As a teacher, I know you’ve been there. In the midst of a fantastic teaching moment, you catch two or three of your students paying more attention to the doodle they’re crafting than your lesson. However, before losing your temper, keep these two things in mind — first, that studies show that doodling may actually aid in memory while note-taking — and second: these doodlers may be just what you’re looking for in a new yearbook feature! As frustrating as their (apparent) lack of attention can be within the classroom, it’s actually a visual goldmine for your yearbook. After all, what better way to grab some original artwork for your publication than through the students who actually walk the hallways every day! In fact, this is one of those concepts that can make for a divine new feature for your book. So as you contemplate different angles to take with this type of yearbook spread, let me outline some awesome tips for getting great content while you build a new annual piece.
Open to the Masses
A student sketch feature like this isn’t something you should limit to just the art classes. While something with the classes can be an amazing feature in itself, that’s exactly what you want to avoid in this case. Instead, make this more of an amateur submission opportunity, that any student who likes to doodle can access. Make it easy for students to submit their work through your online yearbook or with a particular teacher during the school day. Give them the option of publishing their name alongside their work, or remaining anonymous if they’d prefer. Publish as many doodles as possible within the space your feature allows. This will make your article extra engaging and lead to a more successful yearbook spread!
While submissions for your feature are open to all students, you still need to have some guidelines in place that offer a little direction for your feature. This ensures that the doodles you include have some cohesive features, and that they’re in line with your school’s values. To get you started, here are some of the must-have guidelines that will get your student sketch feature off on the right foot:
- Theme-oriented: A student sketch feature is the perfect place to weave your theme throughout more of your content. Outline your theme in your guidelines, but leave the creativity up to the students. Adding too many examples can actually work against you and limit the scope of submissions you receive.
- Size restrictions: While you can re-size images once you scan them into your computer, too much shrinkage can cause you to lose the finer details of your sketches. Consider the space you have available and set a maximum sketch size, such as 3 inches by 5 inches.
- Black and white: Remember, this is a feature in your yearbook spread that was inspired by doodling in class. Restrict your sketches to black and white submissions only. This allows the original intent of your idea to shine through.
Promote Your Yearbook Spread Feature
To get awesome student sketch submissions, you have to make sure your campus knows about your feature! Put up posters around your school to promote your idea. Use bold poster colors to make your sketch examples pop. Clearly communicate how students can turn in their work, and what their deadline is. Use your school announcements to share your exciting concept. If your school allows, pass out flyers in the lunchroom. Promote the concept with your online yearbook. The more ways you reach out to the students, the more likely they are to submit. And that’s exactly what will make this particular yearbook spread fabulous!