Creating yearbooks with Book Creator

Dan KempBlog, Elementary / Primary, High School / Secondary, Middle School, Publishing

It's that time of year - let's take a look at how you could make a yearbook with your students in Book Creator.

We've been asked numerous times recently whether we have a template for a yearbook that we could share. We didn't have one - so we made one! Inspired by some great examples that have been shared in recent weeks, we've created our very own yearbook template for you to copy and reuse as you need to.

Jump to the template 👇

What makes a great yearbook?

Moving from one year to the next, particularly if it's a graduation year, is a time for reflection and a chance to say goodbye to the teachers and students that we've journeyed with. Particularly this year when the final months of the year have been disrupted by lockdown and students may not have had the chance to say goodbye to each other in person, it's even more important to offer a keepsake for the year, and a virtual online yearbook made in Book Creator could be just the thing.

Choose a theme

Yearbooks are deeply personal, and will reflect the culture and values of your school. You'll need to pick a theme that reflects these values. You might go with a fun vibe for a yearbook for kindergarteners, or a more serious approach for a high school graduation yearbook. You might take a nostalgic approach, or a future-thinking approach, you might draw in pop culture, or keep it classical.

Just remember to keep the theme consistent throughout the book, and choose imagery, fonts and other design motifs that fit that theme.

Gather as much material as possible

Hopefully you've taken photos and videos from throughout the year. The more you have, the easier it will be to choose the best photos that tell the story of your school year. Organise them in Google Drive so you'll be able to easily add them to Book Creator. Even better, construct the book in Book Creator throughout the year to save yourself time at the end of the year.

Amy Chandler created a photo scrapbook at the end of the yearbook for her 5th grade students from Encino Park Elementary in San Antonio, Texas. This is a creative and simple way to capture the activity and hubbub of the school year!

Encino Park 5th grade yearbook

Interview your students

Of course, it can only be a great yearbook if the focus is on the students. The more you can get them to contribute, the more personalised and memorable it will be. The questions you ask them will need to be relevant for your theme, but in our template we suggest things like:

  • What is the funniest thing that happened to you this year?
  • What surprised you this year?
  • What will you be remembered for?
  • What are your hopes for next year?

Students from Shadow Ridge High School, Surprise, Arizona were given freedom to design their own pages for the yearbook, but were asked to write a message to a younger version of themselves, reflect on their final year before and after the lockdown, and the focus on the positives they could take. It's amazing to see how each students responded to this task in different ways.

Page from Shadows to Light yearbook

Page by page

In our template, we divided the yearbook into separate sections:

  1. Message from the headteacher (remember - it doesn't have to be text)
  2. Page about the class teacher
  3. Contents page (photos of each student that links to their individual page)
  4. Student pages

I would say these are the core pages of your yearbook. We've then included some ideas for optional pages such as:

  • Group of the year
  • Student(s) of the year
  • Student awards / predictions
  • Class trips
  • Class timeline
  • Sports day highlights
  • Student showcase of work
  • Prom memories

Finally, don't forget the autograph page at the end of the book!

Get a copy of our template

We've pulled together all of this advice to provide you with your very own starter template in Book Creator. Just click the button below to add it to your library.

You should edit this template as you need to - we've had to make it as generic as possible but you need to make it as personal as possible. We've included some example pages which you can delete or edit, and you'll need to add your own pages too. Feel free to change the colours, fonts and everything else to adapt it to your needs.

Download the ePub file (for Book Creator for iPad)

Get the Spanish version (our thanks to Alberto Valdes for translating)

Edit: January 2021 - this template is now available as one of 18 in-built templates inside Book Creator!

Learn more here

Case study: Alicia Bankhofer

Alicia Bankhofer is a secondary school teacher in Vienna, Austria. They used Book Creator to create their Yearbooks with year 8 students (age 14 and 15) who were about to leave middle school.

She says they chose Book Creator because "it allows us to collaborate and to allow students to be creative AND mix different media."

Their task was to produce a memory book of their time spent at school over the past 4 years. As they produced the books during lockdown, the project was conducted while school was operating in shifts (group A and B on certain days in the week). This meant half of the class was physically present while the other half was present online.

The students formed their own editorial teams (groups of 4) and decided on content and design themselves. One group used their own design and the other used our template.

They collaborated together using the real-time collaboration feature but also used the combine books function as some chose to work on certain parts separately.

Here are the results! What do you think?

Yearbook cover - 4E
Yearbook cover - 4F

Case study: Jane Ross

Digital Coach Jane Ross was tasked with producing the annual yearbook. She chose to create an online digital version using Book Creator because of its accessibility and ability to accommodate multimedia.

Jane wanted to break away from traditional headshot passport photo galleries and created fun themes for each grade level. She used green screen, Photoshop and Canva to create digital collages and added photos and videos to Book Creator. The finished yearbook has over 215 pages and a table of contents for easy navigation. What's more - Jane printed a hard copy that looks amazing! See below 👇

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8 Comments on “Creating yearbooks with Book Creator”

  1. I am interested in learning more when I can find the time as I am a wife and mother of three!!!!

  2. I have the template – Thanks! I love it. I’ve made the pages but I want to share it with my students so they can add their own answers and choose the pictures. Is this possible?

  3. Hi Dan, will book creator work on Chromebooks? I am a online line teacher and will be teaching the yearbook class for the first time. My school is a blended K-12 (in-person and online instruction) and our online students use school issued chromebooks.

  4. I would love for my students to be able to choose their own pictures from the year to insert into this template. How can I make them available for students to choose from if they are all on separate ipads?

    1. Hi Madison, it sounds like you’d need to add those photos to some sort of cloud storage that all the iPads could access.

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