Posts Tagged book trailers

STEM Tuesday Wild and Wacky Science — In the Classroom

This month’s STEM Tuesday Theme: Wild and Wacky Science has the potential to lead readers in all directions! What a fun Book List the STEM Tuesday Team found for us this month.

Here are a few ways to use this month’s books in the classroom, extending learning beyond simply reading. Enjoy these suggestions, and as always, we welcome your additional suggestions in the comments below!

Follow a Friend on Facebook! 

After reading Unstoppable: True Stories of Amazing Bionic Animals by Nancy Furstinger, you’ll want to adopt one of these furry heroes! Since convincing parents to get new pets of any kind can be a monumental task, it might be easier for your class to befriend a furrrball on Facebook. Here are links to the Facebook pages of several of Furstinger’s friends.

Chris P Bacon, Pig on Wheels @CPBaconWheels

Brutus the Rottweiler @betterpawsforbrutus

Molly the Three-Legged Pony @mollythe3leggedpony

Vincent the Cat @walkingvincentcat

Albie, Felix, and Fawn, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary @woodstockfarm

 Chart Your Allergies! 

First, read Itch! Everything You Didn’t Want to Know About What Makes You Scratch by Anita Sanchez.

Then, practice data-collecting, chart-making, graphing, and data analysis skills by doing a classroom allergy assessment.  Start by asking students to create their own survey. What questions will you need to ask to find out who is allergic to what? Create the survey together, complete the surveys, and gather the data. Next, chart or graph (or both!) the results for a visual and numeric display of what gets under your skin. Who’s is inclined to itch when the cat comes in? Do menacing mosquitoes munch on many or just a few of the members of your class?

Dig Deeper!  Get the DNA 411!

In Forgotten Bones, Uncovering of a Slave Cemetery, Lois Miner Huey takes readers on a fascinating journey that begins with the discovery of and leads to an amazing amount of information about the thirteen slaves buried on what was once the Schuyler Family Farm near Albany, New York.

Much of what the scientists on the scene and in the lab near Albany were able to determine about the slaves was came the DNA samples from seven of the adult skeletons.  But what do you really know about DNA? Plan ahead for National DNA Day, April 25th, by checking out this website for several great DNA-related activities to do with kids. 

Make a Book Trailer.  Some of this month’s book picks have cool book trailers available on You Tube.  Watch these one-minute advertisements for wild and wacky nonfiction and make your own book trailer. There’s a lot to be said about getting the most out of just sixty seconds of screen time! Can you make a trailer that is certain to send readers running to the library to check out the book you’ve read? Here’s a link to a helpful tutorial to show How to Make a Book Trailer in iMovie.


This week’s STEM Tuesday post was prepared by

Michelle Houts delights in the wild and wacky side of finding fun facts for young readers. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and often finds the nonfiction harder to believe than the fiction. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @mhoutswrites and on the web at

Driving book trailers to new locations — at libraries

You’ll often see book trailers on an author’s website and the publisher’s youtube channel. But did you know that your public library’s catalog is another easy place to view book trailers? It’s also a great place to put a book trailer, whether you’re an author, a teacher, a parent, a young reader (or any age reader). All you need is a library card and you can add content — ratings, reviews, lists of favorites, tags, videos — to a book’s record in the public catalog.

My hometown library is Seattle Public Library, and we share catalog content with our nearby neighbors at King County Library System and our far away friends at Boston Public Library, and dozens of other libraries in between. When I uploaded this book trailer for The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox to Seattle’s catalog, it also shows up here at Boston Public Library.

And when I added the book trailer for Sarah Albee’s wonderful nonfiction book Why’d They Wear That? to Seattle’s catalog, it shows up here at San Francisco Public Library as well.

Here are a few other book trailers from recent middle-grade books I’ve loved — all uploaded via my local library’s website (I’ve listed a sampling of libraries where they show up, too):

Not every library has the ability (or has chosen to) include videos in their catalogs. But I encourage you to check to see if yours does. And if it does, you can start playing around with rating books, making lists, and tagging local authors (here’s what comes up under the tag “Seattle authors“).

Video interviews, book reviews and book talks also make great content to enhance a library catalog. If your students are working on book-related videos, consider broadening their viewership by adding their work to a library catalog. If you’re an author and one of your presentations or interviews is filmed, consider uploading the video to your book’s catalog record.




Ways authors can use the library to promote their books

Did you know that you may be able to add information and videos about your books to library catalogs? Many libraries have social catalogs, putting the power of list-making, tagging and ratings in the hands of readers, much like Goodreads and other platforms. And it gets even better: Let’s say you have a library card with Austin Public. You could upload a video about your book to your local catalog, and that same video would show up in the catalog of New York Public Library and hundreds (!) of other libraries.

At Seattle Public Library (where I work), we are one of more than 120 libraries (including Austin and NYPL, which I randomly chose to impress you) that use Bibliocommons, a shared social catalog. To give you an idea of how it works, I uploaded a book trailer from Mixed-Up Files blogger author Sue Cowen’s You Will Call Me Drog to my library’s catalog, which you can see here (choose the “video” tab). And now you can also see it here in Austin Public Library’s catalog and NYPL’s catalog and Johnson County Library in Kansas, and so on. (And thank you, Sue, for letting me use Drog as an example!)

Does your local library have similar capabilities? If so, here’s how you can enrich the catalog while also presenting more information about your book (or any book):

  1. Go to the book in the library catalog.
  2. Log in to your library account.
  3. Choose “add more” and then “Video.” You’ll fill in a box for headline, another for description, and then the code for a YouTube or SchoolTube video. Be sure to choose “embed” to get the code rather than just using the URL of the video.
  4. The video is now part of the library record for that particular book.

Videos can be anything related to your book, such as an interview, a tour of the locations featured in your book, a young reader doing a booktalk or maybe even trailers done by your readers. Here’s Better Nate Than Ever author Tim Federle talking about his debut novel and here’s a children’s librarian doing a quick 30-second booktalk on Liberty Porter, First Daughter.

You can also add tags and similar titles. When tagging, look to see what descriptive tags are already being used, such as “funny middle grade.” Consider making a thematic list, too. Who could resist books on a list called Awesomely Funny Books or Creepy, Scary Stories for kids? If your book tackles tough topics, a list of similarly themed books could be a great resource for teachers, parents and librarians.

And, of course, since we’re all lovers of middle grade books, you’ll undoubtedly want to make lists, add tags, rate books and upload videos for the books you love reading. It’s a great way to share information on books in a noncommercial setting. We’re reaching readers — with no strings attached.