Creative Argument Practice with One-Pagers

One-pagers have grown so much in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason! When students combine words with visuals, it makes information easier for them to remember. One-Pagers are wonderful for class novels, short stories, and choice reading books, and they’re also helpful for getting to know students, studying poetry and plays, and even analyzing character.

But did you know they’re also helpful for giving students practice with argument? Argument is a skill we return to again and again in ELA, and it’s helpful to have a whole lot of angles. Because if we give students the same type of essay assignment over and over, it gets old. Am I right?

That’s why we build in real-world argument practice, quick writes and bellringers that let students take a stance on a hot topic, and hexagonal thinking for argument alongside traditional essay assignments.

You can also do a quick argument practice with a one-pager. Yep, it’s true. You really can use one-pager for anything!

So what would that look like, you ask? Well, it might look a bit like this picture. This is a model I created around the thesis that reading fiction promotes empathy.

Let me walk you through what you see here. When providing a template for an argument one-pager, you want to give students the specific elements for what to put in, and maybe even the specific locations where you want to see them.

For this one-pager, the requirements looked like this:

  • Place your thesis statement, in the oval at the top left, with some main points and ideas that help to prove that thesis shown around it in words and, if you wish, images or symbols.
  • Add three significant quotations that help to prove your thesis, in the three boxes on the top right.
  • Include a point someone might make to show that your thesis is NOT true (a counter-argument) in the top dialogue box in the bottom right.
  • Write ideas for your response to that counter-argument in the bottom dialogue box in the bottom right.
  • Include an image that somehow represents your argument or big ideas in the bottom left.

Pretty easy, yes? And pretty quick. This activity gives students a chance to walk through the process of creating the building blocks for an argument and thinking about how they go together without going through the full process of writing a paper. It’s a great option when you want to quickly work in some argument practice without spending several weeks on it.

Looking for more help with one-pagers? Check out these great resources:

One-Pagers: The Simplest Way to Success

One-Pagers Roundup: Examples to Inspire

8 Creative Ways to Use One-Pagers

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I'm Betsy

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2 Comments

  • I love this idea! I’d like to modify it slightly to have students work through arguments for /against the use of Atomic Bombs in WWII. Can you help me find the template you used?

    Reply
    • Hi there! I’m so glad you like the idea! The argument one-pager I used is on TPT in my shop. It’s called “Argument one-pager.” 🙂
      All the best, Betsy

      Reply

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