Readbox, QR Codes, Book Trailers with IMOVIE and a rubric ~ We've been busy! { Monday Made Its }

I am lovin' MONDAY MADE IT this week!  My whole family worked together on this project.
It all started with this.  Ahhh...Pinterest! :)
I have been dreaming of my own READBOX for months.  Hubby is quite the handy man.  Here's some pics of his MONDAY MADE IT. :)  He's a trooper!

After the creation of our READBOX, we needed some BOOK TRAILERS to display.  I have been stalking and reading about classroom made book trailers for several months and working on a plan.  I have explored ANIMOTO and IMOVIE.
I decided to go with IMOVIE for our first project.
I played around a bit and learned a few things before I tackled this with my boys.
  • IMOVIE provides themes with preset transitions and music for convenience.  Very cool feature and a great way to talk about the theme, tone, and mood of a book. :)
  • IMOVIE provides an outline for your trailer. (super easy)
  • IMOVIE provides a storyboard to help you organize your text and pics.
  • IMOVIE allows videos or pictures.  We kept it simple and only used pics this time.
  • I'm sure there are many useful built-ins that I haven't found yet! Please share them in the comments if you are familiar with this app. :) Your tips will help me, as well as other readers.  :)
After my exploration, I grabbed my 8 and 10 year old boys, made a really super big deal about how much fun we were going to have creating our model example, crossed my fingers, and dove into IMOVIE!  (If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I am a big fan of enlisting kids to create models for other kids.  It is amazing the results you can get from approaching a project this way.  You can read a bit about it here if you like.)

First step: We started by choosing our THEME.  Since both boys have read CHOMP, they wanted to use the EXPEDITION theme, music and transition included, of course.  That's what makes it so easy. ;)

Second step: I printed a template from here, to give the boys a structure to work with.  The template made our planning super simple!  This site provides a template for each IMOVIE theme, but I did find some discrepancies, so please double check before you use them.

Final Step: Using the very user-friendly Storyboard built into IMOVIE, the boys either chose pics from Google or took their own pics, simply by clicking on the silhouette inside the Storyboard.
Easy as pie! :)

Here's their final project!  Notice the name of the studio is "THE GREEN SCREENS."  My youngest wanted our "studio" to be named after all of us.  We are the Greens. ;)

Not bad I'd say for a first try on a Sunday afternoon. :)  The mom in me loved that we did it together, and were actually talking about books as a family. :)  The teacher in me had to try very hard to stay quiet as the boys made a few mistakes as they worked.  :)  I kept telling myself it was all part of the learning process.

Here are my teacher thoughts on Book Trailers with IMOVIE.
  • This is a fun way to share books and could be very motivating.
  • Simply choosing the right present theme offers a great conversation about tone and mood. 
  • The template requires a very limited amount of words, so our students will need to determine the important parts of their books and stick with that.
  • Talk about summarizing skills!
  • Adding pictures to a trailer really requires a complete understanding of the text.  (I would like to think that my students would begin to think more deeply while reading because they just might be creating trailers in the minds as they read, thus noting more details.)
  • Tons and tons of technology skills are needed to complete a trailer from start to finish.  This is a good thing! :)
  • A rubric might be necessary to rein in the creativity.  I let my boys simply have fun with it, but I created a rubric to use in my classroom.  You may grab it here if you like.

Once our trailer was complete, we printed a copy of the cover of the book and attached a QR code. (We created the code in REDLASER.) Our code linked straight to our trailer loaded onto KIDBLOG.  Now, whenever a student is curious about whether or not he would like to read CHOMP, or any other book displayed on our READBOX, he can simply scan the code to watch the trailer for the book.
My final thoughts on BOOK TRAILERS with IMOVIE:  

I LOVE them!  The process requires a lot of work, training, and structure on the front end, but I plan to pass over the responsibility of maintaining our READBOX very early in the school year. :)  Plus, the benefits of all the skills that will be practiced over and over make it very worthwhile for my classroom, and quite honestly, it was just plain FUN! :)

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  1. WOW! What AMAZING ideas!!! I love that your family helped you...their video is awesome! Definitely stealing this idea for next year! (Did I use enough exclamation points to show how excited I was???)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. That is an awesome idea and you all did so well. I have iMovie and would love to have my students use it.... I just don't know how.


  3. I am in awe Brandee! What a great idea and I love that your family joined in! Your boys did a wonderful job on their movie-the music and flashing snippets make it so suspenseful and appealing to their audience! Of course, I love Carl Hiassen's books! One word for your Monday Made It: AMAZING!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  4. This is such an AMAZING idea! I love it!!! Thanks for sharing!


  5. FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!! Love the Readbox! I like the "extra" features that iMovie seems to provide over Animoto. The finished product appears more like a Hollywood movie, especially the credits page. WAY COOL as my sixers would say. I like your rubric also. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. What an awesome post. I love your readbox and the movie trailer idea! Best wishes for a FUN year with lots of great reading.

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

  7. LOVE THIS!! thanks for the info. I have an ipad and do NOT use it enough. It is my goal for the rest of the summer to become proficient!!

  8. Brandee,

    I love this idea! We had a quick training on IMOVIE last month. I really want to check it out this fall and use it for a center. I'll definitely bookmark this post. We also use rubrics for everything, so that will be awesome, too!



    So at ISTE (at least ... I think that's where it was?) I heard about these and I think they will help our book trailer efforts this coming year. We've been masters of the Photostory, Animoto, and Puppet Pals (which, if you haven't tried ... you should! Get the $3 Director's Pass for full content!) but I'd like to do more iMovie. Even though we only have it on one iPad right now. And my personal Mac. Anyway. Nice storyboards here! Not for every single theme but a great start.

  10. That is fantastic! I guess I need to download iMovie onto my iPad now!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  11. Wow! Wow! Wow! I LOVE this idea. The ReadBox is just too cute and using the QR codes is a great link to technology! Keep up the good work!
    Ramblings of a fifth and sixth grade teacher....

  12. Wow! I love this post! Now I want an Readbox! How did I miss that on Pinterest? I'm going to check out's on my laptop, but I haven't used it yet. you've got me thinking....

    Read With Me ABC

  13. How cool! I love the idea of having trailers attached to QR codes. And that box looks fabulous.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
    Follow me on Facebook!

  14. This is absolutely AMAZING! I am so inspired by this idea and will be doing it an as end of year project with my kiddies (we only break up next Wednesday!) Thank you so much for the inspiration! I just wish we had devices that worked with QR codes in school!

    Sorry About The Mess But...

  15. Soo great to see you used iMovie trailers. I love that you used images too, they work perfectly.
    Not only that but Hiassen is one of my favorite writers. I love all his stuff, but I need to catch up on the rest of his young adult books.
    Your readbox everyone has said

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  16. OK. Totally awesome book trailer! I've read that book and I seriously love how the exposition is explained without going too deep into the plot of the book. Great job, kids! :)
    I have also iMovie'd A LOT at school and I can tell you from experience that the kids pick up on it SO FAST and will be out-creating you in no time! I used it when I was the tech coordinator to publish our school newscast each day digitally. We used a green screen - which was just a bright green sheet and it worked brilliantly. You might even already have something bright green in your house that you could use to try out the green screen feature in iMovie.
    Good luck!
    :) Erin

    1. Gah! Sorry for the paste at the end - that's not my link. Hahaha! :)

  17. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! I've also pinned some Readbox things on Pinterest but never looked at them again. I'm going to have to definitely incorporate what you've done. The rubric is awesome too!! What a great job!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Life With Middle Schoolers

  18. Thanks so much for sharing! I am planning on doing something very similar! I won't have a Readbox, but we will display them somehow. Good work!

    Simply 2nd Resources

  19. Your work with Readbox is brilliant! Thank you for sharing your ideas and rubric so that we can make it accessible to our students too! Outstanding post!

  20. Brandee,
    WOW! Everything is amazing! You and your family have been very busy! I've already binned your iMovie book trailer idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  21. I love this, everything about it! What a fantastic thing to work on with your family! Love!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  22. Love the Readbox idea with book trailers! Great idea, thanks for sharing!


  23. Wow! I'm impressed. Your Readbox is amazing and I love the idea of book trailers, what a fun interactive way to get students excited about reading.

    - Melissa
    Teacher Abroad

  24. This is absolutely amazing!! Your students are going to love your Readbox. It is even better because you were able to work on this with your family.

    Foreman Teaches

  25. wow! WOW! wow! And can I say, WOW!!!! I ADORE this idea. The best best best ever. I teach Read 180 and struggle to get my kiddos to share their independent reading in any way. AS ELL students they would be so excited to do this and then share with others. It is creative, it causes them to think succinctly, (did I spell that correctly?????) anyway, I love it. I will be hitting up my bother to make one for me..think I will make it the READ 180 READBOX......Love it! I am going to be wroking to become familiar with imovie this summer.
    Diary of a Grateful Teacher

  26. The whole project came out great! I agree with the earlier comments about how nice it was to have the whole family involved. I had iMovie trailers as an option for the kids to do after book clubs. Several groups created some cute ones. The kids really do take to it very easily (if we can let the "perfect" thing go). Your boys did a great job giving the highlights without giving away too much.

    What a great post for Monday Made It. Thanks for sharing.

    room 4 imagination

  27. LOVE the Readbox idea! I think I might have to put my husband to work. I will be doing book trailers, that is something I worked on at my Writing Institute. Thanks for sharing! You are so inspiring.

    Blessings of a Teacher

  28. Hi Brandee,
    Thanks for sharing your (and your familiy's) talents with us. I love how you outlined the making of the trailer with iMovie. Makes it seem less daunting. What a great way to get the kids excited about reading!!!!

    I really enjoy your blog!

    Take care.
    (Teaching is Elementary

  29. Thanks for the rubric and storyboards. Great ideas! Can't wait to try them out with my kiddos!

  30. I am absolutely in LOVE with your Red Box Reading!!! My mind is going and I just pinned it to Pinterest also! Have fun in Hilton Head. Although I live in NV now, I am from NC and have spent some time in Hilton Head. Miss the Atlantic Ocean!

    The Bender Bunch

  31. Looks like you're enjoying the beach as well! I love the book trailers and will do something along these lines this upcoming school year. Thanks for the inspiration! It's "pinned"! :))

  32. What an inspiring post! My brain is spinning in overdrive imagining how I might create my own "Readbox." Love it!! And your iMovie trailer is just AWESOME! So excited to try this idea with my fourth graders this year. Wow! Thank you for sharing!!

  33. My husband is not super happy...we will be creating one of these before back to school! Love the idea and integrating book reviews with QR codes!

  34. PS- you have a new follower!

  35. I apologize that I haven't read through all of the comments and this may have been answered already... What font did you use for the lettering?


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