One Pagers: The Simplest Way to Success


One-pagers are becoming increasingly popular as a way to help students process what they have read in one powerful activity. Like sketchnotes, they combine visuals with text to make ideas come alive in students’ minds and memories.

But it’s easy for students to struggle with one-pagers if they are not naturally inclined toward art and have not previously been encouraged to represent their ideas this way. They may feel they are being graded unfairly on their artistic abilities.

Some students will hear directions to create a graphic representation of a reading and dive right in. Others will moan and mutter things about "ridiculous art projects." But the popularity of one pagers with teachers lately is undeniable. If students can get over their hang-ups, they really learn a lot from processing what they've read in visual form with a one-pager. 

So how to help the art-haters thrive alongside the artists? How to show everyone that their one-pagers are about critical thinking and interpretation, not just flair pens (though flair pens are a pretty fabulous addition)?







When you provide students with a clear and straightforward template with instructions for what to put inside each section, you give them some creative constraint that can actually help inspire them to do their best. 

For example, you can divide up the paper and provide instructions to include aspects like these: 

  • A border which somehow represents the key themes from what you have read
  • An image in the upper left hand corner with a quotation woven into or around it. This image should somehow represent what you consider to be the most important symbol in the text so far.
  • Images and/or doodled words in the upper right hand corner that represent the key characters from the text and perhaps how they are changing
  • Images and quotations in the lower left hand corner that show the author’s style of writing, and the power of the language that is used
  • Images and/or words in the bottom right hand corner that show connections between the themes and ideas in the writing and what is going on in the world today.
  • Three important quotations from the text
  • Words and/or images that show the significance of the setting in some way
This way, students have a clear to-do list, and avoid the writer's/artist's block that can get in the way. You can experiment with varied templates, and even start letting students who want to go off template once they get comfortable with the structure. 



Want to get started right away? I've designed a free packet of four templates with four different sets of requirements. You can see them in the photos above, or check them out in the quick video below. 


You're going to love watching your students create these beautiful literary visuals! I can't wait to send it to you. Just sign up below. You'll also receive occasional e-mails from me chock full of creative teaching strategies and inspiration. 






31 comments

  1. Hi, looking for the one-pager template - it wasn't sent when I subscribed. Would you be able to provide a link? Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angela,
      So sorry I missed this somehow! It may be lost in your downloads folder - it pops into that folder when you confirm your subscription. Just e-mail me at betsy@nowsparkcreativity.com and I will send you a copy.

      Delete
  2. I have been using one-pagers for awhile with my 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. I use them with language arts and science. They create great projects with so much creativity. I look forward to seeing your templates to add to what I am already using.

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  3. Angela - Suggestions on creating a nonfiction one pager? I've got some ideas, but wouldn't mind adding to them with your creative genius! Amy

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information... start the day quotes

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am excited about trying one pagers with my classes.

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  6. Looking forward to using this with my fifth graders. Thank you for sharing your work!

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  7. I just signed up--so excited to get the one-pagers. Bought the 4 template pack--I can only print the text, as the templates themselves don't print! Please help!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi,

    I did not get the one-pager template after I subscribed. Where should I be looking?

    ReplyDelete
  9. HI! I have been using One Pagers for the last couple of years and LOVE them. I teach fourth grade, so I really like the idea of giving this template option. Sometimes they tend to get a little overwhelmed when I first introduce this assignment. I will email you for the template, Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

  10. I did not get the one-pager template after I subscribed. I did not get an email, and it's not in my downloads folder. HELP!

    ReplyDelete
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