I shared some student work on Twitter, and it seemed as though some folks were interested in learning more about the concept. First of all, I didn’t come up with this concept at all. I’d seen one-pagers floating around for a while. Some time back, I tweeted asking for help with instructions, and Dianna Minor and Glenda Funk graciously shared their instructions with me. I also found Betsy Potash’s instructions via Cult of Pedagogy and these instructions at Ms. D’s English Fury helpful. I adapted my instructions from these sources. All credit goes to the fine educators who generously shared their ideas and their students’ work. I am indebted to them, and I’m sharing what I did only as a means of paying it forward in case it helps other people.
You can use one-pagers to assess lots of things. I am an English teacher, but I imagine they could be used in just about any subject and at pretty much every grade level, with some adaptations.
What is a one-pager?
A one-pager is a kind of project in which you share your most important takeaways from a text on a single page using text and artwork. You take what you have learned from a text and put the highlights on the page accompanied by art that represents, sometimes symbolically, these highlights and themes.
Why create a one-pager?
One-pagers allow you to mix media, text, and images, which helps you remember details better. It’s brain science. According to Allan Paivio’s dual coding theory, the brain has two ways of processing: the visual and the verbal. The combination of the two leads to the most powerful results. You will remember more when you’ve mixed language and imagery. One-pagers also offer variety—another way to share your interpretation and analysis of a text. You might be surprised what you will come up with! Plus, they’re fun. [All credit to this rationale goes to Betsy Potash.]
But I am not good at art/don’t like art…
I will share some templates with you that may help, but the important thing to remember here is that you ARE good at art. You might want to draft your one-pager in light pencil before coloring it in, but you will create something pretty amazing. I feel it in my bones. Also, do not use clip art or computer art. Trust me. One-pagers look so much better when they’re your own art.
Okay, so what are the parameters?
- A single piece of letter-size paper (or A4 if you can’t get letter where you currently are located). You may use colored paper if you have access to it and want to, but it is NOT required.
- Work only on one side of the page in portrait or landscape mode.
- Include color and patterns*. Think symbolically here. Texture is fine, too.
- Fill the entire page with your work. If you have blank space, repeat an element or fill it with one of the optional elements (see below).
- Put your first and last name on the back.
- Try to be neat with lettering. It helps to draft first. Definitely make sure handwriting is legible.
*I had markers and colored pencils to lend students who needed them.
What kinds of elements should I include?
The following elements are REQUIRED:
- The title and author of the book.
- Illustrations or symbols that represent the reading. This could be a character, a scene from the text, symbols that convey ideas expressed in the work.
- Choose two or three notable quotes that stand out to you from the text. It could be quotes that make you think or wonder or remind you of something important from the text. Write the quotes on your paper using different colors and/or writing styles. Include the page number and a short analysis of the quote.
- Make a personal connection to what you read. What did it mean to you personally? (Examples: “I feel…I think…I know…I wonder…”).
The following elements are options, but pick at least 2:
- Create a border that reflects a theme. This can include words, pictures, symbols, or even quotes.
- Draw a word cluster around your image. Use these words you highlight the importance of your chosen image. The word cluster may also artistically symbolize the subject matter.
- Write a poem about the book, a character, or the theme. If this is particularly challenging, you may choose to compose an acrostic poem using a one-word theme.
- Create a hashtag that relates to the text.
- Explain how the setting shapes a character in the text.
The extent to which the one-pager demonstrates textual analysis.
Art and text demonstrate textual analysis that offers insightful interpretations and understanding of the text with analysis that goes well beyond a literal level.
Art and text demonstrate textual analysis that offers clear and explicit interpretations and understanding of the text with analysis that goes beyond a literal level.
Art and text demonstrate textual analysis that offers partially explained and/or somewhat literal interpretations and understanding of the text with some analysis.
Art and text demonstrate textual analysis that offers few or superficial interpretations and understanding of the text with little analysis.
The extent to which the one-pager follows the “rules.”
All the “rules” are followed: the work is on a single side of letter or A4 paper, the page is filled, color is used, first and last name are on the back, and the lettering is neat and legible.
Most of the “rules” are followed: one or two minor omissions (see exemplary column).
Some of the “rules” are followed. There are two or more omissions (see exemplary column).
Few or none of the rules are followed. There are more than three omissions (see exemplary column).
The extent to which all required elements are included.
All required elements are included and addressed in a thoughtful way that demonstrates symbolic thinking, analysis and/or synthesis of ideas, and thoughtful interpretation of the text. Two or more optional elements add depth to the piece.
All of the required elements are included. Elements demonstrate symbolic thinking, analysis and/or synthesis of ideas, and interpretation of the text. Two optional elements add depth to the piece.
Most of the required elements are included. Elements demonstrate developing symbolic thinking, analysis and/or synthesis of ideas, and interpretation of the text. Two optional elements are included.
Some of the required elements are included. Elements demonstrate emerging symbolic thinking, analysis and/or synthesis of ideas, and interpretation of the text. Optional elements may be missing or incomplete.