6th Grade Portfolio Project — Follow Your Star!

I’m espe­cially excited about my 6th grade port­fo­lio project! This project is inspired by an amaz­ing book by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds, who cre­ated the clas­sic children’s books “The Dot” and Ish. This poten­tially life-changing book, “The North Star”, is so spe­cial, it even has it’s own web­site! (Check out this site for fun activ­i­ties for the class­room and home, free resources for edu­ca­tors, and links to other help­ful web­sites.… you can even read the story of “The North Star” in Eng­lish or Span­ish for free online !)


“The North Star” is an alle­gory of a young child’s jour­ney through life and his dis­cov­ery that he must fol­low his own unique path to achieve his dreams. In this story, the child feels lost as he fol­lows the path oth­ers have taken, until he real­izes that each per­son has their own jour­ney and their own signs to guide them. That’s when he notices a very bright star, and as he begins to travel in that direc­tion, more stars join it to light his way.

To me, the stars in this story rep­re­sent the child’s inter­ests, pas­sions, abil­i­ties and influ­ences. We each have a unique com­bi­na­tion of “stars” in our lives, and “The North Star” encour­ages us to rec­og­nize our stars and con­nect them to cre­ate our own unique “con­stel­la­tion”. Being an alle­gory, this story is open to inter­pre­ta­tion.… so what’s yours??? Ask your stu­dents what they think, to start a great dis­cus­sion on life choices and nav­i­gat­ing the course to our true poten­tial. a cre­ative way to get stu­dents think­ing about what’s really impor­tant to them!


1. After read­ing “The North Star”, make a list of ten or so influ­ences, inter­ests, pas­sions, and things that are espe­cially impor­tant to you or inspire you. (hint: These will be nouns!)
2. For each item on your list, draw a cir­cle on the front of your port­fo­lio. Make your cir­cles in a vari­ety of sizes (from 1/4″ to about 1″) and in ran­dom place­ment. Make one cir­cle larger than all the oth­ers.
3. Next, turn your cir­cles into stars by adding long points both ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally. In between each of these points add a shorter diag­o­nal point. Then erase your cir­cles.
4.
Out­line your stars with a black UF Sharpie and erase any other pen­cil lines that are still show­ing.
5. Inside each star, use your UF Sharpie to write one of your ten influ­ences, pas­sions, etc. Write the one that is most impor­tant to you in the biggest star (your “North Star”).
6.
Then, color your stars with a yel­low marker.
7. Finally, use your yel­low marker and a ruler to con­nect your stars, mak­ing your very own per­sonal constellation!

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7 Responses to 6th Grade Portfolio Project — Follow Your Star!

  1. Crayons and Markers and Paint - Oh My! September 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Ok, you’ve made me want this book. I love ish and the dot, so I’m pretty sure I need this book! Thanks for all the ideas!

  2. TeachKidsArt September 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    You will LOVE this book!! Thanks for the fun ideas on your blog, too! I’m teach­ing tech­nol­ogy at my school in addi­tion to art this year, so I would love to hear the ideas you have for that, too!! :)

  3. Neomig October 2, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    Hi
    Your blog is very encour­ag­ing and inter­est­ing. Thanks for the rules– they add to my own : “say only kind things of your friends work.…”
    I am always look­ing for new ideas. your mon­drian project is great.
    But.… my main audi­ence are 5,6 — 9 grade stu­dents. Do you have any reco­man­da­tion of teach­ing mate­r­ial for older stu­dents?
    thanks
    Neomi

  4. theartofeducation October 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up about this new book! I love the oth­ers. I also love the way you fold your port­fo­lios, so I decided to fold mine this way, too! When I post about it, I will be sure to give you a major shout out. Thanks for being one of my very favorite blogs! Feel free to check out mine!
    Jes­sica
    The ART of Education

  5. TeachKidsArt November 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Neomi,
    Most of my projects are geared for K-6 stu­dents, but I’ve done many of them with older stu­dents just by “tweak­ing” the les­son a bit to develop it fur­ther or make it more chal­leng­ing. You might also want to check out http://www.artsonia.com and type “mid­dle school” into the search bar and you’ll get a ton of great les­son ideas!

  6. Peter H. Reynolds December 17, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    An honor to “con­nect the dots” with you.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge December 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Wow! The honor is all mine, Peter! I LOVE your books and so do my stu­dents!! Thank you for shar­ing your wis­dom and inspir­ing all of us with such fun, engag­ing stories!

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6th Grade Portfolio Project — Follow Your Star!

I’m espe­cially excited about my 6th grade port­fo­lio project! This project is inspired by an amaz­ing book by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds, who cre­ated the clas­sic children’s books “The Dot” and Ish. This poten­tially life-changing book, “The North Star”, is so spe­cial, it even has it’s own web­site! (Check out this site for fun activ­i­ties for the class­room and home, free resources for edu­ca­tors, and links to other help­ful web­sites.… you can even read the story of “The North Star” in Eng­lish or Span­ish for free online !)


“The North Star” is an alle­gory of a young child’s jour­ney through life and his dis­cov­ery that he must fol­low his own unique path to achieve his dreams. In this story, the child feels lost as he fol­lows the path oth­ers have taken, until he real­izes that each per­son has their own jour­ney and their own signs to guide them. That’s when he notices a very bright star, and as he begins to travel in that direc­tion, more stars join it to light his way.

To me, the stars in this story rep­re­sent the child’s inter­ests, pas­sions, abil­i­ties and influ­ences. We each have a unique com­bi­na­tion of “stars” in our lives, and “The North Star” encour­ages us to rec­og­nize our stars and con­nect them to cre­ate our own unique “con­stel­la­tion”. Being an alle­gory, this story is open to inter­pre­ta­tion.… so what’s yours??? Ask your stu­dents what they think, to start a great dis­cus­sion on life choices and nav­i­gat­ing the course to our true poten­tial. a cre­ative way to get stu­dents think­ing about what’s really impor­tant to them!


1. After read­ing “The North Star”, make a list of ten or so influ­ences, inter­ests, pas­sions, and things that are espe­cially impor­tant to you or inspire you. (hint: These will be nouns!)
2. For each item on your list, draw a cir­cle on the front of your port­fo­lio. Make your cir­cles in a vari­ety of sizes (from 1/4″ to about 1″) and in ran­dom place­ment. Make one cir­cle larger than all the oth­ers.
3. Next, turn your cir­cles into stars by adding long points both ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally. In between each of these points add a shorter diag­o­nal point. Then erase your cir­cles.
4.
Out­line your stars with a black UF Sharpie and erase any other pen­cil lines that are still show­ing.
5. Inside each star, use your UF Sharpie to write one of your ten influ­ences, pas­sions, etc. Write the one that is most impor­tant to you in the biggest star (your “North Star”).
6.
Then, color your stars with a yel­low marker.
7. Finally, use your yel­low marker and a ruler to con­nect your stars, mak­ing your very own per­sonal constellation!

Subscribe & Connect

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

, , , ,

One Response to 6th Grade Portfolio Project — Follow Your Star!

  1. Crayons and Markers and Paint - Oh My! September 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Ok, you’ve made me want this book. I love ish and the dot, so I’m pretty sure I need this book! Thanks for all the ideas!

  2. TeachKidsArt September 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    You will LOVE this book!! Thanks for the fun ideas on your blog, too! I’m teach­ing tech­nol­ogy at my school in addi­tion to art this year, so I would love to hear the ideas you have for that, too!! :)

  3. Neomig October 2, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    Hi
    Your blog is very encour­ag­ing and inter­est­ing. Thanks for the rules– they add to my own : “say only kind things of your friends work.…”
    I am always look­ing for new ideas. your mon­drian project is great.
    But.… my main audi­ence are 5,6 — 9 grade stu­dents. Do you have any reco­man­da­tion of teach­ing mate­r­ial for older stu­dents?
    thanks
    Neomi

  4. theartofeducation October 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up about this new book! I love the oth­ers. I also love the way you fold your port­fo­lios, so I decided to fold mine this way, too! When I post about it, I will be sure to give you a major shout out. Thanks for being one of my very favorite blogs! Feel free to check out mine!
    Jes­sica
    The ART of Education

  5. TeachKidsArt November 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Neomi,
    Most of my projects are geared for K-6 stu­dents, but I’ve done many of them with older stu­dents just by “tweak­ing” the les­son a bit to develop it fur­ther or make it more chal­leng­ing. You might also want to check out http://www.artsonia.com and type “mid­dle school” into the search bar and you’ll get a ton of great les­son ideas!

  6. Peter H. Reynolds December 17, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    An honor to “con­nect the dots” with you.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge December 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Wow! The honor is all mine, Peter! I LOVE your books and so do my stu­dents!! Thank you for shar­ing your wis­dom and inspir­ing all of us with such fun, engag­ing stories!

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