Pre-K Science Portfolios

Things to include in student portfolios for science

Click the thumbnails to view a slideshow with larger images. Read an explanation of each portfolio sample below.

Seed Sorting

I drew lines with a marker to divide the paper into four sections. The children were given a small bowl of four kinds of seeds: corn seeds, pumpkin seeds, black-eyed peas, and black beans. They sorted the seeds into the four sections, and glued them on the paper.

Discovery Bottle Observation Drawings

This is a drawing of a discovery bottle. The children observe the bottle, and then draw what they see inside. The clipart for the bottle came from the Mailbox Companion.

Leaf Observation Drawing

Children collect leaves, look at them through magnifying glasses, then make an observational drawing using a black fine point ink pen. They are later painted with watercolor paints. I always make a copy of the black line drawing before they are painted to keep because more of the child’s details can be seen before paint is added.

A Tree in Every Season

During each season of the year, we closely observe the same pear tree at our school. Children make an observational drawing of the tree in each season. A pear tree is perfect for this purpose because it has noticeable differences in each season: in summer, it has green leaves; in fall, it has red and yellow leaves; in winter, it is bare; and in summer, it has white flowers.

Plant Observation Drawings

Children make an observational drawing of a plant or flower using a fine point black ink pen. These can be later colored with colored pencils. As with the leaf drawings, I always make a copy of the black line drawing before they are colored.

Tree Rubbing

Children make a rubbing of a tree’s bark. A partner holds the paper against the tree while the child rubs over the bark with the side of a brown crayon to make the impression of the bark on the paper.


This is a photo of a project we did with magnets. The children sorted a set of objects onto a sorting mat into two groups: magnetic and non-magnetic. I took a digital picture of each child as they completed the project, and printed them on plain paper to go in the portfolio. Here’s a Magnet Sorting sheet to use with this activity.

Making Paste Experiment

This is the product of our “Making Paste” experiment. First, we make a prediction: Will water make paper stick? Will our homemade paste make paper stick? Next, we mix flour and water to make a paste. The children choose the amounts of each ingredient and mix it in their own bowl. Then, the kids cut out two paper animals and stick one on the paper with water and the other with the paste. Last, the children check their predictions.


Trace each child’s hand on a piece of paper. Have them color on an index card with their pencil to make a layer of graphite on the card. Children rub their finger on the graphite, then press tape onto their finger, pull it off and tape it onto the same finger on the paper hand. When they are finished, children look at their fingerprints with a magnifying glass.

Experiment Recording Sheet

Children participate in a science experiment and make an observational drawing of the results. Their quotes are written on the sheet, and I added an explanation of the experiment for parents.

More ideas for “putting science on paper”:

1. Children look through a prism & draw what they see.
2. Draw the night sky/ draw the daytime sky.
3. Draw something seen on a nature walk.
4. After exploring magnets, draw something magnetic and something non-magnetic.
5. After doing an absorption experiment, draw something that absorbs water and something that does not.
6. Choose a favorite seashell and draw it.
7. Draw a symbol for the day’s weather.
8. Draw something observed in a science video. Dictate a sentence about it.