Creative Documentation & Assessment

Assessment and documentation can take many forms!  

These many avenues include portfolios, journals, videos, photographs, online media, drawings, reenactments, drama, tests, interviews, conversations, and so forth.  

Frequently group documentation can take the form of art – wonderful to display for children, teachers, families and the community.

This “star tree” was made with paper stars created by the children as they learned how to fold paper in half, to experience symmetry, and to turn 2D stars into 3D ones.  So, a beautiful piece of art can evolve from demonstration of competency in learning!


Here we have a “clay quilt” made by school children, depicting important scenes in their town.  They were learning town history, and the art teacher found a great way to document this!

Assessment 1


Each child contributed a ray to the sun in this artwork.  The message comes through:  I am important as an individual, and I am important as part of the whole!



Here a child is reenacting a fairy tale with felt pieces on a felt board.  These felt pieces were homemade by the teachers.

Puppets as Felt Figures


When children made this horse in blocks after hearing the story about the horse “Blaze” read aloud, the teacher was easily able to assess the children’s understanding and comprehension.

Horse made from blocks by kindergarten children after reading the Blaze book series


Here we have an amazing mobile hanging from the ceiling of a preschool/kindergarten room.  The tubes were donated by the local community and families.  Children added words and drawings to the tubes, and then brainstormed with their teacher how to make a great piece of art from the items.  This activity involved literacy (writing and drawing), math (measuring the ribbons and strings), science (figuring out how to hang the item, and how to balance everything), fine and gross motor skills (tying, cutting, etc.), social skills (working collaboratively on the piece) and the creative arts!  That covers many standards in one beautiful collaborative item!!


Here is assessment of a artist study of van Gogh.  Children drew their own versions of Starry Night!  This activity can be made into an “art quilt.”  This way the children see that they are valued as individuals (with individual squares) and yet they are also part of the whole.  Children can also see the diverse creativity, interpretations, and perspectives of their classmates!



This is another example of collaborative art.  The children paint their interpretations of something – in this case daffodils – and then an “art quilt” can be made from it – perhaps with some poetry added!


I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


This is an example of remarkable community art, from “Art With a Heart” in Baltimore, MD.  Their mission is to “enhance the lives of people in need through visual art.”  Tree branches were wrapped with ribbon, yarn, wool, and so forth by many people in the community of all ages.   Thanks to Tim Devlin for sharing this with us!

This is the Art With a Heart website link for their community art:

Art With a Heart - Ashkemore-trees



Here we have an origami “bird tree.”  Early childhood students made origami birds with their wishes for the world on them.  A teacher shared these child-made birds with her class of college students – who then made birds in return for the children!



Here children are building cities in Legos and blocks.  A conversation with these children would yield excellent assessment of their understanding of cities, and how cities function.

Lego Puppet Show SettingOutside Puppet Show Setting


When children reenact stories, folk tales, nursery rhymes, and the like, this is a golden opportunity to assess their understanding and recall.

Dragon puppets (3)


“Felting” is a lovely way to tell a story!  Here we have a beautiful depiction of the four seasons with felted wool, made by Vicki Flint and Helen Ballou.

Preschool January 2012  Pictures and Probability Exercise 163Preschool January 2012  Pictures and Probability Exercise 161


This is child art which shows mathematical understanding.  Note that they tried to count out 5 rocks for each block!

Preschool Spring 150