iMovie Book Trailers

Teaching and Learning Purposes

  • Students will demonstrate their comprehension of a narrative / informational text through the creation of a promotional iMovie Book Trailer - a digital alternative to the traditional book report.
  • Students will demonstrate video and image production and editing skills, incorporating voice-overs, transitions, text, and Creative Commons / images and soundtracks.


  • iMovie / Reel Director.
  • For younger students in particular, I would recommend the iMovie iOS app, as it includes pro-forma movie trailers which can be adapted for this activity.
  • This activity can be conducted as a small group / partner activity, and does not require a 1:1 environment.

Process & Timing

This activity can take four to six weeks, depending on the age and experience of the students. This timing is based on 1 hour / week.

Book clubs / Planning (1-2 lessons)

  • Students need time to collaboratively plan their iMovie trailer project, identifying the key events of the story which they plan to include, and creating a storyboard. See the links below for storyboard templates, or simply use a sheet of A3 paper divided into boxes. In the Grade 3 class I ran this activity with in 2014, the classroom teacher and I individually conferenced with each book trailer group to ensure they had identified the key events, and had some idea of how they were going to create their trailers.

Production (3-4 lessons)

  • Depending on your students' age and ICT skills, book trailers can be filmed as live action trailers, or created using Creative Commons / Public Domain images.
  • In Middle Primary, we had great success with students creating their own hand drawn or computer created images.


  • If using the proforma trailers in the iMovie app, clips don't have to be long, and wont' include audio. If you want your students to demonstrate more advanced iMovie editing skills, then discussions and planning of camera angles and scripts will be useful.
  • If at all possible, allow time for student rehearsals and experimentation with the iMovie app, particularly if this is the first time you are running this activity.

Still Images, Voiceover, and Soundtracks

  • Students can create and photograph their own images, or download Creative Commons / Public Domain images and soundtracks.
  • It is vital to teach students the importance of respecting copyright, particularly in regard to the use of images and audio soundtracks. This should be introduced and taught from an early age. See the attached document for a list of websites that can be used with students. I would recommend selecting one or two really good ones for your students, eg.. Dig CCMixter for audio soundtracks.
  • Voiceovers can be recorded on iPads within the iMovie app, or imported from other apps.

Copyright is Messy: An Introduction to Creative Commons - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires


  • It is important to share students' work with an authentic audience - both within, and beyond the school.
  • This could be done via QR codes, and publishing on class blogs / websites. The QR codes could be attached to the books in the school library, for sharing with other students.
  • If posting to YouTube, I'd recommend sharing as unlisted videos. Alternatively, videos can be hosted within Dropbox (and shared via a link).

These are some examples of iMovie book trailers from Grade 4 students (2014). Please note, some of these don't respect copyright, and were our students' very first attempt. These were created on MacBooks - I don't have parental permission to share my Year 3 Book Trailers, which feature students faces. Sorry!

Resources and Links

A selection of resources which I found useful designing my iMovie Trailer Projects

Examples to show students