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Making a Middle-School Memory Book

A memory book has a little more personal touch than a school yearbook, and gives more students an opportunity to contribute. Here are some tips to help get you  started.

A memory book has a little more personal touch than a school yearbook, and gives more students an opportunity to contribute. Here are some tips to help get you and you students started.

Choose a Theme and Title:

This memory book is something that the students should be involved with from the very beginning, including choosing a theme. If you are having trouble getting them to come up with ideas, you can some hints to get them going, such as utilizing the school mascot, a silly pun based on the name of the school or the title of your class. Once the overall theme is established, you can begin to discuss what the title of the book will be.

You may want to form a committee of students to help keep them engaged, and to set and meet deadlines. You could have some students in charge of gathering and editing written material, deciding what sections there will be in the memory book, and gathering and taking photographs. You may be a little bit limited as to how much work you can assign students at this age, but the more responsibility they feel for the outcome (it stands to reason) the more engaged they will be in the project as a whole.

Gathering Your Material:

When it comes to photographs, the main thing is to make sure that every student is included somewhere in the book so no one is left out. To that end, give your students the assignment to bring photographs from home, or give them disposable cameras and give them a week or so to hand them back in. You can then take the cameras to your local photo processor in and get the pictures in CD form. Then, allow your students, or your photo committee to choose which ones will go in the book.

As far as written material, you can either make sure that each student has a page by creating a template that he or she simply fills in, or you can take stories, poems, quotes, and short memoirs that different students want to contribute. If your book is going to be larger, you can incorporate both of these ideas.

For the former, you can create a series of surveys and interview questions, such as what was the funniest thing about this year, what their favorite class was, what was their favorite movie, song or TV show, etc. This way every student feels not only included, but as if ho or she has a voice. When the final product is put together, they will all feel proud about having their words in print.

When it comes to the cover, you could perhaps have some sort of contest among the students to create the best design and have them vote on the best.

Printing and Binding Options:

To save on printing costs, and to make the project a little easier, you will probably want to print your memory book in black and white. As far as binding goes, you can save money over a printer by either using whatever binding machines your school already has, or by purchasing an entry-level binding machine, in either the spiral coil or thermal (hardcover) styles.

Article Tags: Memory Book

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