Create a Zine to Develop Creative Skills in the Classroom

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Build Creativity and Teamwork Skills

Work together in groups to create a zine for the class. A zine–pronounced like the last syllable of magazine--is a fun literary and art journal created with a specific theme or random gathering together of art and poetry.

Students love to explore their creativity, especially when they know the work will appear in a publication to be distributed to the class.

Some fun themes for a class zine include:

  • Thoughts about graduation
  • Learning experiences in high school
  • Nature
  • Achievements in high school
  • Goals for the future
  • First love
  • The importance of friends
  • Any other themes students suggest!

It is helpful to have an idea box for the zine project. Ask students to drop theme ideas in the box and then compile them into a list for a class vote to determine the theme for the zine.

Once the theme and format of the zine is determined, bring some sample zines in for students to look through. Ask them to sit in groups and start to brainstorm their ideas for a piece or writing or art that will appear in the zine. Students may create a solo piece or they may work with a partner or a group to produce a poem, story, song, collage, page of photos, or other art for the zine.

Let students know they may write in any genre and may use the computers to help explore poem formats and to create art. They may also look at sample zines online to evaluate the graphics and designs used in zines.

Tell students that one picture or art piece will be chosen for the front cover. All entries will be voted upon by the class. Brainstorm ideas for a title for the zine by using a bulletin board to write sample names on a list. Keep the list for a few weeks as students brainstorm ideas. Finally, take a class vote about the ideas presented to choose a name for the zine.

Give the students ample time to work in their groups to create original writings and art. Circulate the class as students are working to give feedback. Allow computer time for students to type up their poems or stories and assign extra credit for students who want to do “homework” as a proofreader of the zine.

Assess students’ participation via watching their progress in the group work. Encourage students who are shy about their creativity to have other students peer-edit their writing or give feedback on the impact of their art. Give opportunities for students to present their work to the class for feedback as well.

Working on a zine as a class project builds team work skills and is a lot of fun for the class. Students are delighted to create a zine and have a memento of their school year.