School Newsletter

Memes, GIFs, & Pics: 3 Tips To Liven Up Your School Newsletter

Dr. Kara Stern
2 min read
Smore mascot in a beret adding memes into a newsletter.

It’s not something to celebrate, but the fact is, people are reading less than ever.

Any digital writer will tell you to avoid long blocks of text for that exact reason. Skim-ability is key. As educators, our instinct is to fight against reading slide, but as communicators, we gotta work with it.

So, let’s talk visuals.

GIFs will animate & illustrate your writing.

First off, hard g or soft? It’s pronounced jif, like the peanut butter.

See what I did there? I made the sentence come alive by finding a GIF to match my point. And it took 5 seconds. You can find a pre-made GIF on any topic or make one yourself, at

People love them and it dead stops the skimming eye.

Memes, for when you’re feeling witty.

A meme is a bite-sized piece of cultural info that spreads by imitation. Memes get their start from a specific image that captures the public’s eye (say, a US senator wearing huge mittens slumped in a lawn chair at the inauguration). Then, folks riff off it. You can make them here — it’s free, there are endless pics to choose from, and formatting is a breeze.

Here’s an example of a popular meme adapted for school comms:

Meme about digital newsletters vs. paper flyers in a backpack

Lastly, the picture that’s worth 1000 words

Add a picture to any block of text, 5x your readers. Create a zig-zag pattern with the picture placement, and you direct your reader’s eye. One good place to get free open-source photos, no account needed, is You can search for any keywords, or even inspiring quotes.

Here’s that zig zag pattern:

Newsletter with a zig zag pattern of pictures & text

There you go: three fun ways to bring your school newsletter to life. Here’s a pre-formatted template to get you started!

p.s. 😎 are👌, too! 😉

Want everyone communicating consistently?

Subscribe to Smore Blog

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox

Dr. Kara Stern

Dr. Kara Stern began her career as an ELA teacher, then shifted into administration as a middle school principal. Dr. Stern is a fervent advocate for equitable communication and family engagement. She spent five years as Executive Director at Math for America, where she designed the professional learning community that exists to this day. An unexpected move to Tel Aviv launched her into the world of EdTech where she became the Director of Education Content for Smore and then the Head of Education Solutions at SchoolStatus. Outside of work, she indulges her love for reading, devouring two novels weekly, with a particular fondness for heists and spy stories.

Keep Reading

Jan 8, 2024

Banish winter blues with these 10 fun and helpful templates for all of your February needs. From holidays to snow days and everything in between.

Aug 27, 2023

Welcoming faculty back from summer requires a certain sleight of hand: you have to acknowledge that vacation is ending while inspiring your team with the hope and promise of the new school year. Principals as motivational speakers!

Jan 11, 2024

Classroom newsletters are a key piece of ensuring students meet with success this year. It's about building trust! Get started with these tips.