Content ideas for the elementary level

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An unusual year has left us scrambling for creative content. Nowhere has this been more difficult than in elementary yearbooks, which often rely on events to fill pages. But when there’s a challenge, Balfour advisers come up with a solution.

Recently, an adviser reached out on the Balfour Advisers Facebook group, asking for suggestions for the elementary coverage dilemma. Advisers from all levels responded with their own topics and additional ideas. Here’s what they said:

“I love playground shots. Lots of personality, action and genuine joy smiles while playing.” –Shalayne Mayfield, Sonora High School

“COVID, fear factor, alumni, celebrity lookalikes, 5th grade quotes (I’m assuming that’s your last grade), dream vacation, favorite foods...There are tons of ideas out there for alternative coverage for this year, thank goodness.” –Sandy O’Leary, St. Mary Catholic School

“I’m doing a ‘Year of the Masks’ page with all the cute and unique masks!” –Christy Coulter, Jayton High School

“I think I’ll be adding a ‘Guess Who’ sort of game. Maybe by grade if I have a lot of pages to fill. Basically on one page it will be a layout of a bunch of kids with their masks on, with a number on the picture, and then toward the back of the book will be a page with the numbered pictures of the kids with masks off and their names.” – Narse Funes, Scanlan Oaks Elementary School

“I have one page with all of the twins (and one set of triplets) that we have at the school. We missed two days of school for Hurricane Laura (I'm in Houston area) and we did a virtual day for TS Beta so I have photos of what the students did on those days off. I added a page about the summer and those who traveled, where they went, etc. I have a page of students showing off their pets. I found some with unique names and how they got them or what the name means…I tried to find fun, unique stories, such as a fourth grader who rode 1700 miles on his bike during quarantine and asked him about that. A lot of our classes did things for World Kindness Day (I found these photos on Twitter) so I did a module about that. We had a student win Grand Champion for her rabbit at the Humble Rodeo so that is in there.” –Stephanie Lynch, Atascocita Springs Elementary

“We have a LOT more space to fill than we usually did because we usually put PK-4 in their class groups. Well, that's been like 52 Pickup this year with most of us F2F but a few still remote coming back and forth, in and out. So, we flowed them by grade. Now we have multiple pages partly because of the grade grouping and partly because we didn't get the whole student body. So what do we do?

How you lost your teeth
Recess Buddies
Tiny Tiger Standouts (teacher nominated)
PE play
When I grow up (written on small chalkboard)
What's in your backpack? (junior high)
Crock'in and Rockin' (Crocks and their Kibbutz)
Who Belongs to Whom (students who are children of parents)
Pet Pals

We also did one about names— it'll be something along the lines of the Jack and Lillies. We have seven different versions of Jack (Jack, Jackson, Jaxon, Jaxon and Jackson) and six different versions of Lillie (Lillian, Lilliaunna, Lillie and Lilly).” –Regina Kai, Wills Point ISD

16_Hill Country_stuffed animals 860Collections or stuffed animals can become fun yearbook spreads, like this one from the 2016 Hill Country Christian School book.

“My wife, who is an elementary art teacher, has a student art spread.” –Justin Lamarche, Salyards Middle Schoool

“We did an art spread as well. Super cute.” –Lauren Reeves, Wimberley High School

“Here’s my list:
–Back to School In-Person Photos
–Teacher Appreciation
–Teacher Candids
–Online Learning
–School Spirit
–Super Heroes are Everywhere
–Playing in the Rain
–iSpy (send fun photos from remote learning and I’ll make an iSpy page)
–When I grow up, I want to be
–Holidays and Valentine’s
–Candids for each grade”
–Deb Perry, Pioneer Elementary

“I do high school, but here is a fun idea I used that came from a Balfour 1949 book, (my mom’s book from Queens NY): Have the kids create cartoon bodies for themselves. Print out photos of them and have them cut them out and place them on the bodies, then photograph the art and place in the book. We do this for our Best Of's as we call them. Such as I am the ‘most dramatic teacher’ and ‘the mask police.’ Others are the best teacher, funniest, most athletic, etc. The kids make up what they voted for which some are: most involved, most athletic, pretest mask, etc. But just the art activity for the kids is fun and it is fun to fill pages with their art. I am also going to do a mask up page with masked photos done in a "Where's Waldo" type montage.”
–Lindsay Roberts, Tombstone High School

“We did a ‘Silver Linings’ page. I put a contest out on social media for the first 20 parents/kids who got back to me with a photo and quote of a silver lining from this crazy year would be featured on this page. It has been really successful and turned out so cute.” – Janine Timmermann, Old Union Elementary

“I'm having kids submit art (on Padlet) and I sent out a Google form asking for kids to reflect on the school year, as we've basically been remote all year—funny stories from online learning—what they like, what they miss, what they're proud of, etc.” –Kristin Conrad, Tesoro del Valle Elementary

“Costumes, heroes, family fans.” –Caley O’Neil, Montgomery High School
“Recess pictures, classroom activities, twin pics, dress up days, teachers dressed in costumes, fundraising, honor roll.” –Suzanna Williams, Tioga Junior High School

Don’t forget about the Ready-to-Go Spreads available for use in your yearbook. Elementary topics include this snack spread as well as school supplies, masks and how life has changed.

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