Yearbook Class Writing AssignmentsSep 20th 2016
Yearbooks are meant to be written by the students of the yearbook staff about their fellow students, but what if your students know nothing about yearbook writing? We've put together some writing assignments to supplement your yearbook curriculum - making not only the design great, but the writing as well!
What is a yearbook without photos and the captions that go with them? Teaching your students to write not just appropriate captions for their fellow students, but also captivating ones, is an important skill for any yearbook staff member to have.
Ask the students to bring in popular magazines, and rather than read the articles, have them read only the captions. Ask them to write their own captions for a random group of photos that you have collected for them. Have them turn the random photos into a story using just captions. How do the photos relate to each other? Can they be factual yet creative enough to grab the attention of readers? As the students learn the importance of captioning in a yearbook, they will be halfway to excellence.
One thing that helps a yearbook capture the memories of the school year is to include important things that have happened during the year. It is not always about who made the JV team. It could be about an accident to a student or a worldwide event that affected the entire student body.
Have your students pick an event from the past decade or two that affected the country or the entire world and ask them to write an article on it, including how it affected not only the nation, but also how it affected their local area or the student body. We make history every day and so do your students. It may not be world history, but it is their personal history, and this should be reflected in their articles.
By taking the time to not just research the event but also to write the article, including personal feelings and those of their friends and neighbors, students can get a sense of how national events can touch lives close to them. Researching the articles should also help your students to understand how to convey emotions in their writing, without making it into a personal blog or diary entry.
Different Styles of Writing
As your students learn about different styles of writing, they will be more prepared to offer varying styles in the final product rather than have everything written from a first person perspective. At this point, many of your students are used to writing how they feel about something—how a book or assignment affects them, for example. Many assignments in school ask for opinions, feelings, and reactions, but this does not necessarily make for good journalism. There are four types of writing styles—expository, narrative, persuasive, and descriptive. When your students learn and experiment with each type, they can not only find a style that works well for them personally, but they will also see how each could fit into a well-written and well-thought-out yearbook.
Look for more yearbook curriculum ideas on the Blossom Yearbook blog!