me thinking. What if we took that same idea and applied it to books? We could have previews for awesome books in the library! And…..what if instead of me making them like the one I made for The One and Only Ivan, the STUDENTS made them? How awesome would that be?

That’s how our original book trailer project got started! After the 4th grade students saw the “Ivan” trailer, they asked if they could make one too! A new technology and literacy project was born.

To get us started, we watched some other book trailers in our 4th grade library classes to get ideas on the website Booktrailersforall.com and Booktrailersforreaders.com Then we watched some book trailers that I made. The One and Only Ivan trailer is the one that Katherine Applegate saw and asked to come to our school and meet us! You can see them here on my book trailer page on our blog.

There’s lots more information with photos of our project, on our Kid Lit Movies post. Our students use either Windows MovieMaker or Photostory3 to create their book trailers because they are supported programs in our district.

Tonight on the Titanic

by Mary Pope Osborne

Anno’s Magic Seeds

by Mitsumasa Anno

Good Morning, Gorillas

by Mary Pope Osborne



Owl Moon

by Jane Yolen

The Return of the Indian

by Lynne Reid Banks

Tale of Despereaux

by Kate DiCamillo

Mummies in the Morning

by Mary Pope Osborne

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Jeff Kinney

The Fire Within

by Chris D’ Lacey

Long Shot

by Mike Lupica

Bound for Oregon

by Jean Van Leeuwen

Big Nate Strikes Again

by Lincoln Peirce

Stone Fox

by John Reynolds Gardiner

  39 Clues: Maze of Bones

by Rick Riordan

Civil War on Sunday

by Mary Pope Osborne

Bases Loaded

by Mike Knudson

Ivy & Bean: Break the Fossil Record

by Annie Barrows

Paintball Invasion

by Jake Maddox

Trailers from 2015 (grade 4)

made with Photostory3

11 Birthdays
by Wendy Mass

Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying

by Barbara Park

Elephants Cannot Dance

by Mo Willems

Inside Out and Back Again

by Thanhha Lai

11 Birthdays

by Wendy Mass

I Survived the Nazi Invasion of 1945

by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916

by Lauren Tarshis

Storybook of Legends (Ever After High series)

By Shannon Hale

Noodle (Puppy Place series)

by Ellen Miles

Zombie Chasers

by John Kloepfer

The Secret Zoo

by Bryan Chich


by Gary Paulsen

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

by Liz Kessler

 Emily Windsnap and the Siren’s Secret

by Liz Kessler

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

by Jeff Kinney

 Diary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney

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