One Pager Literary Analysis for Any Novel in Spanish Class

Sneak Peek: Encourage critical thinking skills in Spanish class with a one pager for the purpose of growth in literary analysis.

Meet your new favorite go-to resource for teaching novels in Spanish class. I love this project because it encourages students to think critically and creatively. Instead of comprehension questions about a novel (that they may or may not copy from a friend, who can be sure), this project requires students to showcase individual thought and reflection. Not only does this resource promote higher-order thinking, students are given academic freedom for outside-the-box thinking. Talk about involving the learner! 


For the teacher, this one pager project is extremely versatile, in the fact that it can be used for any novel. So, on its own merit, the project lends itself towards differentiating for the varying reading abilities present in any one class, at any one time. Additionally, to differentiate even further, students are given the choice of using a blank white cardstock paper to create their one pager, or using a guided one pager template (included with the resource). 

This resource packs a punch because of its versatility. It can be used with lit circles, a class novel, or even as a way to differentiate for Spanish heritage speakers that are mixed into an L2 class. An added bonus is that these projects are actually fun to grade!

Heritage Speakers

I know so many schools mix heritage Spanish speakers into lower level Spanish classes out of having no better course offering. Unfortunately this happens far too often and leaves the teacher in a tough position scrambling to ensure everyone has something to engage their mind academically. While we hope funds are prioritized to offer a separate course for heritage speakers, where does that leave us in the meantime? 

The teacher has the incredible challenge of teaching towards two very different Spanish speaking levels at the same time. It can almost be like having an additional split-prep on your hands. If your school doesn’t offer a separate class for heritage speakers, this one pager project can provide a self-paced solution that challenges Spanish speaking students and keeps them occupied for weeks.

Comprehensible Input

If you are on the comprehensible input train, you have likely done a literary circle with students or at least a class novel using a TPRS reader. This one pager is designed for advanced students (think Spanish 4 or 5). You could perhaps use this with a Spanish 3 class if you take your time walking them through the instructions. I did include a slideshow for pre-teaching the literary elements in Spanish. I find that students understand the concepts better when they have been introduced to the terms and concepts before reading through the project instructions. In my class of all heritage speakers, content-based instruction is the equivalent of comprehensible input for L2 learners. This resource is an example of content-based instruction because we are teaching broader concepts like literary elements (in Spanish). The focus is on the story of the novel, the thoughts of the characters, etc. We are, then, using language in order to communicate understanding… not simply learning about language in itself, or how to conjugate verbs. 

Language Transfer

one pager literary analysis for Spanish class handout with instructions and rubric and student example

The great thing about teaching Language Arts concepts such as literary elements in Spanish class is the benefits of language transfer. If you use this resource with a heritage speaker class, for example, teaching these concepts in their first language (Spanish) will then later help them be more successful in an English class when they encounter these concepts again (in their second language). This principle also applies the other way around. If L2 Spanish students have already been exposed to the literary concepts of mood, setting, and point-of-view in English class, studying them in their second language (Spanish) won’t be quite as challenging for them because they already have some prior knowledge of these concepts and ideas. This prior-knowledge eases the language transfer of new vocabulary, when students are assigning it to cognitive/academic understandings they are already familiar with.

Brainstorming Page

worksheet handouts for one pager project in Spanish class

In addition to the instructions and rubric pages I also included a brainstorming page to spark ideas for students before they begin crafting their one pager. This planning page helps them go into their time to create with a clear direction and express themselves in a structured way. They can also jot down ideas on this page, as well as words or quotes that stand out to them while reading, that they want to be sure to include on their final product.


One pager student example for La guerra sucia

If your students are more tech savvy than artsy, you can definitely have them complete the same project on a Google Slideshow or as an infographic instead. A digital medium works well with this product and drives home the same concepts as a paper copy!

Lesson Plans

La hija del sastre one pager example in Spanish

Let’s get practical here for a moment. What would incorporating this resource into your lesson plans look like? When you start a class novel or lit circle, use the digital slideshow to introduce the concepts while students look over the printed instructions and rubric. 

You will want to introduce this project around the same time students start reading their novel, so they know which key elements to look out for as they read. You can tackle a short Fluency Matters novel for a couple of weeks and then give them a week to complete their one pager.

I think of this project as a unit to be focused on and knocked out during one continuous unit, but perhaps you have your class aligned a little differently. That’s fine too! For example, you can just read on Monday for “lunes leer” and spread this project out over the course of a trimester. If you only read once a week during the trimester, then this one pager project serves as a final assessment for demonstrating their understanding of the key concepts in the literary analysis unit.

Gallery Walk

One pager examples for literary circle in Spanish class

The cherry on top and the perfect way to sum up this unit is to showcase student work with a gallery walk. Simply post the one pagers around the classroom, in the hallway, or even online for a virtual gallery walk. The class can walk around and observe the contributions of their classmates. By the way, these would be perfect to have hanging up for parent-teacher conferences! Parents always enjoy the chance to see their child’s work, and even more so when it is a creative art project such as this.

If your students create one pagers, I love seeing their work so be sure to tag me on Instagram @profenygaard.

Interested in learning more about teaching a class for heritage Spanish speakers? I have many more ideas here.

Need this resource in English instead of Spanish? You can find that here.

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One pager any novel study in Spanish
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