Elementary school students don’t think in terms of quarters or trimesters, or term papers or final exams. That internal calendar is all about holidays and class parties, each highlighting the spirit of the given season. Though it might be daunting to classroom management, it’s an advantage to the yearbook editor.
Here’s why: Because those seasonal holidays are often a big deal to your students, you’ve got ample opportunity to cover each and document the special events and activities your school puts together to celebrate all the most wonderful times of the year.
Start Thinking Seasonally
Sure, fall, winter, spring, and summer aren’t school-specific experiences, but for children, every season is a promise of a new pleasure: carving pumpkins, throwing snowballs, decorating eggs, daytripping to the beach…
School, too, can feel the same way to them.
We’ve seen enough scary good Halloween parade spreads and cool features on winter concerts to know that many elementary schools bring the seasonal excitement to their students. If your school does this, start thinking about documenting those events in the yearbook.
Major events at your school will lend themselves to their own spreads, but there are still plenty of other seasonal events and images that are worth capturing. S0 sort through your leftover fall pictures, and look: do you have any great images that encapsulate the season? Kids in leaf piles? Raking up the local park as a community leadership project? A science activity on photosynthesis? Dedicate these pictures to an autumn-themed spread; it’s a great way to tell the story of the season and incorporate cute pictures that you aren’t using elsewhere.
And now that you’re taking the plunge towards seasonal spreads, you have time to plan out deliberate pictures for winter and spring.
Remember These Photo Ops
FALL: Capture fall’s colorful foliage and fun events as students “turn over a new leaf” in their new class. There are plenty of great opportunities for fall photos, including: Kids playing in leaf piles, field trips to corn mazes and pumpkin patches, classroom decorations. You might include a few Halloween photos, unless you plan on putting big holidays on another page. Do you have pictures of students with haystacks or scarecrows, or dressed as pilgrims for a Thanksgiving event?
WINTER: Most people are swift to associate winter with major religious holidays, but don’t let that limit your winter seasonal spread. Include pictures of students making snowmen, throwing snowmen, or making snow angels. Simple shots of kids bundled up in scarves and hats or enjoying hot chocolate in the cafeteria can be adorable as well. Of course holidays can still be included—perhaps you have photos of students making decorations? Illustrating their New Year’s resolutions? Don’t forget that winter doesn’t end on January 1; this seasonal spread might also be a place to include a few shots from Valentine’s Day.
SPRING: Kids love winter, but once the holidays end most students can’t wait for the sunshine to return. Snap photos of girls sporting their new spring dresses and boys in their brightly colored shorts. If you have a school garden, this spread is the perfect place to display the year’s yield of snap peas, zucchinis, and zillias. Consider including pictures from the school-wide egg hunt, shots of students making Mother’s Day gifts, or ones from the Mother’s Day luncheon.
SUMMER: Summer can be a tricky season to cover, since the yearbook will already be set to print by then. You might want to ask parents or teachers for photos from last summer, or create a forward-looking spread with kids writing down what they’re most looking forward to. Feel free to cheat a little bit; include summery-looking images taken in the spring, like kids in sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts.
Brainstorm Ideas for the Seasonal Spreads
Now that you’ve got the images planned out, you’ll want to think of how the spread itself should look. Here are a few ideas to help get to the heart of each season:
- Use Color: These pages should offer interesting and vivid colors: bold golds and reds for fall, subdued blues and silvers for winter, pretty pastels for spring, and vibrant yellows and greens for summer. Use an eye-catching color from your dominant photo in each spread, and reproduce it in creative ways on the page. Color the headline or sub-headline, or use it as the primary shade of an infographic.
- Add Hints of Nature: Make sure there are elements of the outdoors in each spread. One inventive idea could be to include a picture of the same tree on your campus in each of the four spreads; it will help establish continuity while serving as a good visual example of the changing seasons.
- Include Objects: The bulk of the pictures should absolutely be of the students, but including one or two simple shots of scarecrows, snowmen, or bouquets, for example, help set the context of the season and add texture to the pages.
Yearbook ideas for seasonal spreads don’t stop there.
Look outside your window: how can you best document this time of year? What are you and your students looking forward to the most next season? Capturing each season captures those major moments in time in your elementary students’ lives, and the opportunities are all around you.