classroom anthology creation

9 Steps for Easy Classroom Anthology Creation

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

December 19, 2022

An excellent way to inspire your students is to create a classroom anthology project that shows off their work. This is a fun project for a class of any size and in any subject. You can choose written materials, artwork, or photographs for your book.

Classroom anthology creation will teach them about creativity, teamwork, and publishing techniques. It results in a finished book that they can display proudly.

What Is a Classroom Anthology?

It’s a bound and printed collection of your students’ work. The work can be written, or it can be artwork, drawings, or photographs showing different activities. It showcases their accomplishments and provides a record of their activities in your classroom.

Reasons Classroom Anthology Creation

Why should you get your class involved in classroom anthology printing project? This project has many benefits for students.

A classroom anthology lets your students shine. They take ownership of the project and must develop skills that include:

  • Meeting deadlines
  • Proofreading
  • Design and layout
  • Time management

It’s also an excellent way to teach them about printing techniques and the process of writing and printing a book. You can use it with any grade and any subject.

Parents and schools enjoy student anthologies. The printed book is a memento of their time in your class, and the books make great gifts for family members. You can even use the books as fundraisers. If you’re ready to get started, follow our tips for classroom anthology creation.

1. Decide What You Want to Include in Your Classroom Anthology Creation

What should your anthology include? When you decide, focus on what would be most exciting and most memorable for your students. Do they enjoy fiction writing assignments? Did they participate in a school project or volunteer activity that you’d like to highlight? Here are some suggestions to start you off:

  • Individual stories or poems by students
  • Essays about history or other topics
  • Full-length story with each chapter written by a different student
  • Student drawings, paintings, or photos
  • History of a special activity the class took part in
  • Different contributions that related to a single theme

You should try to have a unifying theme for the collection. This allows you to narrow down what you select. You should have at least one contribution from every student in the class.

Once you decide what your anthology will include, present the idea to your class. Tell them the plan is to go from planning to printing. Explain that getting there will require time and work, but that the results are worth it. Your students should feel like they’re contributing to an exciting new project.

2. Talk to Your Students about Classroom Anthology Creation

You’re ready to get started, and you know what you want in your anthology. Now, it’s time to present the idea to your students.

First, explain what an anthology is. It’s a collection of stories, essays, or poems that shows off your student’s work. Tell them you want to write and print a book together to celebrate your class’s work, have a great team experience, and produce a beautiful book, just like the books on the schoolroom or library shelf.

Most students will be thrilled about taking part in this project. Explain that there are many steps between now and then, but you’ll be there to guide them the whole way.

3. Have Each Student Choose a Different Subject

To avoid duplicate material, create a list of topics you want your students to write about. The students can claim a subject and a sub-theme from your list. Here are some examples of topics you can ask them to write about.

U.S. History:

  • Boston Massacre
  • American Revolution
  • Great Depression
  • Civil War
  • Transcontinental Railroad
  • World War II
  • Space Race
  • 9-11

World History:

  • World War II
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • Queen Elizabeth 1
  • French Revolution
  • Russian Revolution


  • Favorite wild animal
  • Local plants and trees
  • How photosynthesis works


  • Famous inventors
  • Basics of scientific principles
  • Chemistry experiments


  • Fantasy
  • Mystery
  • Science fiction


  • What I want to be when I grow up
  • My role model
  • My favorite book

As you can see, there are many options for different topics your students can write about for classroom anthology creation.

4. Help Your Students Write Outlines

Suggest to all students that they first write an outline of their story or essay. Writing an outline will help them when it’s time to put pen to paper and create their piece for the anthology. If your students are younger, show them how to write a basic outline. Older students may benefit from more detailed outlines, especially if they are writing longer pieces.

5. Create a Timeline

A timeline is an important part of classroom anthology creation. As you probably know, many students procrastinate until the last minute. Make it clear that your students must stick to the deadlines you create for the first, second, and final drafts. The same deadlines apply to artwork, photos, or other material that you’re including.

Here’s a sample timeline you can give your students. Feel free to adapt it to your needs and schedule.

  • September 10: First drafts due
  • September 10 to 20: Teacher reads submissions and makes edits or revision suggestions.
  • September 25: Final drafts due
  • September 30: Selection of illustrations or photos
  • November 3 to 5: Design and layout
  • November 6 to 7: Cover design
  • November 8 to 10: Prepare manuscript for printing
  • November 11: Book goes to the printing company

6. Design the Covers

The cover is very important for classroom anthology creation. Choose a piece of student artwork for the cover, or design something new. The cover should relate to the overall theme you’ve chosen for the anthology, and the colors should be bright and eye-catching. Spend some time designing a great-looking front cover. This book will sit proudly on many display shelves once it’s printed.

Don’t forget to design the back cover, too. This is also a good time to create the following pages:

  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright page
  • Introduction
  • Dedication page

7. Choose Your Images

Are you including pictures as part of your anthology? Photos and other images can make your book come alive. Consider adding a student-drawn illustration for each story or essay. You could also include photos of your students. This is also a good time to consider cover art.

8. Choose a Layout and Design

The layout and design offer another great teaching opportunity. This is a fun, hands-on way to learn about book design. To get them started, use blank pieces of plain paper to represent the pages of the anthology. Go through each page and determine the order of the stories and where each picture should go.

Since there is likely to be a lot of discussion and debate during this process, put a time limit on when the final decision must be made.

9. Format and Prepare It for Printing

The final step in classroom anthology printing is to prepare your files for printing. Combine all the stories and artwork into one Word document with a name like “Our Anthology.“ If you’re using Word or another word-processing software, use page breaks between each new story or picture.

At this point, you can also do some last-minute proofreading and editing. Combine everything into a single Word document. Once it is finished, you can move on to creating a print-ready PDF.

To do this, simply choose the “Save as…” function in Word and select “Save as PDF.” You may see option like “Optimize for Printing” or “High Resolution.” If you do, select those options. Once you have saved the PDF file, get a preview of what your book will look like by printing the file on a laser printer.

On a MacIntosh, choose File, Print, and choose the “PDF” button when you see that button.

You can also use an illustrator program like Adobe. This automatically converts texts and images to PDFs. If you’re using an illustrator package, make sure the color profile is set to CYMK rather than RGB. Most professional printers use CYMK profiles, and you want your colors to be clear and bright.

Get Your Classroom Anthology Professionally Printed

Your students have worked hard to create this anthology. Give it the treatment it deserves with professional printing. Classroom anthology printing is fast, easy, and affordable at Publishing Xpress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Publishing Xpress. All Rights Reserved.

Email Quote