California Educator

August/September 2019

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T H E O N E - P A G E R S I see on Instagram draw me in like a slice of double chocolate mousse cake. e artistry stu- dents bring to representing their texts on a single piece of paper, blending images and ideas in creative color, is almost hypnotizing. But it's the very beauty of the models that get posted that can drive students and teachers away from the one- pager activity. Sure, it's great for super artistic students, we tend to think, but what about everyone else? Turns out it can be great for everyone — as long as you know how to structure it. What is a one-pager? It's pretty simple, really : Students share their most important takeaways on a single piece of blank paper. ey take what they've learned — from a history text- book, a novel, a poem, a podcast, a TED Talk, a guest speaker, a film — and put the highlights onto one page. Why is this simple assignment so powerful? As students create one-pagers, the information they put down becomes more memorable to them as they mix images and information. According to Allan Paivio's dual coding theory, the brain has two ways of processing: the visual and the verbal. e combination of the two leads to the most powerful results. Students will remember more when they've mixed language and imagery. Plus, one-pagers provide variety, a way for them to share what they've learned that goes beyond the usual written options. Students tend to surprise themselves with what they come up with, and their work makes for powerful displays of learning. And, they're fun to make. So, what exactly goes into a one-pager? Students might include quotations, ideas, images, analysis, key names and dates, and more. ey might use their one-pagers to make connections to their own lives, to art or films, to pop culture, to what they're learning in their other classes. ey might even do it all. The art problem When creating one-pagers, artistic students tend to fea- ture more sketches, doodles, icons and lettering. Students wary of art tend to feature more text, and can be reluctant to engage with the visual part of the assignment. It was the issue of the art-haters that first drew me into one-pagers two years ago. I had seen some stunning one-pagers posted in my Facebook group, Creative High School English. But the comments that followed were always the same. "at's amazing work! But so many of my students don't like art." One-pagers use imagery and language to get at the crux of the matter By Betsy Potash Power o f t h e P a g e One-pager examples from Betsy Potash. 54 Teaching & Learning

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