July 10, 2009 / Coverage

Say it with sidebars

Written by Idea File Staff

  • Sidebars enhance coverage (whether traditional features or alternative copy)
  • Sidebars enhance design (packages the information into reader-friendly sound bytes)
  • Sidebars belong in every section (student life, people, academics, groups, sports, ads)

Student Life/People

Lists
favorite places to take a date; favorite gifts for birthday/anniversary; typical wallet or purse contents; typical school supplies; surveys of current movies, TV shows, songs, stars; one thing you couldn’t do without; one person you admire

Q&A
How long have you and your boy/girlfriend been dating? What is your ideal date? What is the most interesting (or embarrassing) experience you have had on a date this year? What do you like best about school? Least? What is your dream car? What kind of car do you drive and why? What is your family’s favorite Christmas (or any holiday) tradition? How do you celebrate a certain holiday?

Sentence Completions
I enjoyed homecoming because… My biggest fear is… My biggest accomplishment is… At my ten year reunion, I hope to be… Being involved in school has helped me… Having a part time job…

First Person narratives
Dating, driving test, shopping, celebrating a birthday or holiday, living in a large (small) family, being new in school, always living in same town, overcoming a handicap or hardship, living ina foster home

Infographics
Map of cruise route, graph of hours in a typical day, map of bus routes, graph of number of hours spent on bus, number of miles on bus routes, number of hamburgers (or other foods) cafeteria workers make in a year

Quotes
He said/she said, favorite expressions, reactions to rule changes, reactions to special events

Academics

Lists
Courses by periods, favorite course, favorite teacher, how to pass time in class, tips on passing notes, tips on taking notes, best advice from a teacher and/or student, favorite/least favorite assignment, academic awards

Q&A
How much time do you spend on homework? Which teaching method do you prefer? What course(s) did teachers have the most trouble with when they were in school? What is it like to be in your mom’s or dad’s class? What do you think of our textbooks? How many teachers/students/courses use computers? What makes a classroom appealing? What teachers decorate a bulletin board?

Sentence Completion
I took this course because… When I came to high school, I was worried that… My biggest accomplishment was… My biggest fear was… I learned what studying meant when… The best way to get along with a teacher is… I would describe my academic performance as… My most recent punishment was for…

First Person Narratives
Endless homework assignments, bug collections, frog/worm/cat dissections, leaf collections. research paper, ACT/SAT experience, book reports, project likes/dislikes, unusual study habits, caught red handed, cramming, the juggling act

Infographics
Number of honor students, textbook costs, the paper mill, attendance records, tardy records, detention hall, surveys of study habits/times, average number of tests per week, maps tracing path of typical student schedule, top college/career choices

Quotes
He said/she said, teachers’/students’ favorite expressions, reactions to assignments/tests/projects

Groups

Lists
Officers, dues, meeting times, qualifications, projects, fundraisers, awards

Q&A
How much time do club activities take? Why did you join the club? Why do you practice? Why do you compete? What did you contribute to the project? How is your club money used? What was the most memorable meeting your club had? What was the highlight of your club’s service project?

Sentence Completion
I joined this club because… Our biggest accomplishment was… The most difficult task our club faced was… Everything was going well until… The club will be helpful in my future because… At meetings we…

First Person Narratives
Reflections on the service project, reflections on fundraiser, being a leader, being a follower, funniest thing that happened

Infographics
Number of clubs in the school, number of members, average attendance, fundraising graphs

Quotes
opinions/reactions to club project or fundraiser; opinions.reactions to new club rules

Community Guests
Special speakers, special contributions from local person or business to club funds for expenses, field trips

Sports

Lists
Equipment used, uniform pieces, equipment/uniform costs, gate receipts, largest gate, smallest gate, biggest rivalry, number of students involved, number of teams/coaches, total number of points scored in the season, individual statistics, individual records, individual or team awards

Q&A
How much time do you spend practicing? What position do you play and why? What do you like best about competition? What sport is your favorite?

Sentence Completions
I enjoyed the season because… My most memorable game/play was… My biggest fear was… My biggest accomplishment was… The best/worst experience I had in practice… Everything was going well/wrong until… At halftime we… Coach always got mad when we… We were excited when… I won a starting position when… I lost my position when…

First Person Narratives
Most memorable play or game, biggest achievement, biggest surprise, worst game, injury, recovery from injury, being a trainer, being a manager, senior leader, sophomore slump, living in the shadow of older sibling/father/mother

Infographics
Scoreboard, individual statistics, records broken, how long a record has stood, number of years a particular rivalry has lasted, number of siblings on a team, number of fathers/mothers who played for same team, number of miles travelled in a season for road games, costs for road games

Quotes
He said/she said, favorite expressions, reactions to rule changes, reactions to important games, superstitions, best prank pulled on a teammate/rival team/coach

Ads

Lists
Surveys of favorite car, band, food, song, concert, actor, comedian, sport, TV show, movie

Did You Know?
Short, newsy mini-stories that did not merit a full spread in the yearbook or that were not covered elsewhere, with or without photographs. Examples
club district or regional conferences, games played for bonus test points or homework coupons on academic classes, office workers, hall monitors, youth advisory boards for local banks/industries, exchange students, behind the scenes at pageants/plays/sporting events, concession stand workers, homecoming parade grand marshall, chain gangs at football games, local person who referees high school sporting events, school/community projects, field trips to local places of business, matching funds, service projects, local professionals who come to speak or lend their expertise in projects, gifts from alumni/local person/business

Comic Relief
Short, personal accounts of funny experiences, favorite jokes, favorite pranks First Person Narratives: hobbies, pet stories, work experiences, travel experiences, driving experiences, dating experiences

Infographics
Bus trivia, cafeteria trivia, teacher trivia, tests that match student/teacher/principal with identifying descriptions

Quotes
He said/she said, favorite expressions, students’ reactions to community service, reactions from community about school-related events

Photo Ops
Use those leftover photographs with a mini-story caption to enliven ads and enhance coverage.

  • Kennice

    Thank you! I love the comic relief ideas.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.