Memoirs of a Middle School Graduate

A look back at your year(s) at Southwest Middle School!

Each INDIVIDUAL student or PAIR of STUDENTS will create a YEAR END SPECIAL EDITION KEEPSAKE MAGAZINE. In 2014, for the first time, this project started to transition to a multi-website collaborative project.

  • INDIVIDUAL students will have to complete 10 out of the total #1-19 sections.
  • PAIR GROUPS will have to complete ALL of the total #1-19 sections.
  • #20 is required for INDIVIDUALS and PAIRS.
  • This magazine should give the reader a glimpse into the mind of today’s teens as well as entertain and inform them.
  • 3.01 Identify the components of an effective problem solution essay.
  • 6.01 Model an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression: Narrate a personal account which creates a coherent message; organize appropriate to purpose, audience, and context; Use remembered feelings; Connect events to self and/or society.
  • 2.01 Analyze and evaluate informational materials that read heard and/or viewed by determining the importance of information: Make connections to related topics/information; Draw inferences; Generating questions.
  • Math Objectives: Design and conduct experiments or surveys to solve problems; report and analyze results; Collect, organize, analyze and display data (including box and whiskers plot and Histograms) to solve problems; Collect organize, analyze, and display data to solve problems.

Laying the Foundation for What is Expected

  1. Create a catchy title and cover that conveys the THEME OR STYLE of your magazine. The cover should include titles of articles featured inside the magazine. CHECK OUT SOME MAGAZINE COVERS.
  2. If printed, the magazine must be kept neat and have a sturdy binding when put together.
  3. Follow all directions for requirements for each section to meet the required content pages total. This includes the Table of Contents.
  4. Table of contents must contain the articles and page numbers. CHECK OUT SOME TABLES OF CONTENTS.
  5. All content must be neatly typed. Be creative with your fonts.
  6. Each page must include the page number, article title and at least 2 visuals per article except the fashions section, which requires more visuals.  Pictures may only come from any open sources especially if you are doing this as an internet-based magazine or blog.


  1. IDEAS/BRAINSTORMING – Gather ideas, images, make lists, etc.. This can be done on paper or within a post or page.
  2. PLANNING – Lay out the magazine, consider different themes or departments for the magazine, etc. This can be done on paper or within a post or page.
  3. ROUGH DRAFTING – Rough drafts must be handwritten before you can type or print any articles – even in the case of a web-based digital magazine.
  4. PROOFING/EDITING – Share your draft(s) with 4 others to get feedback, comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc. MISSPELLED WORDS will HURT your grade. This should be done on paper or within a post or page. You must have TWO people Proof/Edit your work in TWO DIFFERENT colors.. Editing/Proofing should be boldfaced and stand out as a different colors. You must give credit to the proofreader in the form of a hyperlink to his/her website. Do not  SUBMIT FOR REVIEW unless I can see evidence that there has been PROOFING/EDIITNG. This is the credit stage. You get credit for Ideas/Brainstorming/Planning/Drafting when you submit your draft for review.
  5. FINAL DRAFTING – Publication
All pictures must come from magazines or they may be original drawings. No internet pictures may be used. Rough drafts can be completed outside of class. No projects will be accepted late.  The project will count as four final grades. You should gather visuals for your articles even before you are actually ready to type them.
Follow copyright laws. Do not steal images without giving credit. Do not plagiarize. GOOGLE “copyright requirements”.

Magazine Sections – Page Requirements & TOPICS

  1. (1 page) Magazine Cover – This may be the front page of your website. You can set a static (unchanging) front page in the SETTINGS area. ..CHECK OUT SOME MAGAZINE COVERS.
  2. (1 page) TABLE of CONTENTS – containing the articles and page numbers. CHECK OUT SOME TABLES OF CONTENTS.
  3. (1 page) How Sixth/Seventh/Eighth Graders Have Fun…..Take a poll and create a bar graph by asking the opinion of 20 8th graders about what they do to have fun on the weekend. If you receive duplicate answers, use a tally mark.  Create your graph once you have completed your poll. Your graph should include at least 6 items and should use color and visuals.
  4. (1 page) Fashion Fads….  What shirts, skirts, shorts, shoes, pants, hoodies, hats, hair styles, accessories, and bling were really hot this year? You may only include three items from each category. Include pictures or illustrations of each item on your page and label each item.
  5. (1 page) Cool and Unusual Slang…….         Create a list of slang-NO PROFANITY that was popular this year.  You must create a T chart with the slang term on the left and the translations for each term on the right or create a comic strip in which the characters are using the slang in their dialogue.  15-20 items. Use color and different fonts.
  6. (1 page) Entertainment News….. On this page, list what you thought were the 5 best movies, 5 most popular songs, 5 favorite male singers, 5 favorite female singers/group, 5 favorite actors (any age), the 5 hottest videos, the 5 hottest songs, the 5 best  TV shows.  Rate each item as follows:  5 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star.  Half stars may also be used. Include visuals and color.
  7. 1 pages) Hot Fun in the Summer Time….     List 15 things to do to add some fun to the summer while waiting for your first year of high school to begin. Include visuals and color.
  8. (2 pages) Activity/FUN Pages ……. Create 2 original activity pages such as a crossword, word search, maze, hidden pictures etc—use 10 items/terms per activity. Include an answer key in the back of your magazine for each page. Put these pages in different places in your magazine. Possible sources: the newspaper,,,, :
    • Activity 1 – ___________________________________________; 
    • Activity 2 – ___________________________________________ .
  9. (1 page) What I’m Looking Forward To in 9th grade…..  Sign-in page. This page is an autograph page.  Have other 8th graders sign in, all on this page, to tell what they are looking forward to in 9th grade.
  10. (1 page) SPORTS PAGE……..  Listthe best athletes from around the world, this year, in any six sports. List males and females in T-chart form. These are all professional sports and professional athletes. Include visuals and color.
  11. (1 page) Horoscopes – Create a page of your own positive horoscopes, two to three sentences, for each zodiac sign. There are twelve zodiac signs.  Include a name and symbol for each sign. See samples in teen magazines, on the internet, or in the daily newspaper.
  12. (1 page) What A WayTo Make It Better          If you could start the school year over again and make it better, think of five problems that you or your peers struggled with during this school year?  Write an ADVICE COLUMN that identifies the problems and give advice to rising 8th graders about how to make their 8th grade year possibly better than your 8th grade was.  The problems should be issues that frustrated you as an 8th grader or caused you to sometimes have a bad day. As a veteran eighth grader with the advantage of hind sight, you can now offer creative advice that will improve the school year for the upcoming 8th graders.
  13. (1 page) THE MOST MEMORABLE DAY…..Group Poem –  You and any four friends need to write a poem. The poem must have a minimum of 4 stanzas. Each stanza must have at least four rhyming lines. Each stanza should be about what each of you thinks was the most memorable day at Southwest. Include one picture for each stanza.
  14. (1 page) CHANGE IS GOOD…. Write a ¾ page narrative poem that describes the changes you’ve experienced as a person this year. Describe the way you were physically, socially, academically, emotionally and mentally at the beginning of the year and tell how you’re different now. How have you changed, in what ways do you look, think, feel, and act, and react differently? Are you taller, smarter, bolder, more enlightened or more skilled at something………….Include visuals and color.
  15. (1 page) LIFE LESSONS…School is more than just books……Make a list of all of your teachers (every quarter, every class – yes, including electives, clubs, and associations) and write three to four sentences that explain what you’ve learned about life from each of them this year.  These could be things you learned through observation, advice they gave to help you with a problem, stay out of trouble, or pass a test or because you spent time in conversations with them and gained this knowledge. This should be valuable information that you could pass on to help someone else make it through a tough, dull, or ordinary situation.  Include visuals, symbols, and color.
  16. (1 page) EVERYONE’S A CRITIC……            Write a one page review of your favorite TV show, movie, song or video game of the year.  Describe the characters, what you like about the plot, your favorite episode.  If it is a song or video, explain what you like about it (graphics, action, and plot) and persuade others to like it too.
  17. (1 page)A PERSONAL THANK YOU… Write a 5 line thank you note to any adult you know, who has been a positive source of inspiration or encouragement to you this year.  You do not have to address the note, but do sign your name. Decorate this page.
  18. (2 pages) MAKE IT YOUR OWN: Choose one of  the following and include visuals on each page:
    • ____Fashion and Beauty Tips… Create a page that offers 10 fashion do’s and don’t for teens.  Include visuals and color.
    • ____Sports Extra… a bio on your favorite athlete. Include visuals and color.
  19. (2 pages) MAKE IT YOUR OWN: Choose one  of the following and include visuals on each page:
    • ____Entertainment Extra… a bio on your favorite entertainer. Include visuals and color.
    • ____THIS IS ME …a  page full of pictures, drawings, or other visuals all about you and any 10 of your favorite things, people, places, foods, phrases, dance moves, stars, etc.,
  20. REQUIRED FOR INDIVIDUALS AND PAIR GROUPS (2 pages) Last of the requirements- both pages must be completed: Create two full page advertisements.  You can create ads for original products and/or ads for existing products that you buy often and use for yourself.
    • ____Your face must appear in one of the ads.
    • ____The product, slogan, target audience, cost, use, and where it’s sold should be part of the ad. Of course you need a visual.
    • ____Put these pages in different places in your magazine.

Deadline will Vary by Academic Year – This project will always be due within the last to weeks of the school year.

Not to be taken late or taken lightly, this assignment is worth 4 TEST/PROJECT grades. That’s pretty heavy, dude!

OK, So!  .  .  .  Who’s in your group? You can work with one other person.

Page headings and content can be modified to fit your group decided interests.


Job titles below are just for fun, all of you have to do all the jobs below.

Publisher:                _________________________________________________________________

Editor:                     _________________________________________________________________

Writer:                     _________________________________________________________________

Graphic Arts:          _________________________________________________________________

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