Capture it! Create a Yearbook for your Class

by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.

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The year is winding down, and soon it will all be just a memory. Maybe you can already hear faint reprises of Cats playing in the background. (And, depending on how your year went, maybe that’s a welcome refrain!)

Regardless of whether you want to clone this class or ship them off to brighter (let’s hope) futures, closure is always a good thing, right? And there’s hardly any better way to achieve closure to a productive school year than through a yearbook! I’m not talking about the laugh-at-her-big-hair-two-decades-later kind. I’m talking about a handmade, class-made book that every student can treasure for years to come. One just about YOUR class.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Create the book. Start with a folder with brads in the middle- one for each student-and insert about 10 blank white pieces of paper (or clear page protectors with paper inserted, if you want to be a little fancy).

2. Photograph. Recruit a parent helper if you can. Pull students one-at-a-time into the hallway (or into a corner of the classroom, if you’re working alone), and snap their photo. Digital cameras are best because you can print the pictures cheaply only. Print a 4 x 6 of each child.

3. Assemble. Have the children glue their photograph onto the first page of their books. Under it, they should print their name, age, your name, year of school (third, etc.), and date. Students can personalize their yearbooks with drawings, stickers, glitter, etc.

4. Fill It. For all of the other pages, students can fill in other tidbits, such as: draw the classroom; list all of the other students (or you could provide a class list to insert); an “all about me” page with their favorite music, interests, etc.; a page to list their favorite subjects/topics studied and highlights from what they learned; a page to describe their best friends; a page about their families; and–of course–several pages for autographs and notes from their classmates. You could create templates for these pages to print beforehand, for younger students. As they fill in these pages, they’re also benefiting from a nice review activity and practicing their writing skills. Ooooh…more sneaky learning right at the end of school. Your principal would be oh so proud.

5. Summarize. A page from the teacher, typed up, listing favorite activities, field trips and projects to include is nice, as well: inside jokes, funny moments and personal milestones…whatever you think the children will get a kick out of remembering.

6. Autograph. Finally, set aside an afternoon to allow time for autographing and sharing their yearbooks.

Voila! A perfectly concluded year and a perfect end-of-year activity. “Memoriiiiiieeeeees….”

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4 Comments

Filed under Classroom Community, Summer Learning, Uncategorized, Writing

4 responses to “Capture it! Create a Yearbook for your Class

  1. susan

    This is a great idea. Thank you so much as I will use it with the children that are leaving my home day care to go to pre-school. Susan

  2. Kay Wallin

    A similar idea is to start at the beginning of the year Take individual photos of all the students. Do the same at the end of the year. Instead of a yearbook, you do a class scrapbook where each student has a page. On each student’s page, include the photos from the beginning and the end of the year as well as any other photos or other special work the student has done during the year. This is an excellent way for teachers to reminder each year’s students. If scrapbooks are made digitally, they can easily be reproduced for each member of the clas.

  3. Jackie Helm

    My daughter’s third grade class did the scrapbook page idea. At the end of the year, each child was given his/her own page.
    Also, her teachers made a cute picture as a small group to include on the pages. Each of the teachers wrote one word of the sentence “We will miss you!” and then as a tight little group are holding their hands up to spell out the sentence. (I hope I have described the picture well enough for you to get the idea. It is a cute picture!)
    Thank you for the year-book idea & I also like the template pages to get those creative juices flowing!

  4. dorothy warrenmiller

    As a 5th grade teacher & the students last year in elementary school we put together time capsules to remember their year. They traced their hands, some their feet or just put their shoe size, filled in a questionaire of favorites, even put in ads from the newspapers on the prices of their favorite car, outfits, milk, etc. They continued to fill their capsules with anything thru out the year they wanted to save. I used plastic envelope size portfolios. On the last day of school students signed each others capsule with sharpies, then I sealed them with packing tape. They were told not to open them until high school graduation. To my surprise a former student came to see me this week with his time capsule in tow, still sealed & we opened it together. We laughed, cried & remembered our year together. He even said I was right, it was worth saving it. This student earned a full scholarship to the U of Md. & told me I was the 1st teacher he had that showed teachers were people too & love & cared for their students. This is the reason I do this job!!!!!!!!!!!!!