Look ‘beyond the stars’ for yearbook coverage

Balfour desk

The stars. They are the leads in plays, the presidents of the clubs and the captains of the teams. Do you see them? Yes. They are very visible members of the school community, but there is more to your school than meets the eye.

For inclusive, in-depth coverage, your staff will need to look beyond the stars. A graphic organizer is a simple but effective tool to help your students visualize student and staff involvement. It’s a visual display that demonstrates relationships between facts, concepts or ideas.

Distribute the single graphic organizer to each student. Then try this two-minute drill:

In the center of the graphic organizer, write the name of a sport, club or activity.
Select one you know something about. In the eight circles that surround the center circle, write the names of people or groups of people connected to the subject.

Share these examples if they are having difficulties with the assignment:

MARCHING BAND – Director, (assistant director), student director(s), drum major, brass, winds, drum line, flags, majorettes, parent support group, fans, etc.

FOOTBALL – Athletic director, coaches, offense, defense, special teams, specific positions (kickers, quarterback, etc.) managers & trainers, spirit groups (cheerleaders, mascot), parent support groups, etc. (see example)

Distribute the two-up graphic organizers (4 pages) to each student. Then explain their homework assignment:

Write the eight names in the outer circles from the exercise above in the center of each of the eight graphic organizers.
In the circles surrounding the center, write activities the person or group of people do when involved in the activity.
Finally, in each circle write whether it is done before, during or after.

The activity generates the following:

  • A heightened awareness of student, faculty, staff and parent involvement
  • People to interview for background information
  • Participants’ stories and spectators’ reaction
  • A specific angle for coverage
  • Photo possibilities

In order to complete the assignments, download and print both the single and two-up graphic organizers.