It’s time to rethink yearbook superlatives for elementary students.
There, we said it.
While stuff like “best” and “most likely to” awards can be a ton of fun for students who win them, they’re not that much for fun for everybody else. And there’s usually way more people in the “everybody else” category. At the elementary school level, even if most students are in the same boat, it can be hard to deal with the disappointment of not “winning” a superlative.
Some will say that’s a good lesson to learn, but we say there’s another time to teach that lesson.
So let’s do something about it: Instead of handing out superlatives to a limited number of students, hand them out in a way that doesn’t exclude anyone.
Inside this post, we’ll give you three ideas to rethink yearbook superlatives for elementary students. Use any of them, and we guarantee you’ll make your elementary students feel better about themselves, make the yearbook more fun to look at, and have a great time celebrating all the cool skills and talents the students at your school have.
Three Ideas for Rethinking Yearbook Superlatives for Elementary Students
If you’re going to go back to the drawing board on how to give out yearbook superlatives, you might also want to go back to the drawing board on how you present them.
A normal spread is all well and good (and still might be the perfect way to present your awards), but think about incorporating your superlatives into class portrait spreads or adding awards to your folio (the part of the page where your page numbers go).
After all, alternative takes is what this is about.
Rethinking Yearbook Superlatives #1: Honor All the Graduates
The most obvious way to include more elementary students in your yearbook superlatives list is to create more superlatives for your students to receive.
It might seem like this idea requires a lot of work. It doesn’t. Limit your superlatives to your graduating class (which you’re probably already doing), and you won’t have much more in the way of work.
If you take this approach, don’t go looking through lists of yearbook superlatives for ideas.
While those ready-made ideas can do a good job of creating laughter among older students, they don’t do as good of a job celebrating the individual awesomeness of your elementary students.
Work instead with those teachers who know your graduating students, and you’ll easily be able to identify ways in which each of your graduates separates themselves from the rest of the class. (In fact, you may find that your teachers are already celebrating their students in this way, as many teachers have more individualized awards available on www.teacherspayteachers.com.)
Rethinking Yearbook Superlatives #2: Let Students Tell You Their Greatness
You could go to teachers to identify yearbook superlatives for elementary students. Or you could go right to the source and let the students themselves tell you what makes them so awesome.
We love this idea, because…well…have you ever heard the phrase, “Kids say the darndest things”?
Yeah. We thought so.
Elementary students have a great sense of themselves, and the way they describe it is often more creative than any adult might. Take this approach, and you won’t just be creating a more inclusive yearbook superlatives section. You’ll be injecting a bunch of youthful spirit and, probably, quite a few laughs, too.
The easiest way to do this is to work with teachers to create a handout asking your students, “What makes you great?” (or some variation on that) and have students fill it in. Collect them, copy their answers onto your superlatives section, and you’re done.
Rethinking Yearbook Superlatives #3: Ask Students to Write About Classmates
If you’re looking for a way to keep that youthful spirit in your yearbook superlatives, but you want the actual award to be a surprise for your students, turn the whole operation over to their classmates.
This approach lets each student describe all of their classmates while giving you a ton of material to work with. That’s a huge plus if you’re worried about having a bunch of students give themselves the same superlatives in the idea above.
There are other positives to this approach, too.
The biggest is the simple fact that using this approach lets every student know that his or her classmates recognize the cool, positive things they bring to the classroom every day.
To run with this idea, create a worksheet that lists each student in a class. Leave room next to each name for a descriptive word or two and have your teachers work with students to finish the worksheet. Finishing your superlatives will take more time this way, since you need to sort through all the responses, but it’s totally worth the time investment.
Yearbook superlatives for elementary students should be fun and uplifting, not stressful and discouraging. It’s not that hard to make the switch, either. Just rethinking your approach, skip the voting, and toss aside the exclusive nature of superlatives. Your students will feel better about themselves and you’ll make the yearbook more fun to look at.