Portfolios as Visual Organizers
for Journey North
x 17 inch paper (for the folder)
x 11 inch paper
wide clear packing tape
A new Journey
North season brings lots of excitement. You gather information, send
in field observations, study maps, calculate migration distances, and
research topics of special interest. All these activities are rich
learning experiences. The challenge is how to organize this vast amount
information to show what you know. A creative project portfolio is one
Create a 9 X 12 project portfolio to collect, record, and display qualitative
and quantitative observations, life cycle studies, weather information,
maps, research findings, and
more — all in one convenient, creative, easy-to-handle package.
Start from day one of a new season of Journey North. At the
end of the season, the portfolio showcases all the student's work.
Or, gather all you have done and display it together in this showcase
| "Shutter" fold
organizer makes a simple and complete display
for Jacket and Component Pages
Begin with an 11 x 17 sheet of paper. This will be the portfolio
jacket. First, make a “shutter”* fold:
- Lay paper
horizontally in front of you.
the outer edges of the paper inward to ALMOST meet in the center; firmly
press the folds. (It's helpful to leave a space of about 1/4-1/2 inch
between the two halves to accommodate the expansion of the folder as
materials are added.)
Next, build components to use as the project expands:
and then cut sheets of paper for journal entries into
halves and quarters.
- Use glue
sparingly. Even the youngest students can learn to add JUST
A DOT of glue to hold pages in place.
- Use clear
2-inch packing tape to reinforce important folds.
journal entries on quarter-sized sheets of copy or notebook paper
glued permanently to portfolio pages.
- Glue in
species life cycle information, migration maps, drawings, and diagrams.
full-sized sheets into halves or quarters and glue them in on one
side. These can
be unfolded to present more detailed findings as more
in-depth research is done.
concepts ("big ideas") can become the cover topics.
sufaces of the side panels can be used for notes, drawings,
- You can
create a pocket for loose materials by taping or gluing an 8.5 x 11
sheet to 3 sides of the back of the portfolio and leaving the top edge
open for access.
The portfolio will hold your work throughout
the season. Its contents will allow you to show your
growth and understanding as the season unfolds. At the end, you
will have all important work together and assessment will be simplified.
(See Using Student Portfolios
for Assessment.) Here are some of the things portfolios might include:
Questions and responses
notes, and data from research and experiments
cycle information, characteristics, and migration maps
diagrams, charts, graphs, and analysis of data
maps or KWL charts
predictions and revised predictions along with explanations for revisions
investigations unfold into more detailed findings—
the Season’s Work
At the end of the Journey North season have a celebration. Display your
portfolios and invite others to learn about your experience!
"Shutter" fold term coined by Dinah