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Selling yearbooks


Students will review strategies for yearbook sales, including timelines, incentives, promotion and methods for increasing demand. After this, students will complete an activity about overcoming objections that will continue into the second day and create a sales plan for different incentives to offer to their audience at various points during the school year.


  • Students will explain techniques for selling yearbooks, including defining the clientele and increasing demand by offering incentives and promotions.
  • Students will brainstorm how to increase demand for a physical product in a market oversaturated with user-generated content and analyze why their product is still vital to the high school experience.
  • Students will analyze how to overcome objections to book sales offered by potential clients, including students, parents, faculty, administrators and businesses.
  • Students will generate and actively respond to objections that could be raised by potential clients, including students, parents, faculty, administrators and businesses.
  • Students will create a sales plan including incentives and promotions to offer to their particular clientele throughout the school year. 

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.


Two 60-70 minute classes OR 60-70 minutes (one class); select either the overcoming objections or yearbook sales plan assignment for students


Slideshow: Selling yearbooks 

Handout: Selling yearbooks notes

Handout: Overcoming objections assignment

Handout: Yearbook sales plan assignment

Rubric: Yearbook sales timeline

Assessment: Publication marketing quiz

Key: Publication marketing quiz

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Hand out slideshow guide — 2 minutes

Distribute the note-taking guide.

2. Introduction — 8-13 minutes

Hook students into the topic with the following question, giving students a few minutes to respond to it on their own and then opening the floor for discussion: “How is a physical yearbook still relevant and necessary for today’s high school students living in an environment saturated with media and user-generated content?” Continue discussion until you feel the students have offered enough initial insights.

3. Slideshow — 25-30 minutes

Show the selling yearbooks slideshow, pausing to allow for discussion at appropriate points during the show or to add insights or examples based on your experience.

4. Work time — remainder of class

Distribute the overcoming objections assignment and work on the first example together. Then, give students time to complete the rest of the assignment and to make up their own example of an objection to pose to their fellow students on Day 2. This should take the rest of the class. Students that have not finished the assignment at the end of class should finish it for homework.

5. Alternative assignment — the remainder of the class

Alternatively, the teacher could choose to approach the overcoming objections assignment as entirely role-playing and proceed in presenting these scenarios to the students as described on Day 2. This would allow more time for students to complete their yearbook sales plan Assignment on Day 2.

Day 2

1. Publication Marketing Quiz — 20 minutes

Distribute the publication marketing quiz to evaluate students’ developing understanding of publication marketing techniques.

2. Role play activity — 20-30 minutes

Collect the overcoming objections assignments and explain the role-play activity to students.

  • Students need to choose a partner. One student will act as the client and the other will act as the yearbook student.
  • One by one, student partners will come up to you and take one of the overcoming objections assignments as you fan them out like a deck of cards.
  • The student acting as the client will read the scenario out loud and then role-play the scenario, responding realistically to the yearbook student as he/she responds to the objections offered by the “client.” Role-play should continue until either the client agrees with the yearbook students’ arguments or until the teacher stops the conversation, if it appears that the students have reached a stalemate.

Continue calling on student pairs to role-play for as long as you deem appropriate.

2. Assignment — the remainder of the class

Distribute the yearbook sales plan assignment and give students the rest of the class period to develop a reasonable timeline and sales plan for offering incentives to their clientele.