I think back to when I was a kid in school and what my school days were made up of. Images of desks and textbooks and worksheets and chalk boards float through my mind. I remember teachers lecturing and students raising their hands to answer questions. It was all very bland and monotonous and boring. Learning in school was dull for me. When I decided to homeschool my children I made a decision to teach them the complete opposite of how I was taught in school. I want them to discover and experience the joy in learning. Learning can be fun, you know!
All three of the kids love to draw. They will sit at the kitchen table together for long periods of time just drawing and talking. Sometimes the two older ones collaborate and create comic books. Sometimes they practice drawing dinosaurs or Mario Bros characters. Keatyn loves drawing lines and circles and dots and coloring them. Since drawing is something that they all enjoy, I wanted to incorporate it into our homeschooling journey. They’re all so far apart in age so their learning is at different levels but this is something that we can all do together (me included!) as a family. One day I stumbled across an Instagram photo of a one-pager and I instantly knew it was exactly what I had been looking for.
What is a One-Pager?
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
The purpose of a one-pager is to own what you are learning. It is a tangible way of connecting the ideas in what you read and see to your thoughts. We learn best when we create our own patterns by writing and drawing. Creating a one-pager is a way to use creativity and imagination to complement your unique way of understanding. In essence, it’s a visual summary of what you’ve learned. I know some of you are saying, “Yeah, that sounds good…but what is it?” haha
How to make a One-Pager
At it’s very basic, a one-pager is a drawing surrounded by information. You start with a blank sheet of unlined paper. (Anyone else need to take out stock on printer paper? We use so much paper. Don’t worry…we recycle, too!) You draw a picture of whatever it is that you’re learning about and then fill the page with information. You can use pencils, crayons, watercolors, colored pens, whatever media you want. The info you write down can be facts, quotes, questions, or personal thoughts. One-pagers are meant to be stand alones so it’s perfectly fine that they all look different. I actually love they they’re so individual. While one child may write color coded facts in neat boxes, another will write out thoughts and questions going up and down the page with a few random facts splashed across the drawing. Sometimes they’ll make several small drawings on one page and other times their drawing will take up nearly the whole paper.
How we use One-Pagers
The very first thing we do is decide on a topic. I let my kids decide what they want to create one-pagers about. Usually they’ll choose something that we’ve been talking and learning about but sometimes they’ll choose a completely random subject that they’re interested in. It can be anything…animals, geography, body systems, poetry, plant life cycles, historical figure, a how to project. The sky is the limit! We then find a few related books on our bookshelves and open them up. If you don’t have books at home you can borrow a couple from the library or even just use your computer to google your topic. They draw a picture and then start filling up the page with information. We keep all of their one-pagers in personalized folders so they can flip through and look through them at any time. My little artists truly enjoy this way of learning. Reading and writing is not a chore when you get to be creative with it. When you create this way the learning sticks with you. It’s burned into your mind. None of that “memorize facts for a test and then forget them all as soon as you can” that I used to do when I was in school. You know what I’m talking about! ha
One-pagers are an excellent way to enjoy and retain learning. Have you used them before?