The traditional book report that asks students to critique the books that they read is a staple of many classrooms. If you would like to add a new element to book reports try having students add visual and audio components to book reports by having students create book trailers. Book trailers are short videos designed to spark a viewer’s interest in a book. A great place to find examples of book trailers is Book Trailers for Readers. If you would like to have your students try to create book trailers, here are five free video tools that are well-suited to that purpose.
Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, video clips, and text. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto. Animoto’s free service limits you to 30 second videos. You can create longer videos if you apply for an education account.
Stupeflix is a service that allows user to quickly and easily create video montages using their favorite images and audio clips. In many ways Stupeflix is similar to Animoto and Flix Time, but there are a couple of differences that are worth noting. Adding text to the images is slightly easier in Stupeflix than it is on Animoto. Stupeflix offers only one default soundtrack so you have to upload your own audio clips. That said the advantage of Stupeflix is that you can use more than one audio clip within the same video.
Shwup is a service similar to Animoto and Stupeflix for creating videos based on your images and audio files. At its most basic Shwup is a place for creating collaborative private photo albums. As the creator of an album you can select the best images and create a video for the group. You can choose to share your videos privately so that only those you invite can see them or you can share your videos on Facebook, Twitter, or embed them into your blog.
Flixtime is a video creation service that is quite similar to Animoto and Stupeflix. Flixtime gives users the ability to create 60 second videos by mixing together images, video clips, and music tracks. You can use your own images, video clips, and music tracks or you can choose media from the Flixtime galleries. Flixtime also gives you the option to record voiceovers for your videos through their site.