Introduction: World Literature Book Trailer STEM/STEAM Project

About: I am a library director who also helps teach Kindergarten all the way through undergraduate college students.

I teach at Union Bible College and Academy, and I have been tasked with teaching World Literature this fall to the undergraduate college students, but this lesson could be applicable to multiple grades.

When teaching World Literature, or any literature class, a teacher should look at different ways students can display their knowledge of the material they are reading. One of the best ways to do so (that I have found) is to create a book trailer. Book trailers are ways publishing companies promote new books. They are short videos that show what the book is about and hook the audience with the story. This is a wonderful way for students to display their knowledge of a book, and, better yet, it involves the use of STEM/STEAM.

Examples of Scholastic's Book Trailers can be found here:

Scholastic - YouTube


  1. Camera or recording equipment.
  2. Computer or smart device
  3. Video editing software such as the free version of Filmmaker Pro - Video Editor on the App Store (
  4. (Optional) Costumes or green screen with props or animation software
  5. Screen or projector
  6. Students

Step 1: Make a Plan

(Approximate time: 10 minutes)

First, students must decide what medium they will be using. Do they want to create a stop motion video? Do they want to use a green screen? Will it be live action or an animation? Once they have decided what kind of book trailer they will be producing, the second step is to choose the story or book. These two decisions will impact the rest of the activity, so it is necessary for students to make a decision and stick with it.

Step 2: Make an Outline

(Approximate time: 20 minutes)

Once students have made their initial choices, it is time to make a detailed plan. First, they will need an outline of their video. This will most likely involve skimming the book they have read and jotting down the most important details. The table of contents or chapter titles can help tremendously in this area. Secondly, students may want to create sketches of props, costumes, or figurines, depending on what medium they have chosen.

This is a great way to introduce the idea of storyboarding to students.

Step 3: Make the Production

(Approximate time: 2+ hours)

First step: Students need to design all the pieces they will need for their book trailer. This can be sewing clothes, designing clay figures for stop motion, planning what green pieces they will need for a green screen, choosing or making the best props for their video, scoping out the best locations for filming, memorizing lines, etc.

Second step: Students need to record their videos. For something like stop motion, this is going to take a lot more time. Animation would also be more involved and time consuming. For something that is live action, multiple takes might be necessary to get the correct footage.

Third step: Students need to edit their videos. If it's a live action video, they may need to shorten or lengthen clips and put them in the correct order. Additionally, they may need to do a voice-over narration. For stop motion, the below app is a possible solution. They may also want to consider lowering the frames per second. For animation, the students may want to do less frames per second in order to make production quicker. Student could also choose to do a mixture of mediums if desired.

Filmmaker Pro - Video Editor on the App Store (

Stop Motion Studio on the App Store (

FlipaClip: Create 2D Animation - Apps on Google Play

Step 4: Make the Presentation

The maximum and minimum length of the production is up to the individual teacher, but YouTube's upload length is 15 minutes unless your channel is verified. My suggestion would be to upload videos to YouTube for easy storage and viewing. Google Drive is also a possibility.

Once students have created their presentation, they need to upload it or turn it in. The teacher can then preview it and present it to the class via a screen or projector.

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