Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.
High School Yearbook Projects
High school students can benefit from these in-depth projects, as they require research and encourage learning about the local community. The projects can be completed by individuals, in partners, or with teams. Consider assigning one project to multiple teams as a form of competition to earn their way into the final yearbook publication. Alternatively, assign one project per team and include them all in the finished product. Either way, your yearbook students will gain valuable knowledge and develop research, interviewing, writing, and graphic design skills.
Memory Lane Montage
In this project, students will peruse past yearbooks looking for things they can compare to current times. Then, they will create a montage of images that are tied together by their selected theme. For example, they may want to create a montage of prom pictures that show the different outfits, dance styles, and prom themes of past and present.
They will then complete extensive research to learn more about each of the images they selected, from sources linked to the time period of each photo. As part of the final yearbook, students will create a descriptive montage that includes captions explaining the trends of the time in each image.
- Materials: a collection of past yearbooks, research resources, research organizer, access to technology, photography equipment, graphic design software (to craft image montage / collages), bulletin board and thumb tacks (to work on physical layout)
- Provide students with copies of past yearbooks to peruse, with a focus on similar features. Have students make a list of things they find across all the yearbooks, such as prom or sporting events.
- Ask students to select a topic and find images related to it from multiple yearbooks, spanning the longest time period possible.
- Provide guidance and equipment for students to capture high-quality image from a printed source. Allow for basic (black and white / plain paper) printing of these images, bulletin board space, and thumb tacks so students can begin to physically build their montage.
- Once physical boards have been constructed, provide time, resources, and an organizer for students to research their focus area. For example, if they've chosen spirit week, they could explore the fashion trends of the different years they are highlighting.
- After research is complete, have students craft descriptive captions so that images are accompanied by meaningful explanations.
- Provide access and direction for students to use graphic design software to create their final digital product.
- Give students time to get feedback from others and make necessary changes.
In this project, students will identify alumni who are leaders in the local community or who have found success and made an impact on a state, national, or global scale. After completing additional research about one selected person, students will compose a list of related questions. Then, they will conduct and record in-depth interviews, take or request photos that represent the person's story, and compose a thorough article to feature in the final yearbook.
- Materials: research resources, list of successful school alumni, research organizer, access to technology, interviewing tips, photography equipment, graphic / text design software
- Provide students with a list of school alumni you know of who have achieved success locally or in a broader context. Alternatively, have students launch their own research and dig up information to find potential subjects.
- Give time for students to research more about their subject and contact the person for additional information and to request an interview.
- Provide guidance and time for students to craft meaningful, specific interview questions.
- Provide audio recording equipment, as well as photography equipment if applicable. If students are interviewing remotely, they will need to request photos from their subject rather than take photos themselves.
- After interviews have concluded, have students write an article detailing their subject's story, incorporating some question-and-answer style formatting, as well as paragraph text they crafted themselves.
- Have students use graphic design software to build the layout of their interview article, along with the images they've selected. Provide an opportunity for students to garner feedback from others and provide time for them to make necessary adjustments.
In this project, students will identify local businesses that are linked to the school community in some way. The connection may be historical, related to a specific former or current student, or even responsible for providing a product to the school (such as football jerseys). This project will help students emphasize the importance of locally owned businesses.
After selecting their local business, student will explore further by conducting additional research. They will connect multiple times with the business owner(s) to find out more about all aspects of the company. Rather than write a full-length text article, students will create more of an infographic-style piece delineating important points.
- Materials: guide to local businesses, chart paper and markers, local map(s), research resources, technology access, research organizer, examples of infographics or graphics-rich feature articles, graphic design software
- Ask students to find links between the school and a few local businesses. After links have been identified, students can select a specific business as their subject.
- Provide resources for students to research their business in more depth. Students should also contact the business for additional information and interviews with key figures within the company.
- After interviews and research have been completed, provide time for students to construct their infographic highlighting important information about their selected business. They can use poster paper and markers to develop the basic layout before moving onto graphic design software.
- Give students access to graphic design software and guidance in creating their graphics-rich feature.
- Allow time for students to get feedback from others and make adjustments as needed.
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