Yearbook Ideas For Pages That Capture the “Year in Review”

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Yearbooks evoke memories of time and place, and one way to enhance those memories is to do a “Year In Review” spread, where you capture the highlights of the past 12 months. This type of spread provides a snapshot in time, documentation of just what this year was like, both in the school and out. Most yearbooks have this type of spread, but we’ve got some ideas to help you make sure you’ve got the best scoop.

What to Include in Your “Year in Review” Spread

Your “Year in Review” spread can’t document everything about a year (if it did, your yearbook would become an almanac), but there are certain aspects of a year that you’ll definitely want to include. Here are a few ideas.

Pop Culture. Few things transport you to your younger self more than pop culture. Here’s a list of things to remind students what they were watching and listening to this year.

  • #1 song of the year
  • Best-selling albums (feel free to do top 5)
  • Oscar Award for Best Picture
  • Highest-grossing movie
  • Highest-ranked movie on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Most popular YouTube clip (provided it’s school appropriate)
  • Most retweeted tweet (see above)
  • Big celebrity marriage(s)
  • Top TV shows
  • Most downloaded song
  • Popular memes
  • Most popular games
  • Coolest apps
  • Best-selling books
  • Clothing trends

Some of these might seem a bit subjective, or a bit hard to track down. However, the benefit of covering pop culture is that it’s, well, popular: a quick Google search of your topic will immediately reveal ample sources from which you can glean information.

Sports. Sports are a great way to remember a year, especially for schools in cities with professional teams.

  • A survey of favorite teams (A great way to make this page interactive or inclusive: student survey results! Surveys can also be incorporated in any number of other “Year in Review” categories.)
  • Most popular players
  • How local teams did that year
  • Olympic/World Cup results (depending on year)
  • Champions in major sports (golf/tennis/hockey/racing/football/baseball)

History of the Present. A straightforward timeline of some of the most important events enhances the feeling of “remember when?”  Several everyday facts might also make their way onto this page to great effect.

  • Any election results
  • Major news stories
  • Local news
  • Cool scientific achievements
  • Top technological breakthroughs
  • Discoveries and explorations
  • Notable deaths
  • Cost of everyday items (gas, milk, movie rental)

Bring a Previous Year into Your “Year In Review” Spread

If your yearbook theme is focused on your school’s history, a normal “year in review” might not do it for you. Instead, try picking a year from the past. Compare this year with a major anniversary year (say 50 years ago).That way, the students can look at the yearbook this year and be interested in what happened in the past, as well as have a memory for the future. If you wanted to do this, several entries on the page could look like this:

Best Picture

1965: My Fair Lady   2015: Birdman

Most-Watched TV Show

1965: Bonanza!   2015: Game of Thrones

Designing Your “Year in Review” Spread

When laying out the page, there are any number of ways to organize your information appealingly.

A few innovative options:

  • Use icons the organize photos by subject
  • Lay out the info in a timeline
  • Style the section like the front page of a newspaper
  • Have the page resemble a bulletin board

However, you don’t need to go crazy when designing these pages–the students will be more interested in the pictures on the page than how they’re organized. As you can see from our designs from 2014-15 (also check out 2021), sometimes straightforward works best:

“Year in Review” for elementary or middle school 

High school “Year in Review” spread.

No matter how you design it, your “Year in Review” spread will definitely be a popular page for students, both today and in the future. The important cultural highlights you include, from pop culture to sports to politics to science, will provide subject for conversation now and for years down the road.  

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