Middle schoolers learn movie making

Movie MakersSeven sixth- through ninth-grade students spent a week learning the ins and outs of making book trailers at the University of Northern Iowa Moviemakers TechLit camp this summer.

The camp, in its first year at UNI, focused on providing students with a fun, interactive and creative learning environment that incorporated technology with literature.  

Learning about copyright, storyboarding and what makes an effective book trailer are just a few of the many topics students learned about during camp.  The students were required to read at least two books from this year's list of Iowa Teen Award nominees and create book trailers that will attract the attention of other young readers. 

Yolanda Hood, the camp coordinator and UNI youth collection librarian, said she wanted to combine the students' knack for technology with book literacy. 

"Book trailers are a really big thing now, and kids are proficient with technology," she said.  "They like movies and YouTube, and they get it so much quicker."

Collaboration between students was important to Hood, so students worked in teams during the different stages of creating their book trailers. 

"I wanted the students working in a team-based setting because it would enable the students to share ideas and become more engaged with the stories." 

Students also were tasked with making video invitations for their red carpet premiere on the final day of camp.  Family members and friends attended the premiere while students showcased their completed book trailers.  

Hood said she started the camp as a way to bring kids into the library, specifically the youth collection.  And she hopes the book trailers will be the hook that gets more kids in the library and reading.

"We want to use these book trailers in the library and the youth collection to entice and encourage students to pick up a good book and to read it, just like a movie trailer entices the moviegoer," she said.

Hood aims to incorporate the book trailers into the UNI Rod Library's and Cedar Falls Public Library's online catalogues, so the trailers will be available for other kids to view.