Read, Tell, and Sell: CCSS through student book promotions
As you do with much of the rest of your teaching, consider a gradual release of responsibility for assignments such as this. Move from a whole-class approach to the task, to collaborative groups, and finally to independent projects, making use of lots of teacher modeling and think-alouds along the way.
Offer choices when you can. Students are more invested if they can choose the book that they are going to promote or choose their format or audience if the book is assigned.
Scaffold the process as much as possible. Provide pre-planning sheets or graphic organizers for students to record their thinking and collect evidence about the characters, problem, theme, point of view, mood, and significant events. Have students create a simple storyboard (this example from Newton, Massachusetts librarian Jennifer Reed) to map out the sequence of their digital story and plan for images to accompany text/narration. Here is Reed's example of a completed storyboard for a popular picture book and the finished trailer (this link goes to the mp3 audio file). Having all of the required elements at their fingertips makes it easy for students to select material that they wish to incorporate into their book talk or trailer.
Be sure that students are aware of how they will be assessed on the project. Refer back to the guidelines that the group developed and create a rubric for evaluation.
If you use a slideshow or trailer format for the project, put a system in place for saving images and works-in-progress. Will there be one common teacher folder that students save to? Will they create a Google Doc that allows for group collaboration in real time? (GoogleApps—or Google Drive/Docs—provides excellent options for sharing with a wider community when projects are completed.) Provide instruction about how you want students to name their files for easy retrieval.
Whenever possible, have younger students use their own original images for their project. Connect with your school librarian for lessons and reminders about Fair Use guidelines, sources for copyright-friendly images, advanced image searching, citing sources, etc. TeachersFirst offers many vetted resources and lessons about copyright and Fair Use.
If your book promotion format involves narration, give students time to practice. They need multiple opportunities to rehearse fluency and expression.