Involving all your students in yearbook class can be a challenge. Often times, students are assigned to their own pages and focus primarily on finishing them. Engaging your yearbook students more gets work done faster and allows them to make valuable contributions. Practice these ten tips to get your students more involved in the creation of your yearbook:
Assigned jobs keep students focused throughout the year. Think beyond the typical editor-in-chief or photographer role. Create a photo editor job so all photos have a similar feel to them, or an ads manager who will create the ads submitted by parents. Be flexible and feel free to assign jobs even in the middle of the year when you see a student without much to do.
Many yearbook pages require a written article, quotes or captions for photos. To get the best material, interview people. Teaching your staff the ins and outs of interviewing and having them practice on each other involves the entire class.
Create a theme
Theme is a must-have for your yearbook, but the creation of the theme could be used as a way to involve students. Ask your students to brainstorm theme ideas and vote on your favorite.
Create A cover contest
Your cover summarizes your school’s story and is the first glimpse of your theme. Have students create sample covers that match the theme and post them for voting. You’ll be surprised at the creative talents of students who might not normally come to the fore. Your staff will be invested in the project and proud of the end result.
Have a photo scavenger hunt
As you teach how to take photos, assign a scavenger hunt. Students take multiple shots of different photo scenarios and the one with the most photos wins the hunt. If you have fewer cameras than students, this could be done in groups, or you could have students use their cell phones as cameras. When creating your scavenger hunt list, think of as many different items that are represented in your book as possible.
Statistics from the year
Keeping statistics of the year can be a good way to get a picture of what happened. You can assign different students to gather those statistics. Again, think outside of the box–not just how many students in each class or teams’ wins and losses. How many meals were served in a given month, or how many hours were spent on a bus? Have students brainstorm ideas for more fun and creative stats.
Page ladder brainstorm
The page ladder is another area you can get students involved. Have them brainstorm what pages should be included in the book. Should we have a page for National Honor Society or should we have one for Drama? Another option is to have students brainstorm how many pages of coverage should be designated for a given event or group.
Ads keep the yearbook budget manageable, but when you assign ads to students and go over how to approach businesses, you can get more students involved. Those students who are nervous about selling ads can practice in the classroom with more confident students. Yes, some will find this more engaging than others, but you may be surprised at which ones go out and eagerly talk with business owners in the area.
Keeping students engaged is key to any classroom, but with the setup of yearbook class, it’s even more important. Which of these ideas are you most eager to try out?
Need more ideas for engaging your yearbook class?
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