It seems that very small towns are at a disadvantage when it comes to producing yearbooks. Since the school systems tend to be small, grades get grouped together, and oftentimes grades K-12 will all be in one school. That means that there is only one yearbook for the whole school – one yearbook to represent practically the whole town!
That is a tall order for one school; trying to produce a memorable, one-of-a-kind book for all the students in town, especially when you’re tasked with covering such an expanse of grades and ages. So how do you approach a yearbook that needs to be appropriate and relatable for both seniors in high school and children as young as five… not to mention their parents? How do you create something that won’t isolate one age group or another? After all, going too kid-friendly will alienate high schoolers, while more mature content won’t be understood by elementary students.
The answer is simple – have a combination of both. Rather than looking at the difference in ages as a disadvantage, look at it as an opportunity to bring diverse groups together to create something truly unique. As a small town with one school, you are in the exceptional position of helping to bride a gap within the community, so why not do that through some fun and creative content in your yearbook?
Here are some fresh, fun ideas to get your small town yearbook underway:
- Coloring section – This would be prefect for elementary schoolers, but it doesn’t seem like it would appeal to the students in middle or high school, right? Wrong. Instead of including generic coloring pages, what if the pages the kids are going to color were original pieces of black and white artwork submitted by the older grades? Hold a contest and ask for submissions for artwork that relate to the school. These could be scenes from a student’s favorite class, cool lab experiments, friends in front of lockers, flag football outside for gym class… you get the idea. They will be something everyone can relate to because they represent the school, and also produce a fun activity for all of the ages.
- Group photo – Since the town is small enough to have one school and yearbook, why not fit everyone into one group photo? If you want to get more creative than the usual group shot, in lieu of the typical directive of “shortest in the front, tallest in the back,” have students form the school name by shaping their bodies into letters. This would be a great way to get everyone involved, create memorable yearbook content, and have a fun experience together. Another cool idea is to have different grades wear certain colored shirts. Then group students together where the colors spell out the school initials, name, or year.
- Student portrait mosaics – A mosaic is the perfect way to bring different imagery together to create cool, unique works of art. For this yearbook idea, high school and middle school students interested in photography or art could set out to create or capture school imagery. They could take photos at Friday night football games, hold a photo shoot with different clubs, draw pictures of teachers in front of the class, etc. Then those with good Photoshop skills could colorize the photos to be similar hues. From there, elementary students could put the pictures together to create faces of classmates or other fun scenes.
- Scrapbooking – A yearbook is practically a scrapbook already – photos combined with interesting graphics, quotes, captions, and more. Take yearbook scrapbooking a little more literally: provide students of all ages with the opportunity to create page layouts together. Hold a group yearbook meeting and provide all the supplies needed – school-spirited stickers, interesting photos, and fun quotes. Break students up into groups with different ages. Let the groups work together to create page layouts. By the end of the meeting, you’ll have some creative content that represents everyone.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating fun for all ages in your school’s yearbook. Using TreeRing’s customizable pages, everyone will have the opportunity to let their creative juices flow, and will be able to give their own little piece to the yearbook and the community as a whole.