Bringing Them in with Trailers

moivesHow do you choose a movie?

My husband and I don’t see many movies, but when we do, we are often influenced by movie trailers–especially those shared by friends and family. So I was interested when a recent National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast featured Mike Woolen, who has created trailers for movies including Birdman, Boyhood, and The Theory of Everything. Courtesy of NPR, you can easily listen to the broadcast or read the script.

Trailers are a mini-art form that can fit well into school curriculum. They are short, so they don’t involve the enormous amounts of time required for longer films. They can also be presented via PowerPoint rather than film, if you want to minimize technical production challenges.

moviecameraTrailers can be used in a variety of ways to “sell” films, books, or aspects of science or social studies curriculum. And they even help students achieve the Common Core goals of understanding and presenting content in multiple forms. Imagine students creating trailers to sell a favorite book, introduce a report on a historical figure, or as a “hook” for a science project.

There are a number of web resources available to help you plan movie trailers, from summaries intended for adult movie-makers to lessons on creating book trailers. Creating trailers can also provide an introduction to visual storytelling that can lead to longer media projects. At home, creating a trailer to introduce the family vacation photos could be a great weekend project.

Have your students created trailers that supported your curriculum? If you have, we’d love to hear about them.

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