Photo by: Kaitlyn Mould

September 1, 2020 / Coverage

200+ Coverage Ideas for 2021

Written by Jim Jordan

This unprecedented school year is going to be filled with new coverage ideas we have never even thought of before. There also are hundreds of amazing coverage possibilities that are always there, but you may not have had room to get them in the book. This is the year.

Remember the 2021 coverage mindset is not what we will not be able to cover, but all the new, historic and exciting coverage ideas we can get in the book this year. You may even find yourself needing to ADD pages. Make 2021 the year of new, rich, deep, historic coverage.

Cover the year as it happens

The key to staying on top of new story possibilities is recording things AS THEY HAPPEN. Assign staffers to keep daily timelines of everything they observe going on – news, sports, politics, feelings, entertainment, etc. – then write a daily journal entry about what happened that day and how they feel about it. These will generate the most personal, timely and relevant stories for your student body.

I strongly recommend you read my blog, Instead of This, TRY THIS – Planning Your 2021 Coverage, which gives over 75 coverage ideas you can swap out in traditional sections or chronological coverage. Even though spring and summer are behind us now, which I covered in that article, it’s not too late to cover these topics if you can crowdsource photos.

To get an idea of some interesting topics, I did what I recommend all yearbook staffs do – I looked through other yearbooks for inspiration. If you are struggling for new ideas, here are 200+ evergreen ideas that six great yearbook staffs did in 2020. Think about how you can adapt these to fit your school and have your best coverage year ever.

Evergreen Topics

2020 Hauberk, Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas

  1. Summer jobs – what was different this summer?
  2. Vacations and staycations – where did you go or not go this summer?
  3. Welcoming new students to the school in the fall (Link Crew)
  4. Students who know sign language
  5. Students who have their own ‘zines
  6. Lifelong friendships
  7. CTE programs at your school
  8. Teachers’ classrooms and what’s found there with no students vs. with students
  9. Podcasts – Who has one? Who listens to what? Are they taught in your journalism classes?
  10. Favorite things coaches/teachers say
  11. What do you do after Friday Night Games?
  12. Projects at school using sticky notes
  13. Canned food drives
  14. Robotics
  15. Goals for the season
  16. Dictionary/Glossary for a sport or class
  17. Art – students as artists and their specific mediums (painting, drawing, ceramics, etc.)
  18. Chalk art
  19. TikTok – will it go or stay? Why you love/hate it? TikTok famous
  20. Global Warming – student involvement, interest and opinions
  21. Self-Care – what do students and teachers do for self-care?
  22. Playlists – what are you listening to?
  23. Vaping in decline
  24. Prescription and non-prescription drug use
  25. Stereotypes of the school
  26. Technology trends
  27. Masks
  28. Bitmojis
  29. Fears
  30. Bad luck stories
  31. Stress and pressure
  32. Coffee
  33. Room decor
  34. The sophomore slump
  35. Hair – styles, color, etc.
  36. What are you working on?
  37. Minecraft comeback
  38. Sunglasses
  39. Jobs you quit
  40. Disposable cameras and mini Polaroids
  41. Fishing and Hunting

2020 Wildcat, Har-Ber High School, Springdale, Arkansas

  1. What’s in your … car, backpack, lanyard, car mirror, amazon cart, pocket, trunk, keychain, junk drawer, photo album, DMs, cup, etc.
  2. Under one roof – parents, siblings, spouses that are a part of the Wildcat family, attending school with a sibling
  3. Earbuds
  4. Water bottles
  5. Opposing viewpoints and politics
  6. Glossary – student and school vocabulary (i.e. “spill the tea” “and I oop”)
  7. If you could be paid to do what you love, what would you do and why?
  8. What do you spend your money on?
  9. What we love about our hometown
  10. Your gaming community
  11. The role of faith in your life and faith-based clubs
  12. Serving your community – how and why do you serve?
  13. What’s in your sports bag?
  14. Playlists for sports travel road trips
  15. Competing against yourself, team vs. individual sports
  16. Virtual meetings with coaches
  17. What students create
  18. Hands on learning and inventions
  19. Words of advice (about a specific topic)
  20. Match the student with their socks
  21. Screen lock photos on your phone – why did you pick them and what do they say about you?
  22. Backpacks – how much does yours weigh? What’s in it?
  23. Streaming services – what’s your go to streaming service? (Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV, Hulu, YouTube)
  24. Match the Spotify playlist to the person
  25. What classes made coming to school worth it?
  26. What classes were best adapted to distance learning?
  27. What is your favorite fast food (a survey)?
  28. National Merit finalists
  29. High school to-do lists – what did you have to accomplish before high school was over?
  30. Teachers reflect on how not having a classroom affected their daily routine
  31. Teachers who have been at the school since day one (younger schools)/teachers who have been at the school the longest

2020 Lair Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Shawnee, Kansas

  1. Top apps
  2. Born colorblind
  3. Soccer – favorite weather to play in
  4. Nicknames
  5. How “Cougar” are you? (question chart – follow the path to your final determination: Do you even go here/You’re Cougar enough/Super Cougar)
  6. Impulses – do the unexpected
  7. Two sides to technology – which side are you on?
  8. Plastic pollution – are you contributing?
  9. I don’t want to grow up – students question the future
  10. Student battling cancer
  11. Anxiety – put yourself in other’s shoes
  12. Lockdown drills
  13. Music – favorite music genre, top songs of the year, playlists
  14. Art – expressing yourself
  15. The cost of playing sports
  16. Out of the ordinary jobs
  17. Profile on the sports announcer
  18. Pandemic timeline – what happened in your community?
  19. Parents and children of teachers who are on the pandemic front lines
  20. Staying positive
  21. Highlights of athletes’ careers
  22. Teachers who attended your school
  23. Where and when are you most productive?
  24. What freshman stereotype do you hate the most and why?
  25. Who do you look forward to seeing most every day?
  26. If you could switch lives with one of your friends, who would it be and why?
  27. What has been the best part of high school so far and why?
  28. Early bird or night owl?
  29. Who makes the best pizza?
  30. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  31. What world record do you think you could break?
  32. Who was your first celebrity crush? Are you still crushing on them?
  33. What is the grossest food combination you have ever tried?
  34. If you could live forever, would you?
  35. Who is your underclassman crush?
  36. What is one thing you wish you knew before you started high school?
  37. Who or what has had the most influence on you in high school?

2020 The Lion McKinney High School, McKinney, Texas

  1. Painting parking spots
  2. Fixing up your own car
  3. Spirit posters
  4. ­Places students gather after games
  5. Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity
  6. Students(s) who earned full-ride scholarships
  7. Voting for the first time
  8. The power of notes
  9. Popeye’s vs. Chick-fil-A (food wars)
  10. Seniors share photos of how they have changed in high school
  11. Decals on your laptop
  12. AirPod cases
  13. Senior slang
  14. What do you want to be remembered for?
  15. What do you need the most?
  16. What is your sleep schedule?
  17. AP vs. Dual Credit
  18. What do you keep in the back of your car?
  19. Show off your keychain/lanyard
  20. How do you get your money?
  21. Your perfect concert lineup
  22. Your favorite viral songs
  23. Your Mario Kart character
  24. How much time do you spend on your phone?
  25. Last photo on your camera roll
  26. Favorite Netflix binge
  27. What’s in the teachers’ workroom fridge?

2020 Aerie Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida

  1. Taking College Tours
  2. School Policy Changes
  3. What’s in your backpack? (freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior)
  4. College Application process
  5. Favorite video games/platforms
  6. Mental health issues (anxiety, ADHS, Depression)
  7. What do you binge?
  8. Favorite foods, places to eat
  9. LBGTQ+
  10. Student Athletes commit to college
  11. ­Holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. – each can be its own spread)
  12. Gingerbread house building in culinary
  13. Local holiday parade
  14. Preparing for midterms/finals
  15. Winter Break – what did you do?
  16. Conspiracy theories
  17. Ride sharing services
  18. A day of service
  19. A day of memory
  20. College fair
  21. Celebrating honor roll students
  22. Fight against cancer
  23. Twins
  24. Getting your wisdom teeth out
  25. Favorite senior moment/favorite underclass moment
  26. Most popular first name at your school “All About Alex”
  27. Best Memes
  28. Squads – people you hang out with, favorite memories and activities together
  29. New construction
  30. Screen/Phone addiction
  31. Junior stress over college
  32. How have you volunteered this year?
  33. New stores and restaurants in your town
  34. Which assistant principal are you?
  35. Coaches’ favorite moments of the year

2020 Arena Legacy High School, Mansfield, Texas

  1. Student vacations during the year
  2. Month-by-month news
  3. Decade review
  4. Things you didn’t know about Legacy
  5. Random things found in classrooms
  6. What happens after school hours?
  7. After school tutoring
  8. Balancing school and work
  9. What happens at lunch?
  10. What’s on the school menu?
  11. Pets
  12. Routines – what do students do every day at the same time?
  13. Phones and their significance
  14. What’s your style?
  15. The art of makeup
  16. Fundraising
  17. Practice/Practice Essentials
  18. Managers and trainers
  19. Gameday traditions
  20. What happens at halftime
  21. Rivalries
  22. Parent contributions to teams
  23. PTA contributions
  24. Team moms
  25. Student Art
  26. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt
  27. Volunteering at local schools
  28. 20 interesting people
  29. Planning for college
  30. Senior projects
  31. Prices of items this year
  32. Top 20
  33. Private vs. public school
  34. What’s your side hustle?
  35. Getting extra credit
  36. Early graduators
  37. Studying strategies
  38. Volunteering at church
  39. First car
  40. Favorite things
  41. Things you must have
  42. Two truths and a lie
  43. Beekeeping
  44. Teachers who were students at the school

You know your school and community better than anyone. You and your staff can brainstorm 200 more great coverage ideas for 2021 that need to be part of your book. Just get started!

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Jim Jordan
Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan is a Special Consultant for Walsworth Yearbooks and the host of the Yearbook Chat with Jim podcast. He is former yearbook adviser at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California. Jim was the 1996 JEA Yearbook Adviser of the Year, and shares his expertise with students and advisers at workshops and conventions across the country. Jim is the lead mentor for Walsworth's Adviser Mentor Program.