Our 3rd graders celebrated International Dot Day by reading the book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. This is a story about Vashti, a young girl who can’t figure out what to draw in art class. She is encouraged by her teacher to “make her mark” which sends her on a journey to discover her potential.
Before reading the book, I had the students open MS Paint and draw a “dot” of any size on their canvas. Then we read the book. As I was reading, I could see the students start to think about what they would be doing with their dot.
When finished reading, I gave these directions: Create something using your dot. You can add more dots, a background, and you can also add other features but you must have at least one dot in the picture. And you must finish in one class period. Everyone came up with something – it may have been an abstract drawing or something more realistic. We had a Circle of Life, Pac Man, elephants, outer space, a sunset, balls being kicked, and much more. Below are their creations.
The second part of our celebration was to upload the drawings into the students’ blog and then have them write a post about what they did. This was good practice for them since we’ve really been focusing on how to write quality posts and comments (still working on this!). I gave the students a “challenge” where they were to answer one or more of the following questions:
Hello boys and girls,
Had you ever heard of International Dot Day before our class? We’re eager to hear about your dot picture. Write a new post and answer some or all of the following questions.
- When you first drew your dot in MS Paint, did you have any idea what you would do with it?
- Did an idea come to you right away or did it take a little while to figure out what your dot could become?
- Describe your thoughts on how you decided what to draw.
- Could you relate to Vashti, not able to think of something to draw? How did you feel about that?
- Vashti started out really frustrated because she couldn’t figure out what to draw. How and why did she change throughout the story? Why did she decide to help the little boy near the end of the book?
I’m looking forward to your posts!
Take a look at Mrs. Weth’s Class Blog. Not everyone had a chance to finish but Mrs. Weth and I thought they did quite well working under pressure since we were running out of time. I wish they had answered more of the questions such as the one comparing how Vashti felt and how they felt as they tried to decide what to draw. Next year, I’ll be sure to allow more time for the blog part of the project.