Before we get started explaining one pager ideas, let’s take answer the first question you might have, what is a one pager assignment? (Just in case you are unfamiliar or need to be convinced that they’re a great teaching and learning tool).

What is a one pager assignment?

A one pager assignment is an assignment where all of the parts of the task are completed one page.

One pager projects can take many different forms. It might be something like a comic book strip (click here for a free template), or it could be a cause-effect chart. 

It could be a mind map. Or it could be a visual note taking worksheet that covers quotes and themes and characters.

The point of a one pager project is that the whole task can fit on one page. 

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Does this mean that a one pager assignment is not rigorous? 

Short answer, no. A one pager project can be as rigorous as an essay or other extended piece of writing.

It might not take as long to complete as an essay or other extended piece of writing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as rigorous.

The level of rigor on the one pager assignment will depend on how you structure the task. If you get students to do a mind map, that’s probably not going to be as rigorous as something that’s requiring students to pick out and analyze examples of characters, themes, or quotes etc.

So how you structure the one pager project will determine it’s rigor. This brings us to our second point.

Who can do a one pager assignment?

One pager projects are the type of task that many students will be able to attempt and that you will be able to easily differentiate according to ability.

That’s part of its appeal. Because it’s only one page, projects can be attempted by students with extremely high ability and students that are struggling.

One pager projects have the appeal that students know that they are only one page. That’s all they have to do, and they can add as much detail as they wish to try and achieve the grades they want.

When can you use a one pager assignment? 

One of the benefits of a one pager assignment is that you can use them at all different points in your unit of work. And you can use one pager projects across many different subjects.

You can use a one pager assignment at the start of a unit to try understand students’ prior learning. You can use it in the middle to figure out where you need to go back and reteach or where students might have not understood information. 

And you can use it at the end as a form of assessment.

Why would you use a one pager assignment? 

First of all, you should use a one pager project because it’s a way for students to engage in the content. And it’s an achievable way for students to demonstrate their learning that is not as reliant on written communication when compared to a task such as an essay.

Students can use illustrations; they can do collage. Students can collaborate with other students, or they can work individually. As long as they can explain the choices that they’ve made, students are able to succeed.

Why else should you use a one pager assignment? Too often in English and Humanities, we get stuck on the idea that students need to be writing for in order to be assessed. But that’s not really the case. 

Students must write in a one-pager assignment. That’s important because they need to be able to explain their ideas. But the advantage of a one pager project is that they can also explain their ideas visually. 

Another benefit is that the writing component of a one-pager assignment is shorter and feels more achievable for students who struggle with writing. Instead of being faced with a six-hundred-word essay, students write paragraphs. And they can use illustrations, diagrams, and other visual tools to communicate their learning.

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Other reasons to use one pager assignments… 

Another benefit of one pager projects is that they are shorter tasks. This means that you can assign them more frequently and at different points in a unit of learning. 

Because they are shorter tasks, they are faster to mark. A six-page essay will take you much  longer to give meaningful feedback on than one pager. 

But both tasks can potentially accomplish the same learning goal – a one pager can enable a student to analyze a quote, discuss a character’s growth, and analyze a theme. But it would take them much less time to complete than a six-page essay.

The shorter length allows you to provide more frequent feedback, and we know that more frequent feedback on how to improve is one of the ways students learn. Plus, it is a fast way for you to gather evidence of student learning.

One pagers are also a way for you to help students manage their study time. As teachers, we often forget that students have work across many subjects, and often assessment is due at the same time because of reporting timelines. One pagers enable students to demonstrate their learning in a relatively quick way.

Plus, students are likely to attempt a one pager because it seems like an easier task than a six-page essay.

With one pager projects, students are able to produce or create assessment pieces that meet the learning goals. But those assessment pieces are within students’ ability, are creative works that students are proud of, and are tasks that students have control and ownership over. 

Finally, one pagers are great because they can be completed with paper or you can assign students to do them digitally on a program such as PowerPoint or Canva.

One pagers make differentiating the task easier

One pagers are a great way to cater for different learning abilities and an easy way to differentiate tasks for students of different abilities

In your classroom, you likely have students who are high achieving as well as students who struggle. In this same task, you will be able to create an assessment that caters to both groups.

You can differentiate for these different levels in a variety of ways, including  

  • Assigning different texts for the one pager, with higher ability students using more difficult texts
  • Creating different parameters for what different students need to include on their one pagers
  • Providing different levels of scaffolding for the written components of the task
  • Giving students different degrees of freedom of choice of task
  • Providing different levels of scaffolding for the decorative components/design of the task
  • Grading students on different criteria based on the learning level they’re at (for example, if students are on individual learning plans you are able to use the grade level that they’re at to mark them)

One pager ideas for different subject areas

You might have seen a one pager assignment in English where students need to 

  • Analyze a quote
  • Discuss how a character grows over the novel
  • Analyze a theme
  • Include some illustration or decorative element

But how does that translate to different subject areas or text types? What is a one pager assignment in Math and what does a one pager look like in Social Science? Some one pager ideas for different subject areas include

English and humanities

  • English: Choose a scene from a text that you have read and create a one-pager about a scene from a non-narrator character point of view. This is a great way to fill gaps and silences in a text.
  • History: Show the causes and/or effects of a major historical event including analysis of a primary and secondary source
  • Geography: Show the causes and/or effects of a natural disaster on a group of people
  • English: Compare two poems on the same theme and describe similarities and differences in structure, technique, and message. 
  • History: Show the changes and continuities of a specific civilization over time including analysis of primary and secondary sources
  • Geography: show the evolution of a place over time and the causes and effects of those changes
  • Legal studies: show the progress of a legal case from the original law, the case law that applies to it, and the outcomes of cases that changed the interpretation of the original law
  • Art: discuss an artist and the evolution of their style
  • Film and TV: explain the techniques a director uses to get across a specific message in a text
  • English: create a blackout poem from a text and then explain what they’re trying to achieve with that blackout poem. What is the message of the poem? How does it relate to the original text? How does it create a new text? 

STEM

  • Science: show the hypothesis and expected outcomes of an experiment and explain which outcome occurred and possible reasons why
  • Math: show what the Fibonacci sequence is and why it’s important by discussing how it appears in different locations (for example, in nature, architecture, construction, or art)
  • Biology: classify different plant types and show similarities and differences between different species of the same genus
  • Chemistry: classify the different chemicals in everyday products (such as shampoo) and explain how those chemicals function within the product
  • Physics: show how lenses in glasses work or how pressure and gravity in household plumbing keep water flowing in the intended direction

As you can see from these one pager ideas for different subjects, there are many ways to use one pagers in many different subjects. 

It’s this flexibility which also makes it a fantastic, useful teaching tool and assessment task. 

How can you structure a one pager project?

So, you’re convinced. You want to assign a one pager assignment. What do you do now?

The first step is to work out where in the unit of work you want to assign it and whether it will be formative or summative. 

If you want to use it as a formative assessment, a one pager idea that is useful for gauging learning is to get students to complete one at the start of the unit and one at the end of the unit. You could also do one mid-way through to see progress or areas of misunderstanding.

In this way, you are achieving a few goals. Firstly, you are gauging prior learning at the start of the unit. This allows you to work out what students know already and avoid spending too much time reviewing that information. 

Secondly, this approach allows you to see student learning over time. And it gives you evidence to use in case students don’t complete summative assessment or don’t do as well as you think they should have. 

Further, it is a way to avoid the dreaded AI-generated essay, because if you do it before students begin their summative assessment it can work as a forced note-taking before an extended written task.

How do you grade a one pager assignment?

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Luckily, because one pager projects and one pager ideas are so flexible, grading can be quite flexible too. You’ll just need to make sure that your one pager directions enable students to complete the task and answer whichever criteria you are assessing them on.

Questions you may like to ask when designing your one pager rubric include:

  • Are you going to grade the creative, decorative, or design elements? If so, how much will it be worth? This will depend on the subject area, as in some subjects such as art and design, this aspect would carry a heavier weight than a subject such as science.
  • Does the design, creative, or decorative part have to be made from a specific material or media? Can it be hand drawn, or can students use collages, photos, or digital media?
  • How will the one pager rubric reflect the learning area? Which learning outcomes or criteria will you assess?
  • How will the task need to be designed so that students can address those criteria? 
  • Will students be graded on content?
  • Will students be graded on written expression?
  • Are spelling, punctuation, and grammar important to assess in this task?
  • Are you grading paragraph structure?
  • Do students need to include evidence such as quotes, data, statistics, examples, or paraphrasing?
  • Which information are you looking for students to recall, synthesize, and/or evaluate?
  • How will you differentiate? Will differentiation affect the grading rubric?

These questions are important because they will help you set the parameters of the task. It’s probably best to have the criteria for the one pager worked out before you design the task so that you can ensure your instructions lead students to complete the task as you intended it.

How can you assign a one pager?

An easy way to assign a one pager assignment is to give students

  • A blank piece of paper (if your task will be formative, or at the start of the unit, this may be enough guidance for the task and it may be more like an illustrated ‘brain dump’ than a structured response)
  • A blank comic strip template
  • A visual note-taking template
  • Doodle notes templates
  • A template you have designed specifically for this task

one-pager-templates

There are many options of blank one pager templates online. So you might find a version that works for what you are wanting students to do.

The advantage of using templates is that they give students a structure to start with. And it’s also a way to scaffold more heavily for students who need it because you can explicitly label parts the they need to do, or you can pre-fill quotes or themes into the task.

Once you have your one pager rubric and have chosen the template you wish to use (if you want to use one), you then need to write the task instructions.

It would also be a good idea to give students a one pager project plan or one pager directions so that they know the steps that they need to do to complete the one pager assignment.

The possibilities are endless…

With one pager projects, students can do one pager novel projects or one pagers on scientific experiments. Because it’s such a versatile assessment tool and learning tool, one pager assignments deserve a place in your classroom.

Have awesome one pager examples for ELA or history? Or a great one pager project example in a different subject area? 

Send us pictures of examples for one pagers for novels or poems, or social studies one pagers. Anything your students have created that is amazing, we want to see it.

We hope we’ve answered your main questions about one pager projects. Have any more questions about what is a one pager assignment or how to use them in your classroom? Get in touch on Facebook or Instagram.

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