Video Book Reviews in the Classroom Using Adobe Spark Video

Reading Rocks is a sequence of 5 lessons that can be taught at any time of year after a group of students have finished studying a book in class. Alternatively, it can be taught in the lead up to World Book Day so that they have a video book review to share with the rest of the school.

Why create video book reviews with your students in class?

Visit any teachers’ forum, Twitter feed or in-person gathering, and there is a clear sense that reading is important and that it is a source of great pleasure. Teachers love it and understand its power on so many levels. However, the same cannot be said for young people. According to Nielsen’s 2018 report, ‘Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer’, only 32 per cent of 0–13s are read to daily and 29 per cent of 0–13s read for pleasure daily. Why is this a problem? Taken from my book, Literacy Beyond the Classroom, Reading Rocks discusses the importance of reading and what it brings to a child’s learning experiences.

An open book can be a door to a whole new world for children’s imaginations.

By writing, filming and sharing their video book review with the classmates and the wider school community, they can celebrate their work in a special way that encourages an ongoing love of reading.

All resources and full planning are free and available on Adobe EdEx:

Access completeReading Rocks resources on EdEx

View a completed student example of Reading Rocks:

Interview with Michael Rosen

Interviewed for Reading Rocks is Michael Rosen, an English children’s novelist, poet and the author of 140 books. He needs little introduction to teachers. He served as Children’s Laureate from June 2007 to June 2009. He has been a TV presenter and political columnist. Recently, he has become something of a YouTube celebrity with his own channel. As someone who is so revered by teachers for his work as a writer, his work as a YouTuber makes him a very interesting interviewee given how disinclined schools are in general towards digital media compared to the sacred act of reading.

Asked what he would like to see taught in schools, Michael noted, “We do a lot to talk about language in schools. Most of it is focused on writing and most of the writing is what you might call continuous formal prose. So, the children have to learn how to construct sentences, paragraphs and chunks of writing whether it’s a story or essay or composition. There’s a tremendous weight of importance on this and that’s fine. But as human beings, we communicate with each other with something else that’s terribly important called conversation. Now conversation is not some sort of accident, it’s not some sort of thing that just sort of happens by mistake. Conversation structures are extraordinary: how we take turns, how we can construct a thought or an argument in a conversation, how we can listen to other people, how I can influence you and you can influence me. Oracy and public speaking are becoming much more popular in school which is great but actually it’s not only a matter of standing up, being able to talk for ten minutes or half an hour and convince and influence people. It’s also about how we can chat and progress things. It’s more like the art of negotiation. It’s cooperative talk, it’s conversation.”

Can we get children excited to talk about books in schools?

Here’s that resource link again:

Access completeReading Rocks resources on EdEx

If you enjoyed Reading Rocks, check out Literacy Beyond the Classroom, which improves English progress at Key Stage 2 by 3.75 times the UK national average. This innovative approach links global challenges to the five key National Curriculum areas in English: reports, instructions, persuasive language, fiction and poetry, and presentation skills, presenting ready-to-use lesson plans, exercises and activities to help teachers bring this concept to life in the primary classroom.

All projects can be completed using Adobe Spark. By teaching English in this practical, purposeful and meaningful way, we can inspire the YouTube generation to learn the literacy skills they need to influence the world around them and have a positive impact as global citizens.

Dominic is the Education Evangelist EMEA for Adobe Education. Before joining Adobe, Dominic found his passion for combining literacy with digital skills as a primary teacher both in the UK and internationally. From there, he was part of the first cohort on Emerge Education and used that as a springboard to start an education social enterprise. In 2018, he won the EDUCATE award from the Institute Of Education for a 4 month research project into improving KS2 writing using digital skills at 3.75 times the national average rate of progress.