Example Project Citizen Portfolio

Want to see how to have your students build a quality portfolio?

View an examplary Project Citizen portfolio created by a fifth grade class at W.J. Quarles Elementary School located along the Gulf Coast in Long Beach, Mississippi. Their teacher Carol Paola compiled the "Teacher Tips."

example portfolio
Teacher Tips
Panel Size
Maintaining Continuity of Panel Design
Background Hint
Attaching Items to the Panels
Portfolio Title
Title Hint
Portfolio Criteria Checklist

Panel Size: 

Each panel must be no larger than 32 x 40 inches. Foam core panels are light, easy to handle, and can be painted or covered to create an appropriate background.

  • No three-dimensional items are permitted.

  • The four panels must fold flat.

  • No items may extend past the edges of the panels.

Maintaining Continuity of Panel Design:

1. After the teams are formed to work on the panels, form a layout or design team including a representative from each group. This team will be responsible for ensuring that there is consistency of design across the panels. These students may be responsible for selecting the titles, artwork, font style and size, and colors for backgrounds and mats.

2. If room permits, place the panels flat side-by-side and allow the layout team to approve final placement of items before attaching to panels.


All artwork must be related to the problem being presented.


Although the panels may be white in color, a background color or artwork can complement your project. Foam core boards may be colored with acrylic-based paint. Maps, pictures, or colored paper can be attached to the panels with glue sticks. Spray adhesive and rubber cement are not recommended for student use.

Background Hint:

Once the background is painted or colored paper is attached, cover the boards with clear contack paper or film. This protects the background from damage and creates a great working surface for mounting the displayed items.


Panels can be hinged with Velcro strips if they are to be separated for hearings. If your state guidelines allow you to permanently hinge the panels for stability, clear packing tape can be stretched the entire length of the boards. This should be attached after background prep but before attaching the clear contack paper.

Attaching Items to the Panels:

Hint: Use double-sided tape to attach items to the panels. If your students need to make changes to the display, the contact paper allows them to remove items from the panels without destroying the background.

Portfolio Title:

Lead the students in a brainstorming activity to select a title that reflects the focus of the project. Use a consensus-building process to select the most appropriate title. Punch-out letters, letters cut from colored paper, or other creative choices can be used.

Title Hint:

Draw a line on the panels using a wet erase, overhead projector marker to help the students align the letters across the board. As the board is covered with clear contack paper, you can remove the line with a damp cloth.

Portfolio Criteria Checklist:

During the course of the project, have students refer to the "Project Citizen Portfolio Criteria Checklist"(page 49 of the student text) to evaluate each panel and the portfolio as a whole to ensure that requirements are being met. Remind students that this checklist will be used by judges to evaluate their work.

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