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This is a Language Arts written portfolio that touches most of the ELA standards that are covered for the year. You can adjust this to suit your teaching style. Your students choose a theme, create a portfolio of work that includes, writing, art, and research and present this throughout the year. At the end of the year they present a surprise.
The kids create a book based on their interests and add to it all year using the skills that I teach them. They then put together a portfolio in final draft format to present throughout the year.
I have had all kinds of pets, farm animals, guest speakers including Hardy Rawls (One of the Maytag men), various other guest speakers, artistic creations, horses, cars, food, and musical performances come through my classroom. It helps the students become the master of one topic, and I have been amazed at the things that they do.