It's Time to Sign Yearbooks: Here's How to Move Beyond Mundane Messages

Signing yearbooks is a time-honored tradition. Each year, students anxiously await the arrival of the yearbooks and the opportunity to pass their copy around to all of their friends. When they get the book back it is filled with great messages from great friends, classmates, crushes, and teachers alike.

However, as students progress through their many years of schooling, yearbook signing can become dull and repetitive. Messages may change slightly from person to person – for example, your close friends will share inside jokes, memories of trips and school events, and so on. But how many times can you read, “Hope you have a nice summer,” “Can’t wait to be seniors,” or “Good luck next year” before it starts to become mundane?

It’s true you can’t control what people write in a yearbook, and there are always going to be some ordinary messages on those blank pages. What you can change is the way the messages are written. Here some ideas for creative yearbook signing that are sure to spark the imagination, foster originality, leave room for thought, and generate new ideas.

Acronyms: Texting (along with the help of Facebook) has paved the way for a whole new language – acronyms. Create a page of acronyms that cover all the standard yearbook bases. The message may only take up a small amount of space, but this leaves a lot of room for creativity. Some great examples of yearbook acronyms are:

  1. HAGS – Have a great summer
  2. BFF – Best friends forever
  3. SWAK – Sealed with a kiss
  4. TTYL – Talk to you later
  5. YTB – You’re the best
  6. GBH – Great big hug
  7. WYWH – Wish you were here

But go beyond the usual yearbook sentiments. What else can you turn into an acronym? Try making up your own to exchange with friends and see if everyone can figure out what they mean!

Sing a song: This is a fun twist for the musically-inclined students. Include a page in the back of the yearbook that’s printed like sheet music for students to fill out with original music and lyrics. Since even the greatest lyricists get writer’s block from time to time, some fun song topics include: the story of your least favorite class, an ode to your favorite teacher, a ballad full of your inside jokes, or a pop tune about the gross food in the school cafeteria.

Make connections: Scatter random words on a page and write instructions for students to draw lines connecting words to form a sentence. This may be a little hard to tackle at first, but when the signee receives the book back it will be a game of sorts for them to figure out the cryptic yet unique message their friend has left for them. Try to fill the pages with relatable words – like summer, friends, school, English class, teacher, sports, and so on. You can create each single word or small phrase in a cloud, and call the activity “yearbook brainstorming.” Don’t forget to leave blank clouds for students to fill in their own words.

Movie quotes: Everyone loves to quote their favorite movies, whether the quotes are humorous – “Why you going to the airport? Flying somewhere?” – obscure – “Adolescence is a marketing ploy” – or just plain bad-to-the-bone – “Say hello to my little friend.” Create a few signing pages that are filled with movie memorabilia – film reels, lights, cameras, Oscars, red carpets, golden stars, and so on. You can even provide a line of simple instructions, encouraging students to write yearbook messages partially or completely in movie quotes.

With these fun ideas, you’ll open your next yearbook to pages filled with more exciting messages than, “See you next year!” Do you have any other great ideas for signing yearbooks? Let us know in the comments!


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