Summer reading is a great way for students to stay engaged with reading and writing while they're away from school. When returning back to the classroom in the fall, one easy first assignment that teachers can consider is asking their students to film and edit a review of their favorite book from the summer. This assignment can also apply to a required summer reading book that you want to make sure students took the time to read.

An assignment like this provides students with some creative freedom and helps them engage with digital storytelling tools that they may be asked to use again during the school year. Consider asking students to discuss things like character development, significant plot points, their favorite chapters, and overall themes that the book illustrates. Once you’ve decided what things you want your students to address in their film review, there are five easy steps you can follow to help them create a video of their own!

  1. Film your video
  2. Upload to the Kapwing Studio
  3. Add other media
  4. Download and Add Subtitles
  5. Publish and Share!

For this example post, I’ve created a review video for a book that I read this summer, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Here’s a GIF of what your video might look like when it’s done!

1) Film your video

Think about the topics you want to address in your book review and start by filming your video! You can use anything to create the video (a phone, camera, laptop) as long as you can upload it to a computer when you’re done. You can choose to film one long video or multiple videos that you can edit together later. Here’s a screenshot from a video I filmed on my phone and uploaded to my computer.

2) Upload to the Kapwing Studio

Once you’ve gotten all the footage you want, you can upload your video to the Kapwing Studio to begin editing!

3) Add other media

In Studio, there are tons of things you can add to make your video more engaging and personal. This can include things like quotes on the screen, images to help capture a description, or background audio. Use the Timeline feature to help you position these images and text boxes where and when you want them in your video. For my video I added a few images to better describe the characters in my book as well as some text to emphasize certain points.

4) Download and Add Subtitles

Another thing you can add to your book review is subtitles. To do this, you’ll need to publish and download you video from Studio and then upload it to Kapwing’s Subtitler Tool. This tool has an automatic subtitler which will generate subtitles to the best of its ability. While it’s a very helpful tool, it’s not always perfect, so make sure to spend some time going through the video to make necessary edits to your subtitles. You can also change the font, color, and location of your subtitles too!

5) Publish and Share!

When you’re satisfied with your video, click the Publish button to be able to download and share the final product! You can also go back into Studio and edit your video further if you wish. The custom URL also makes it easy to share with someone else who has a Kapwing account without having to download it. Happy creating! And be sure to tag #kapwing with your book review creations!

This article is part of a series featuring educational tutorials and lesson plan inspirations for K-12 classrooms! Want to see more? Check out the Kapwing Education Page!