Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reading Lesson Plan - Make a Trailer!

My 6th graders read the book Soldier’s Heart. In the attempt to step out of the usual routine, we made a movie trailer for the book! The students enjoyed both the process and performance. Some even brought in their musical instruments to add sound effects to their production. The project involved 4 students in each group and an immense amount of team effort. Making a trailer together reiterated the importance of team work and collaboration. Overall, the students did a wonderful job capturing and presenting the significant events of the story. Here is the lesson plan along with the worksheet I used to conduct the lesson. We spent 3 classes planning and preparing, and one class for performance. Some feedback from the students were:
"It was a fun project, but I wish we had more time."
"I liked it. It was different from what we usually do."

Reading Lesson: Soldier’s Heart movie trailer

Grade: 6th


Students will learn about the making of a movie trailer and using similar techniques, they will create one with their teammates.

Specific Instructional Objectives:

Students will be able to identify the necessary components of a movie trailer.

Students will understand the qualities of a trailer that make the movie unappealing.

Students will apply the knowledge on the creation of their own trailer.

· Students will be able to isolate important events in Soldier’s Heart and organize them into a 2~3-minute trailer.


Students will learn trailer making techniques by being able to identify main events of a story.


Handouts: trailer worksheet and planning flow chart

Technology: Smart Board and “Glory” movie trailer (found on



· Ask students what they see in the first 10 minutes before a movie begins. Guide them toward saying the word “trailer”.

· Show students the “Glory” movie trailer (approximately 2.5 minutes long)

During Lesson

1. Hand out the trailer worksheet.

2. Ask students: What makes a movie trailer LAME? The teacher writes down the reverse comments (for example, if the student says “gives away the ending”, the teacher writes down “should NOT give away the ending”) on the white board, and the students copy them down on their worksheet.

3. Go over the project with the students – You will be put in groups of 3 or 4 and you will be producing a movie trailer for Soldier’s Heart. Think about the qualities a movie trailer should have.

4. Emphasize #6a on the worksheet. Make sure the content and language are PG. There can only be limited amount of shooting and use of weapons. You will get 3 class periods to work on it, and the groups will be presenting after.

5. Let the students get in groups and begin brainstorming ideas. Each student must be taking notes on their worksheet.

6. Teacher should circulate around and guide the student in the right direction.

7. Hand out the planning flowchart to the groups that have completed their worksheet.


· Rehearse the trailer before performing it to the class.


Worksheets, in-class discussion, group collaboration, performance


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