Guest Post: How to Make Reading More Engaging With Video

There’s something magical about opening a new book, flattening the binding, and gobbling up every word. While these pages come to life for some students, others don’t have the same experience, whether they have to work harder to understand the reading or just don’t enjoy it.
Luckily technology, specifically video, makes it easier for you to reach these students. When you bring video into the mix, students have something else to connect to; perhaps they struggle with the reading, but love learning about the author or making comparisons between the book and the movie version.
Here are a few fun, yet simple ways, to make reading more engaging with video.

Explore Book Themes

A large part of book discussions is theme; what it is, what it means for the characters, and more. Use video to connect these themes to your students’ lives.
For example, a theme in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is: Good things often come in small packages. Explore this theme with The Pony #DancePonyDance—this video touches on the silliness of Willy Wonka along with the theme you’re exploring.

Upgrade Your Book Reports

Traditional book reports have their place in education, there’s no doubt about that. However, giving students an opportunity to choose a new, tech-based format could increase engagement and excitement.
There is a number of fun, alternative book report options for students to try; one of which is video creation. Students can choose from a variety of options, such as: re-creating a scene from the book, recording their own version of a scene, or creating a new world where the book’s characters now reside.

Compare Cinema to Written Word

A fun way to make reading more engaging with video is to have students compare the book they’re reading to the film version of it. Instead of showing the entire movie, save time and show a few specific scenes from the film. Have students compare them to the same scenes in the book.
Students can discuss, in groups or as a class, making note of the differences between the book and the movie. Not only is this a fun exercise, but it gives students an opportunity to engage with the text, searching for differences and similarities they may not have caught before.

Meet the Author

Create a YouTube playlist or use a platform like Kaltura to compile interviews the author of the book your students are currently reading has done. Allow students to watch these for extra credit or as part of a written assignment. They’ll love getting to see the author, especially if he/she is talking about the book they’re reading at the time.
Bringing video into your reading instruction is a fun way for students to learn new skills while getting more involved with the text. Consider how you can use these ideas to take your classroom into the 21st century and engage more students are the same time.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to Check out our new ebook, How to Bring Technology Into the Classroom, just $2.99 on

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