Aberdeen's young filmmakers call 'action!' on Book Trailers

Book Trailers are a wonderful way of engaging pupils with reading, and there’s lots of potential to incorporate different subjects across the curriculum including drama, art and design and technologies. In this blog, Barry Donaldson of Aberdeen City Council tells us about their recent city-wide book trailer competition!

Back in August 2013 the literacy team at Aberdeen City Council were introduced to Scottish Book Trust’s Book Trailers Competition. The team could immediately see the wide possibilities of this initiative. Book Trailers are a great way to engage pupils with reading in the digital realm, and they are a fabulous way to combine a number of different skills across the curriculum.

The recent SSLN literacy survey revealed that between P4 and S2 those who ‘agree a lot’ or ‘agree a little’ that they enjoy reading drops from 92% to 62%. As part of a wider initiative to engage young people across the city with reading, the team decided to host a local Book Trailers event in Aberdeen. The Aberdeen city competition invites pupils to create a Book Trailer for any book they would highly recommend.

Primaries and secondaries across Aberdeen have been invited to take part, and the team have been overwhelmed with the interest in this project. One school is putting in six entries, including a collaboration between a P1 class and a P7 class. Another school is creating a Book Trailer as a transition project with nursery and P1 pupils. In addition, one book trailer has been created in Polish.

Scottish Book Trust’s CPD materials on Book Trailers have greatly supported teachers with this exciting initiative.

There will be an awards ceremony/screening event on World Book Day, Thursday 6 March, in Aberdeen’s Belmont Cinema. Depending on entries we hope to award prizes in the following categories:

Primary (mixed age group) - an ideal opportunity for older pupils to work with younger pupils in the school to combine their skills.

Primary 4 - 7

Secondary S1 - 3

Secondary S4 - 6

Secondary (mixed aged group) - again, a good opportunity to get senior pupils working with the younger ones.

There is no limit on the number of entries per school: the more the merrier! 

For more information about the Book Trailers event and Aberdeen City councils other literacy initiatives, including The Reading Bus, please contact Barry Donaldson, Development Officer for Literacy (contact details at the foot of this blog).

Further information from SBT about Book Trailers

It’s great to see book trailers catching on as a teaching method: the potential for teaching both critical reading and writing skills is huge, and mainly, it’s about having fun and enjoying books.

If you want to see some example Book Trailers, check out these ones from three secondary schools, created around the shortlisted books for the 2013 Scottish Children’s Book Awards.

If you want to set about creating your own trailers, we’ve produced a wealth of resources, including a series of tutorial videos and a unit of work taking pupils step-by-step through the process.

Finally, this year we held our first ever Book Trailer competition for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, and are hoping to do the same next year: subscribe to our Schools e-newsletter to be kept up to date.  

Barry Donaldson

Barry Donaldson is the Development Officer for Literacy at Aberdeen City Council.