Creating workbook templates in Pages to support Digital fluency growth in your students

  Though my work as Apple Professional Learning Specialist, I have been working with a Primary School to streamline their Digital Progressions. This means I am designing new organisation and tasks for the students to undertake at each year level. As the tools upgrade and the skill level of the students increase, what is possible needs to be revisited. We want to do all we can do to help them learn how to use the tools creatively to show their learning and understanding and assist them to process information.

I’m going to show you how to create a workbook template for your students to work through a variety of exercises on their iPad, taking advantage of the different tools available. This will be created on my MacBook, since many teachers have one they use, and it offers you a couple more tools to create with.

One of the Year 1 Digital Fluency tasks is learning how to use the camera to take images that tell a story. As part of this we have included the Extreme Close up, a task which they first encountered in Year 0. The first time we undertook this lesson we worked with a partner and took turns taking the images. We kept our ‘wings’ (elbows) tucked in so the iPad stayed still, and we stepped forward to zoom and then zoomed in more still. We tapped to focus, and took the image using the volume button, because that allowed us to keep both hands on the iPad.

A Year 0 trip to the Maritime Museum will result in some awesome close up images we can’t wait to share in our simple ‘Eye spy” Treasure Hunt template book.


Pages from our Treasure Hunt book - the cover showing a huge eye, and then the close up and reveal images

In this Year 1 workbook I will demonstrate, we have included the same activity but with a Spring focus, and it’s a follow up for the students to practise the skill on their own and share the results. 

The tasks are pretty simple to be sure, but the techniques used in making a template like this are ones you will find useful whatever year level or subject you work with. 


Workbooks allow you to guide the students through a series of interactive activities that are customised and personalised to the learning they are undertaking, and the way you teach and scaffold their understanding. You can take full advantage of the variety of activity styles and media interactions to capture learning and create meaning. You also provide the opportunity for creativity in responding and sharing learning.

A few tips you might find useful when creating your workbook: 

  • To speed your process up, have your images and resources pulled together into one place where they are easy to access.
  • Have a think about the process the students will follow and how best it is to construct the page - your students age and skill set come into this as well.
  • Mask your images with a shape for more interest.
  • Add image placeholders.
  • Add text placeholders.
  • Think about the layers and what should be placed on top of which items.
  • Group and Lock items where appropriate.
  • Add your contents as a Background image - this is super useful to stop students getting distracted by changing your layout
  • Add your contents to the actual Pages page template - this is super useful for older students for something like a technology workflow, or science experiment write up like the template shown below. This means they can add extra pages as required and still follow the template. To add into the page template, click the paintbrush on a blank page and select Edit Page Template. Make all your pages and then press done in the bottom right on the orange banner.    
    A screenshot showing the template pages for our Science investigation workbook.
    All images and drawings used in the template attached are created, or taken by me, Julia Parker. You are welcome to use them but I'd encourage you to make your own - it's so much more fun. (The chicks are all doing well, thanks for asking)

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Posted on December 02, 2022

Thanks for sharing this beautiful template and tips for best practices in creating Pages workbooks! Such a great way to scaffold learning and help students show what they know in many different ways.

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