Weekly Lesson Plans

There are so many ways to use this content. You might choose to present the PowerPoint (we also provided a PDF version in case you’re not a PowerPoint user). The notes and captions appear right on the slides with images, so there’s no memorization involved. You could invite the class to a Zoom Room or other group meeting and present the show to the entire staff at once. Some advisers opt to have the students consume the information independently — and that’s effective as well. Another option would be to have either a senior editor or a rising leader take ownership of the instruction and present at a specific time. Most online group meetings have the option to record the presentation so that students who miss the group call would not miss the information.

It’s also up to you whether and how you use the quizzes. Some staffs complete the worksheets as answers are provided and others quiz afterward. Decide what’s best for you and your team.

While these lessons lead to practical assignments for the staffers, some staffs will combine several more practical, fun or reflective assignments with these more traditional learning activities each week.

The six topics covered in this grouping include the following:

  • Cameras & Photos
  • Covering Your School
  • Introduction to Journalism
  • Layout & Design
  • Reporting & Writing
  • Theme & Voice

Writing Prompts

Choose a topic, suggest a length and name the deadline.

It’s a great time for staffers to reflect — and it will probably be more interesting reading than some of the other assignments you’ll give.


  • What do you remember about the first story you ever wrote for publication?
  • What’s the most difficult topic you have ever written about in yearbook? Why?
  • What three interviewing or reporting tips would you give a new writer on staff?
  • Describe a story that changed in focus after you started working on it — and tell why you made the decisions you did.
  • Which of the pieces you wrote this year made you most proud? Why?
  • What makes a good storyteller?
  • Describe your favorite interview to date.


  • What’s your favorite part of designing spreads?
  • Which principle of design changed you most as a designer?
  • What’s your favorite current design trend?
  • What’s the aspect of design you find most difficult to master? Why?
  • What are your favorite and least favorite fonts? Why?
  • What are your favorite and least favorite ways to use color? Why?
  • Which of your spreads this year represents your best design work? Describe the aspects that make you most proud.


  • What are your favorite photos to take? Why?
  • Which principles have changed the way you photograph?
  • What advice do you give friends and family about shooting better photos?
  • What advice would you give other staffers about selecting photos for highest impact?
  • Which aspects of photography have been hardest for you to master?
  • What traits set the best photographers apart?


  • How has your daily routine changed in these days of eLearning, quarantines and “staying in place”?
  • What’s the biggest impact the coronavirus has had on you personally? Why?
  • What has the coronavirus taught you about other people?
  • What do you miss most about school?
  • Discuss at least three things you no longer take for granted.


  • Tell the story of your yearbook beginnings.
  • How has yearbook changed you?
  • What’s your favorite part of yearbook? Why?
  • What’s your proudest yearbook moment so far?
  • What part of yearbook is most difficult for you? Why?
  • What has being on yearbook meant to you?
  • What’s the most important lesson you learned in yearbook? Why?
  • What do you tell your friends and family about yearbook?
  • What part of the 2020 yearbook are you most excited to see?
  • Why do yearbooks matter?


  • What’s something you are willing to fight for? Why?
  • What do you consider the best part of you? Why?
  • What’s one thing you used to believe that is no longer true for you? What caused that to change?
  • What do you know now that you wish you knew as the year began?
  • What do you know now that you wish you had known five years ago?