Oct 17, 2012

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Connecting the Dots through International Dot Day

If you have not read the book by The Dot by Peter Reynolds this is a must read for any art teacher! It tells the story of how an art teacher made an impact on a student who felt that she could not draw (as so many students do).  The teacher encouraged her to make her own mark and sign her masterpiece.  What started out as a small dot, in the end turned into one student’s journey of self-discovery. It is a great story that empowers students to believe in their own creativity!

Terry Shay, a teacher first started International Dot Day in 2003, which is traditionally celebrated on September 15th.  It is a Day where educators all across the world celebrate the story of Peter Reynolds book by creating artwork together and making connections, by connecting the dots!

My middle school students celebrated Dot Day for the first time this year! Check out this video that they made all on the iPad showcasing their wonderful Dots created by students during each period of the school day. Some of their dots included making dots out of candy, photos, splatter painting, and even using  the iPads themselves!

We connected with Mrs. Carignan’s fourth grade class in our school district by making dot tee-shirts! As a follow up activity we connected via Skype with Mrs. Rose’s High School students in Nipigon-Red Rock District High School in Red Rock, Ontario, Canda! Click here to see their Dot Day artwork!


So go out there and make your mark! Join the Dot Day Club and celebrate this message all year long!


Have you participated in International Dot Day before?

What are other ways you like to use Peter’s message and his books in your art room?

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  • Andrea Keller

    Love your video! Thanks for sharing some great ideas :) Can’t wait to learn more from you!

    • Chelsie Meyer

      Thanks Andrea! Maybe next year we could connect for international dot day :) Love the message behind such a great book!

  • Kellie Determan

    Chelsie, thanks for sharing this. I retrieved the book from our library and decided that we could fill an empty wall with Dot-Art. I read my 3rd graders the story while a few finished up a previous project. I gave them free choice to explore art materials they may not have tried. This became an experiment type of an assignment. I love the results and that they tried something new.

    • Chelsie Meyer

      Kellie, What a great way to share “The Dot” with your students! Thanks for sharing!

  • Claire

    Last year all my classes viewed “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds on Tumblebooks via the school’s Promethean Board. Each student created up to four small dot / circle designs using drawing tools. We practiced imprinting these designs on styrofoam plates with a variety of imprinting tools and colored over them with crayons. They chose one to put on an air-dry clay tile. Then a local potter came into school to help all students create their chosen designs on a ceramic tile. (I do not have a kiln, etc. in my K-5 school) They students glazed the tiles and our ‘resident potter’ took the tiles back to his studio for firing. Finished tiles were then assembled and installed on the wall in the main foyer for an impressive school-wide mural. Our potter even got Peter Reynolds’ permission to use the book’s cover image in our mural with the words ‘Make Your Mark!’ Imagine my surprise this September when I happened to learn there was  an “International Dot Day”!! This year my classes celebrated by painting large collaborative dot and circle paintings.

    I really enjoy “The Education Sea.” Thanks!

    • Chelsie Meyer

      Hello Claire! Wow! What an impressive idea with your school’s mural! I bet it is just stuning.  What a great way to work with your resident potter, too! I Love it!

  • Nzimbalist

    We’re spending the entire year using the dot as a starting point, each and every day. It is sort of a 365 project, but I don’t see every student every day.