This exercise is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can make quadramas about anything you’re learning about. Older kids can incorporate more information and writing than little ones.

1st thru 4th grades
5th thru 8th grades
9th thru 12th grades
Writer's Workshop Guidebook cover

Quadramas will be featured in Writer’s Workshop: Essays and Reports. Layers of Learning’s Writer’s Workshop has exercises, projects, and prompts for all ages in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Writer’s Workshop in the Guidebook.

Quadramas are versatile writing projects because you can make them based on any book you’ve read, any famous person, place, or event, or any other topic you’re learning about. Once your kids have crafted one or two, it’s a project they can do all on their own.

Step 1: Mini Lesson

Before you begin your quadrama exercise, have a little Mini Lesson together on any grammar or writing topic that would benefit your kids. You’ll find Mini Lesson ideas in the sidebars of all of the Writer’s Workshop units. Spend just a few minutes on your Mini Lesson so you can spend most of your time focused on the writing.

Step 2: Quadrama Exercise

To make a quadrama you’ll need four pieces of card stock, scissors, glue, and colored pencils or other writing utensils. We used white card stock so it would be easier to see the pictures and writing on our quadramas.

Start by folding a corner of a sheet of card stock over so it perfectly meets up with the opposite edge. You are making a square. Make your crease nice and crisp.

Cut along the overlapped edge and discard all except the square (or turn the stripe into a cool bookmark!). Then open the square piece and fold it again, this time using the other two corners so you will have a criss-cross crease, dividing your square into 4 parts. Again, make your crease nice and crisp. Repeat that with each sheet so you have four square pieces, each with criss-cross creases.

Apply glue to the bottom of one flap and stick the other one down to it, creating one side of your pyramid.

{NOTE: You may want to draw all of the pictures and write the words before actually gluing it all together.  It’s much easier to draw and write when you can lay it out flat on the table.  Make sure to note which sides will show and only draw on those.  When you’re done, glue it all together.}

Now you’ll just do that very same thing 3 more times.  Then glue the backs of each section together to create your quadrama.

My daughter created this quadrama based on Mary Pope Osborne’s Mummies in the Morning. She liked the idea of making a pyramid-shaped book project for a book about Egypt. On each side, she included pictures of the important scenes within the story. On the bottom, she glued her written report. You can also incorporate writing and captions right on the sections of your quadrama. Older kids can be expected to write more information than younger ones.

You can color scenes from a book, make a section for different characters, or use each section to record something you’re learning about in any subject.  Life cycles of animals fit well on quadramas.  If you are studying a country you could use each section for climate, foods, holidays, and entertainment.  The possibilities are endless.  While you’re working on reports, quadramas make great exercises that help report writing to become more meaningful and hands-on than plain reports would be.

Step 3: Publishing

Publishing is an important part of Writer’s Workshop. It’s the last step in the Writing Process and gives kids a chance not only to make a final copy, but also to share it. Take the opportunity to let your kids share their quadramas, the information they incorporated, and what they learned. Our goal as writers is to share our own thoughts with the world, so make sure they get a chance to share. Then fill the room with applause!

What You’ll Find in Every Writer’s Workshop Unit

Additional Layers are extra activities you can do or tangents you can take off on. You will find them in the sidebars of each Layers of Learning unit. They are optional, so just choose what interests you.


You’ll find printables in every Writer’s Workshop unit. They are tools for helping kids learn the writing process, skills, and ways to write in specific genres. They make lessons in a family school setting a little more manageable for parents too.

Ideas Banks

In each unit, kids will be doing a variety of writing exercises as well as one project. They will learn to take their project through the writing process, incorporating what they’ve learned during the Exercises. Each unit has a big idea bank for kids to choose from so they can find something meaningful that they get to choose personally in each genre.


Every unit also includes a rubric to help parents or mentors know how to give feedback that will help writers grow. Rubrics are tools writers can use to self-check, and mentors can use to know what to look for in each writing genre. We never just slap a grade on writing. Every bit of feedback is a tool to improve and grow.

More Writer’s Workshop

Writer's Workshop Category

Learn more about Writer’s Workshop and how it can help you create writers (not just grammar workbook filler-outers!). We invite you to check out the Writer’s Workshop Curriculum Guide. Then see how Layers of Learning can change your whole homeschool into a happy, hands-on family school with the Writer’s Workshop Guidebook. We believe learning is about exploring!

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