Design a Historical Magazine Cover with Adobe Spark Post

Students design a magazine cover about a historical figure or event
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About This Strategy

This 2-hour strategy allows students to layout an interesting, professional magazine cover focused on a historical person or event, using information they’ve previously studied. The magazine covers can be shared online or printed to create a historical gallery of the material you have covered in your course.

Because Adobe Spark Post and Illustrator are so fun and easy to use, it is a great way for students to visualize their understanding of your subject matter. You can adapt this strategy to any historical figure, event or topic of study.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student sample
  • Adobe Spark Page
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Editable Resource Bundle
  • PDF Resource Bundle

Outline for Teachers

Learn. 

Students review the article “50 magazine cover design techniques to inspire you” and answer these questions. (20 minutes)

Collaborate.

Students form groups of 3-5 students. They review the chapter or unit to decide what are the key historical figures, concepts or events that need to be covered. Each member of the group will focus on a different topic to feature on their magazine cover. (10 minutes)

Research.

Students brush up on the topic they have been assigned by researching the historically significant things about this topic. In addition to information they should be on the lookout for interesting images for their cover. (30 minutes)

Write.

Students use their research notes to write at least three cover blurbs. (20 minutes)

Create.

Students design their magazine cover using Adobe Spark Post. As a team, they will develop a common style guide that includes: color scheme, font choice and layout. They use these steps to guide them. Students can examine an example here, and read a tutorial here.  (30 minutes)

Share.

Each team shares  their designs and defends their choice of both why they choose to focus on their topic and the validity of their information sources. (20 minutes) 

Steps for Students

You will work in a team to design a series of magazine covers that focus on a historical person or event that has been covered in class. Your job is to determine the most important information about your topic and present it to your audience by designing a cover image and blurbs that clearly tell the story.

Adobe Spark Post is a free graphic design tool that is designed to help everyone create professional looking visuals and have fun doing it. Because it is so easy to use, you can concentrate on demonstrating your knowledge of your topic and produce something you will be proud to share. 

Steps: 

1. Review the article “50 magazine cover design techniques to inspire you” and answer the following questions: (10 minutes)

  • What do many of the magazine covers have in common?

  • What cover design ideas inspired you?

  • Which ideas could you use to effectively illustrate your knowledge of the topic?

2. Connect with your team (in person or digitally) to  review the chapter or unit to decide what are the key historical figures, concepts or events that need to be covered. (10 minutes)

  • What are the most significant people and/or events that you have learned about?

Then assign each member of the group a different topic to feature on their magazine cover. 

3. Brush up on your topic by reviewing your notes, reading in your textbook, or doing internet research. Start by making a list of the things that you already know about the topic and then use the rest of your time to locate additional information that helps to answer these questions. (30 minutes)

  • What are some facts on the topic that you see in multiple sources?

  • What are the most significant contributions this person has made to society? What are the most significant impacts this event had on our culture/society?

  • What are some iconic quotes or stories that stand out?

Your notes can include all the sources you used for your research and information on “Who’s behind” each of these sources by using “Lateral Reading”.

4. Use your notes to write at least three cover blurbs. These should be very short (no longer than a sentence). Share your blurbs with your team  (in person or digitally). Select one to use as the “Main Cover Blurb”. (30 minutes)

5. Design a magazine cover using Adobe Spark Post. Work with your team to develop a common style guide that includes: color scheme, font choice and layout. (30 minutes)

Then use these steps to learn how to design your cover with  Adobe Spark Post. You can examine an example here, and read/watch a tutorial here

6. Your team will share your designs and defend your choice of topics to illustrate on your cover and the sources of information you used. (20 minutes)

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric in order to evaluate students' magazine covers.