One of the highlights of high school yearbooks are the answers to the survey questions that are scattered throughout the pages in both articles and sidebars/quote boxes. These quotes bring the high school year to life. Opinions about hot topics and life lessons all reside in the pages of the yearbook and are put there by the yearbook staff asking the right questions. If you're at a loss for ideas for your yearbook, try some of these themes and topics to spark your creativity. The questions below are divided into main story ideas or sidebar topic areas.
You can ask these specific questions or adapt them to suit your school. You can also expand on what is here to add a bit more drama or detail. You'll want pithy answers, so remind the interviewees of this when you ask the question and try to ask questions that require more of an answer than yes or no, but can be answered in a sentence or two. You can always follow up a yes/no question with a "why" to expand on the thought.
- What do you think about our school's biggest rival, the Dragons? (Remind students to keep it clean and fair.)
- What did you gain from playing _____ sport in high school?
- What was your most disappointing sports moment in your high school career? (This is a good question to ask a senior who has played sports.)
- What was the most memorable moment from this year's prom and why?
- When you're 80, which high school dance will you look back on and what will you remember about it?
- If you didn't go to (fill in specific dance here), what did you do instead?
- Finish this sentence: I will always remember...
- How have you changed since your freshman year?
- If you could start high school over, what activity would you participate in this time that you didn't before?
- What is the best thing ____ Club achieved this year?
- Why do you think ____ Club is important to our school?
- How did it feel when _____ Club won the award for __________? (ask when a club or group in school wins a special award or recognition)
- What are your thoughts on the school changing the colors from gold and black to yellow and black?
- Do you think the senior pranks this year were disruptive to learning? Follow up with a why?
- Should end of course assessments (ECAs) be a requirement of graduation, why or why not?
- Who is your favorite music artist?
- What was the best song of the year?
- Which movie released this year most closely resembles our high school life?
- What is the one food item ___ High School Students can't live without?
- In your opinion, what is the most tragic world event this year and why?
- Are you worried about the possibility of our country getting into another war? Why?
- If you were able to visit any other country for a month, which country would you visit and why?
- What was the silliest new saying this year?
- What was your funniest moment in ______ (fill in current year)?
- If you had an extra $200, what is the craziest thing you would buy?
Today's yearbooks contain articles about various events that happened throughout the school year. While you might not have the space to include all of these topics, these should give you a springboard for the ones you have space to include. Keep in mind that these questions will get you started, but you'll want to follow up with your interviewee for a full-length article by asking who, what, where, when and why.
- Why do you think our _______ team was able to win this game against our number one rival?
- What is the main reason the _____ team is able to win games?
- What is the most inspiring thing about playing ________?
- What was the most meaningful moment from this year's prom (or homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, etc.)?
- Attendance to school dances has been down. Why do you think students aren't attending dances? What can the school do to encourage greater attendance?
- What was the most memorable moment from this year's ___________?
- Looking back on your high school years, what one piece of advice would you offer to any incoming freshman?
- Who has taught you the most while you've been in high school and what did you learn from this person?
- Where will you be in 10 years?
- Do you feel the school gives more attention and recognition to sports teams than extracurricular clubs? How do you think this can be changed?
- Are clubs creating a clique-like environment in the school? What can be done to get clubs to cooperate with one another and interact more?
- Which club in the school do you find the most inspiring even though you aren't involved in that club?
- This year, the school added ___________. Do you think this was a positive change and why or why not?
- The school received a C (fill in grade or rating) during the last ranking. Why do you think the school received that rank?
- The new computer lab was added a few months ago. How has this changed things for students?
- Are students too distracted with mobile devices?
- Should technology be more integrated in the classroom? Should students be allowed to use smart phones and tablets while learning?
- Should the school offer glow parties instead of traditional dances? Why or why not?
- Are you for or against Common Core standards? Why or why not?
- What is your greatest fear about the United States' interaction with other countries?
- What is the most interesting thing that happened in the world this year?
- What is your biggest pet peeve about high school?
- What trend/fad from this year do you find most embarrassing?
- What is your worst habit and how have you tried to change it?
Natural Flow to Questions
Although these questions will get you started, they are by no means comprehensive. It is important to use these questions to get started, but then expand on them, make them personal to your school and students and develop a unique set of questions for each yearbook. Keep in mind that the yearbook is something students will look at for the next 60, 70 or even 80 years to remember this time in their lives. You want to give an overview of what life was like at your school in that particular year. Because of that, the questions should be as individual as your school and students are.