I was admiring these student portaits outside a first grade classroom the other day and the teacher said that she has students create them within the first week of school. She says the pictures help her initally identify student skill level.
She pointed out that the higher readers/thinkers tend to put a lot of detail in their pictures. In the examples above Estralla has eyelashes, lipstick, hair in pigtails and flowers on her shirt. In Janasia's picture, next to her, you can see details are sparse. In the second set of pictures you can see that Daryl has added teeth, full eyes, necklace, and hands to his picture where Keion doesn't have as much detail.
She uses the pictures to help baseline her incoming students into appropriate groups until testing gets started.
I thought this was an interesting way to help identify student needs at the beginning of the year. Who knew that a picture could tell so much about a child!