This post was written by NCTE member Rebekah O’Dell and reprinted with permission from Moving Writers.
To be honest, this isn’t really a writing post.
Students do write in this activity, but truly this has much more to do with reading comprehension and synthesis. It was a lightning bolt that struck me at just the right time to help me quickly wrap up a reading unit, so I wanted to share it with you in case you could use something like this to round out a unit, too!
Here’s the Big Idea…
A Core-Concept One-Pager has all the elements of a traditional one-pager: quotes, thoughts, questions, opinions, sketches, aha moments, connections. But this one-pager is focused on one central concept and uses four sources to share the creator’s individual learning.
It’s a little bit like hexagonal thinking. It’s a little bit like a two-page spread. It’s a little bit like a language field note.
I used this to wrap up a nonfiction reading unit. My seventh graders read four articles (provided by their history teacher—what a lifesaver that collaboration is!) about the legacy of the Cold War. (They had just finished their Cold War unit in history class.) I wanted to know how these four articles changed or expanded their understanding of this time period.
And the Core-Concept One-Pager was born!
Here are the instructions:
My students have a lot of experience making two-page spreads this year as a reflection of their reading, so I also reminded them of those expectations:
Here is an example of what students created:
This activity took about 45 minutes and students were able to synthesize lots of learning and reflect on what they personally got out of each article!
Rebekah O’Dell believes in the power of choice, authenticity, and students’ voices in the reading and writing classroom. Traveling the country to work with teachers and students provides constant inspiration as they help educators do the hard and tranformative work of teaching real writing. In both public and independent schools, Rebekah has taught middle and high school students at all levels—from inclusion to AP and IB classes. She is one of the founders of Moving Writers and the authors of Writing With Mentors (Heinemann 2015), Beyond Literary Analysis (Heinemann, January 2018), and A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts, 6-12.
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