One-pagers, Not Just for ELA Anymore

New ways to engage your science students

You may have heard of a one-pager but aren’t really sure of what it is. A one-pager is a project that is typically given out in an English language arts class. Students have one page to respond to different criteria to show their knowledge of the book. A one-pager should include both visual and written information. Does a one pager really need to only be used in ELA? That was a question I had. I knew there would be a way for me to implement this into my science classroom so I tried it out. 

I have been hearing a lot about them recently and have seen examples of some truly stunning work. If you follow me on Instagram or my store then you will know that I am an advocate for having students color, draw, and illustrate their work even in the middle grades, especially in science, so when I came across the one-pager activity I knew it was something that I had to include in my curriculum. Check out my blog post on five reasons why students should color in middle school

         I tried it out with my kids after reading the novel, A Long Walk to Water. Students were given a sheet of guidelines of what should be included in their one-pager and a rubric to see how it would be assessed. Their results were stunning. If you would like this resource for free, check out my blog post on A Long Walk to Water

After using it in ELA, I decided that this could just as easily be used in science also. The assignment is basically showing what you comprehended in a different fashion than students were accustomed too. So, while working on my acids and bases unit, I put together an assignment for the students to complete as a graded homework assignment.

         Again, students were given the guidelines and rubric to help them understand what they would be doing. At this time, I had examples from the A Long Walk to Water assignment to show them. I felt it was helpful to show them an example of one unrelated to the subject matter that they were working on. I made the mistake of not doing this with my other unit and regretted it because the low-level learners just made a replica of what they were shown instead of using their creativity. Doing it in this way allows them to see what you are looking for but still allows them to be creative in what they work on. 

using one pagers in science class

My students had a fun time with this assignment. They truly enjoyed it and I enjoyed being able to assess the different learning styles in the classroom.

How Can I Use One-pagers in Science?

It’s really not difficult. A one-pager is a way for a student to respond to something. In science, you can have them respond to a topic. In order to do this, I had a bulleted list of things that I wanted my students to complete in order to demonstrate their understanding. This could include but is not limited to:

  • Characteristics
  • Definitions
  • Examples
  • Explanations of important concepts
  • Compare and contrast different scientific theories
  • Illustrations of items related to the topics
  • Short biographies of famous scientists

You might be nervous to start this out on your own. Don’t be. If you still are, I have you covered. Click the image below to sign up for my newsletter. In return, you will receive an EDITABLE one-pager and rubric to use in your classroom TODAY! 

Editable One-Pager FREEBIE!

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  1. I used one pagers in my math class. I had an example made for my kids and regretted it because the lower level learners just reproduced my example. I will try an example on another topic next time.

  2. Ugh, I feel your pain. Maybe next year you can start with a different unit and use the one you created as the model.

  3. I like it. In part it may accomplish more than testing does. The students demonstrate their understanding of a topic through homework.

  4. Such a great and actionable tip that can go into the classroom TOMORROW! Such a simple procedure that can create amazing results! I love it!!! Thank you for the idea :)!

  5. LOVE THIS. Thank you so much, especially the free resource, one less thing to buy to at least get me started :)

  6. Signed up to get the freebie one pager and never got anything twice! Really wanted to use this to go along with our mystery science unit on water.

    1. Make sure to check your SPAM folder. You can also email me at if it doesn't come through.

  7. I used one-pagers last year for Social Studies. The students had to demonstrate G.R.A.P.E.S. for the ancient civilization they were studying. I look forward to trying one in Science.


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