Desktop Publishing Projects for High School Students

[NOTE: This page will remain here, but you may want to check out my new site,, which hosts many Digital Literacy teaching resources! ]

You have found your way to the Art of Sneaky Teaching with Print Projects resource site. The purpose of this site is to provide ideas for those who teach Desktop Publishing. The site was created and maintained by Jerry Smith, a Business Education teacher at the Breathitt Area Technology Center in Jackson, KY. The materials are not lesson plans per se, but they can be used as the application and assessment parts of a lesson plan. Most of this material presented here was written for use in high school classrooms, however, it could be easily adapted for pre- and post-secondary students as well. I have taught these lessons with both Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Indesign. With very few exceptions to some of the rubric items, all the materials are platform-independent.

Some of the rubrics and project are better than others: What you see is an amalgamation of three years of trial, error, and imagination. These materials work for me. If you find a resource you don’t like, either make it better or simply do not use it :) You should be very excited to be teaching Desktop Publishing. This class has the potential to be a bright spot in a student’s day who otherwise plows through his or her other classes for no other reason than to receive a credit.

Any materials that are meant to be used together will have a red outline around them.

I also have a small assortment of non-Desktop Publishing lesson plans and materials at my Stuff for Business Teachers page or my Electronic Teaching Portfolio. I also have a site created for teaching Windows File Management.

Desktop Publishing Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Get Adobe Creative Suite for my Classroom/School? For those interested, I use Adobe Creative Suite 5 in my classroom and the students use InDesign and Photoshop to complete everything. If you want to get Creative Suite your school, check out Adobe’s K-12 Site License brochure (which is for CS6, the latest version). It’s much cheaper than buying individual licenses for machines in your lab. Most schools would want the TLP license, which means you buy the site license one time and you can use the version you bought at your school perpetually (up to the number of licenses you buy). Note that the CLP program is cheaper, but it’s based on the assumption that you’ll be buying software year after year. If your budget is like mine, it’s very rare to be able to buy anything big like this. (When we got CS5, we actually replaced 8 year old versions of Photoshop and InDesign!)

As of May 12, 2013, Adobe offers K12 Licenses in bundles of 250 or 500. The Design Premium package with the 250 seat license that we use is listed in the brochure at $10,500. With the software included in that package, we teach Desktop Publishing, Web Design, and Multimedia Publishing, so you can definitely get your money’s worth if you are teaching these courses.

The Adobe representatives are really nice and were very helpful when we were getting our order ready.



Can you suggest any step by step textbook for teaching In Design to high schoolers?


Unfortunately, no. I’ve never had the luxury of getting books to use in my Desktop Publishing classes, so I haven’t bothered evaluating any in years.

Gloria LeMaster

I am a brand new teacher to Multimedia/Web Design courses. I found your site to be very helpful. I come from an accounting background and know absolutely nothing about multimedia. Can you offer some suggestions for books it would be good for me to read; tutorial videos it would be helpful for me to watch, etc.? I feel like a duck out of water and you are absolutely correct in that if I can’t do it blindfolded, how can I possibly help my students. Any help or suggestions you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

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