Voicethread: Alternative Copy Ideas for Yearbook Journalism

Standards Met: NETS for students

1-d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

2-a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

2-b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

Enduring Understanding:

Identify what is alternative copy in a magazine and identify different types of alternative copy used in magazines. Identify trends in the use of alternative copy in terms of color, size, font, formatting, quotations, alignment, ect.

Essential Questions:

What is alternative copy and how do professional magazines use alternative copy to keep the reader’s interest? What are some specific examples of the different types of alternative copy?


Goal: As a part of theme development, staff members collaboratively work together to create a portfolio of ideas for design concepts based upon current trends found in today’s magazines. Communicate to other staff members how alternative copy could be used in specific sections of the yearbook and give example headlines for this alternative copy to fit the theme.

Role: Yearbook staff member

Audience: School community

Situation: Work in groups of two to find current trends in the use of alternative copy and discuss how it could be altered to work with this year’s theme.

Product: Find samples from magazines of alternative copy ideas that could be used in a yearbook. Capture a photo of the idea, import, add to VoiceThread, and comment on how it could be used in a section of the yearbook to share with other students in the class as a group portfolio of ideas. Students should give a headline title to the alternative copy to demonstrate an idea of a specific  theme in mind.

Six Facets of Understanding:

Explain: Define alternative copy

Interpret: Find samples of alternative copy in professional magazines that could also be used in a yearbook setting

Apply: Capture a photo of the idea with a digital camera, import image into a VoiceThread, add comment to communicate to other staff members how it could be adapted to be used in a specific section of the yearbook by giving it a title and detailed explanations on its adaptations.

Have perspective: Students should begin to analyze how layout design is intentional to try to keep the reader’s interest on the page for as long as possible by providing at least three points of entry for a reader on every spread: main story, captions, alternative copy.

Empathize: Students should reflect on the difficult task of yearbook staff members to create a yearbook with a strong theme throughout the book every year.

Have self-knowledge: Students reflect on current trends and how they can best integrate these trends into a yearbook theme consistently throughout a section of the book.