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)?
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