Look at the portfolio covers in the picture above. Aren't they cute? Especially the coconuts! The students who created these had the option of decorating their portfolios about wetlands in any way they wanted. Some students printed real pictures of a wetland, others drew theirs (which I also liked). But these students chose to use a mixture of drawing and a few real materials from nature. I have a weakness for craft and creativity. When I saw these finely detailed portfolio covers, I fell in love! (I held back some of my excitement because I wanted the other students to know that I appreciated their efforts as well.)
They explained to me that they used different parts of a palm tree (which is a much smaller cousin of the coconut palm tree) to make the fallen tree branches and the coconuts that you see in the picture. They also used twigs to represent a log, cotton for clouds, stones for rocks, and grass and seaweed to represent marshes and bushes. Of course, all students got the same mark for creativity, no matter how they chose to represent a wetland on their front covers. I do not believe in assessing a child's art work because all children have different levels of artistic ability so it would not be fair for me to do so. But I do enjoy giving them avenues for their creativity to shine.