This unit explains everything first-year advisers need to know, as well as how and when to do it, to succeed their first year. It also provides great tips and serves as a refresher for veteran advisers, too.

You can download a PDF of the New Advisers Field Guide to Yearbook here.


Congratulations! You have been given the job of yearbook adviser.

You have this all under control. After all, you’re a professional educator; you went to college to learn how to teach. You may even already be a veteran teacher. It is all going to be great. It really is!

No other classroom has the rewards you will find in the yearbook room. You will work with some of the best and brightest students on campus. You will challenge them to excel beyond their wildest dreams. You will shepherd students through completing a product encompassing a year’s worth of work and memories. That product will be cherished long past your lifetime.

There will be nights where you laugh, cry and cheer, all in a matter of five minutes. There will be nights where you dream of your students, the yearbook and yes, summer vacation. During all of those nights, we are here to help you, guide you and answer questions.

This unit is comprised of five sections. Each section contains practical and time-tested suggestions, a checklist to help you stay focused, and everything you need to be successful from day one. These sections include:

  • Preparing you
  • Preparing your classroom
  • Preparing your students
  • Preparing your school
  • Preparing to end the year


The Adviser Edition of Yearbook Suite is comprised of all 11 curriculum units, plus the “New Advisers Field Guide to Yearbook” in one convenient folder.

Cover every topic with your staff, from design and theme to photography and marketing, and everything in between. Plus, the Adviser Edition includes additional instructional tips and the list of Common Core State Standards met.

And a bonus! The Adviser Edition binder also includes Walsworth’s “First 30 Days” lesson plan, which will help you get the year off to an efficient start with 30 days’ worth of classroom activities mapped out for your staff.


Producing a yearbook can lead to plenty of legal questions. This unit helps you understand them all – First Amendment rights, libel, invasion of privacy, copyright and more.


Because of a miscommunication on your yearbook staff, no one took photos during the state soccer championship game. The photo editor decides to simply download photos from one team member’s personal Facebook page to use on the spread about the soccer team’s amazing season.

Another staff member thinks it would be humorous to use a picture of the school gym teacher without her knowledge when creating an ad promoting the new local donut shop.

When you produce a yearbook, legal conundrums have a way of finding you. As a form of speech and expression, yearbook content enjoys wide First Amendment protection. However, balanced against that right to expression, the yearbook must respect the rights of those whose lives and experiences are displayed upon its pages.

Your finished product (either in print or digital form) is a published work subject to applicable laws and standards that professionals must follow. While most staff members may not be old enough to vote, they are still legally responsible for what they print. This is why it’s essential for yearbook staffs to understand the basics of the law as a road map to guide their decisions.

So, a little prevention goes a long way. Knowing and respecting basic aspects of the law will enable you to make wise decisions. This unit will help you:

  • Understand your First Amendment rights and how they apply to your publication
  • Know how to avoid libel, malice and invasion of privacy
  • Understand copyright and trademarks so you don’t misuse the work of others
  • Learn how the law applies to advertising

Creating a perfect, mistake-free yearbook is a dream, but it should be the goal. Learn the ways of copy editing in this unit, and bring credibility and journalistic integrity to your staff in the process.


The long-awaited day has finally arrived. The yearbook is being delivered and every staffer anxiously waits to tear into those boxes and break the binding on their precious publication. All the sleepless nights, last-minute photo-ops and computer blindness have all been for this moment — seeing the satisfied look on the faces of your peers. You hand out your pride and joy to a student and watch them walk away smiling, but then they stop… turn… and head back to you.

You know what comes next.

“You spelled my name wrong.”

“Do you know you spelled varsity wrong?”

“That’s not what grade I’m in.”

Maybe the perfect publication is a pipe dream. There is just too much to do in such a short time to make sure everything has been copy-edited and factchecked. However, no matter the excuses we make, this fact remains: errors diminish credibility and journalistic integrity.

How can we be trusted to tell a student’s emotional tale or accurately document the history of a school year if we can’t spell the word “success” correctly?

You can’t learn to edit copy overnight. It is an art that is learned and acquired over time with practice.

Your yearbook staff has worked so hard on the yearbook; make sure your work is seen! Learn principles of marketing, how to plan your marketing for the year and easy, effective tactics you should use now.


You’re spending a lot of time creating this amazing book that captures all the events of the year. You also need to make sure you’re taking the time to market your yearbook and ads. Why? For starters, everyone in the school should see your hard work and get to enjoy a yearbook.

So what is marketing? Everyone knows what it is – you see it every day. It’s “the right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price.” Some may say that if your product, the yearbook, is good enough, it will sell itself. Do you think companies such as Apple or Starbucks ever say that? They allocate a portion of their staff, and of their time, energy and budget to making sure consumers are aware of the products they have. Your yearbook is competing with a lot of other items – make sure students and parents are aware of the book and entice them to buy it.

Learning how to market and setting up your marketing plan is a fun and engaging group activity. To help you create the right marketing plan for your school, this book will teach you:

  • How to define and get to know your audience
  • How to use the 4P’s to ensure your marketing is effective
  • To define the right marketing tactics for your target audiences
  • How to set up your marketing plan
  • Ways to use social media to maximize engagement with your potential customers

Great photos help tell the story of the year in a way your readers will always remember. This unit introduces them to the world of photography and journalism, and teaches them how to take quality photos for the yearbook.


Every day people are bombarded with thousands of visual images. The media of this century and beyond will continue the visually oriented and graphic trend that exploded in the latter part of the last century. One of the key components to the success of these visual print publications is photography.

Since the days of the Civil War, photos have served a critical role in the development of our society. The images for a yearbook are no less powerful in creating a historical record — from a student perspective.

Photojournalism introduces students to the world of photography and journalism.

In this unit you will learn about the camera and how to use it to tell a story, including:

  • Basics of the camera and how it captures images
  • Settings on the camera and how to use them
  • How to get the most when faced with different lighting situations
  • Composition of photos
  • Teamwork in telling the best story with photos

Whether it’s with a mobile phone or a top-of-the-line digital camera, the basic rules and concepts are the same. Whether it’s for publication on social media that lasts for a few seconds or a yearbook that lasts a lifetime, photographs document reality. If you can capture high-quality action photos that are full of emotion for your yearbook, you will be capturing the definitive historical record of the year.

Captions and headlines will be the most-read copy in your yearbook, so they deserve proper attention. Help students learn how to write captions and headlines that grab the reader’s eye and keep them on the page.


Before anyone reads your well-crafted story on a yearbook spread, their eyes will be drawn to your headline and captions.

Photos will draw their attention first, so it’s automatic that people will read the accompanying captions to learn more about the people and what they are doing. Cleverly written and well-designed headlines will attract readers to a spread almost as much as the dominant photo.

You may hear that students don’t read the copy in the yearbook. They will if you begin writing enticing headlines and informative captions. Improving your copy in these two areas will lead readers to want to learn more from the story.

Your journey to writing great caption and headline copy that readers will enjoy starts now. In this unit you will learn to:

  • Write great captions using the ABCD formula
  • Write intriguing headlines that are vivid and descriptive while staying factual

To capture readers, your yearbook staff should be writing personal stories and finding unique angles for the year. This unit will help kick-start that creative process.


So why do we even bother to write yearbook copy? I mean, seriously… nobody likes to read and yearbook staff members claim they don’t like to write, so why go to the trouble?

Let’s start with why we produce yearbooks – and why people buy them.

  • A yearbook captures memories. It is the sentimental version of a bank vault where we store the important events, the touching memories, those defining moments that give meaning and life to a year.
  • The yearbook is a time machine that allows readers to remember what it was to be in high school, to be a teen.

Yearbooks without stories have a hard time capturing defining moments or reminding readers who they were and how life has changed. To do this, you need to write stories that are captivating and personal. Once you learn the process for researching, writing and rewriting, you can write those engrossing stories for your yearbook.

Before your yearbook staff can begin writing stories, they need to acquire the right information. Use this unit to learn how to interview sources and get that information.


Before any yearbook writers can start crafting their masterpieces, information for the story must be gathered. One of the most important ways journalists do this is through interviewing sources.

Actually getting out and talking to people in and around the school community is vital to your yearbook’s coverage. Students, teachers, coaches, administrators, parents – they all make great sources.

But as you get started, there are some fundamental truths about interviewing that you should understand:

  • Good interviews require research and preparation
  • The best interviews are conversations
  • Interviews need attention to (the right) detail

That all sounds sensible, right? Unfortunately, learning these principles is not always easy. They don’t come naturally for every yearbook reporter. But don’t worry, there’s an art to interviewing and every staffer can learn it.

Teach fundamental yearbook design with this unit, including how to recognize good design elements, how to start a design from scratch, how to create a basic spread and the importance of packaging.


You have a theme. You even have a great cover. Now it’s time to figure out what goes on each page of your yearbook. Where to start?

Publication design is more than placing pictures on pages. It’s more than picking pretty fonts. It’s more than using green, “because it’s my favorite color.”

Good designers evolve and good design communicates. It draws the reader in, it enhances stories, it drives your well-chosen theme.

The timeline for this unit will be ongoing. Once you have mastered basic design principles, you will be introduced to more advanced design, leading you well on your way to communicating with design.

To get started, we need to look at the foundation for building an insightful eye for design by examining the following areas:

  • Observing the elements of good editorial design
  • Starting with a blank page
  • Creating a basic design
  • Understanding type
  • Creating a secondary coverage package