Book Talk On Video
This project gives students a chance to work both in front of and behind the camera to write and deliver a compelling book talk
Subjects Language Arts, Drama, Media
Time Frame Several Weeks
Materials Selection of novels or picture books; video camera
This project gives students a chance to study and emulate appropriate on-air skills such as speaking slowly and clearly, using good posture, projecting personality, and being prepared. These skills are important for many other types of presentations. Students also enjoy the teamwork and the process of making and especially watching the video.
DK Readers: Jobs People Do — A Day in the Life of a TV Reporter by Linda Hayward
TV Reporters (Community Helpers) by Tracey Boraas
How Do I Become a TV Reporter? by Mindi Englart
Reading Rainbow DVDs are available from GPN Educational Media: www.shopgpn.com
In upper grades, students can read a novel or a picture book and talk about the book on video using a prearranged format. In the younger grades, children can be filmed reteIling a story that has been read to them.
Or to combine activities for different grade levels, have students from upper grades heIp prepare and film their younger reading buddies' book talks.
As a class, watch a video or DVD of a program such as Reading Rainbow in which students do a brief book talk. Determine a format for the video presentation that will e used by the students. Post it on a chart in the classroom and, in upper grades, provide a copy on paper to each student including a rubric explaining how their work will be assessed.
Do a book talk with the class to introduce them to the books you have brought in to the classroom. Make sure the books you choose cover a wide range of topics. Give students access to the books. Encourage them to explore many before choosing one. Have each student choose a book that appeals to him or her.
As students read, they can make notes that will help them put together a presentation that follows the format you have already determined. Students read the book, then conference with the teacher, prepare and write their presentation, record it on video and save.
A simple backdrop can be created in the classroom, or a school setting can be the backdrop for the on-camera reports. Depending on the grade level, students may be used to operate the camera and as directors, prompters, etc. The finished video or DVD (edited by teacher or students) can be circulated among families one night at a time for viewing.
When former students come back for a visit or run into you at the mall, it's always interesting to hear them reminisce about the things they remember and enjoyed most about their time in your class. Many students have spoken of the making and watching of these book talks as one project that was an especially fun time and a good memory.
Printed with permission from Firefly Books Ltd.
Great Teacher Projects K-8 by Laura Mayne