September 15 marked the anniversary of the publication of Peter H. Reynolds’ classic story, The Dot. In 2009, a group of educators began celebrating this date as International Dot Day. This is a day for classes to explore the story’s powerful themes: bravery, creativity, and self-expression. The Dot is also a story about grit, where a girl’s first attempt at something hard isn’t the end of her story.
The author encourages people all over the world to celebrate. Several Aldine ISD schools took part. Art teachers Carter Academy, Carroll Academy, and Jones Elementary School guided students make their mark.
The Dot is a favorite of many art teachers. 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.
Throughout the week, students took part in special “dot” themed activities. The goal was to reinforce the important messages found in the book.
At Jones Elementary School, Sara Rimboch had students paint dots. They merged more than one color in their creations. The students experimented with mixing colors and learned basic color theory principles.
Sarah Kersh had her students at Carroll Academy paint dot murals with watercolors. The students concentrated on creating circles with beautiful craftsmanship.
And Leah Bell’s students at Carter Academy created dots for their hall as a homage to the book.
Dr. Michaelann Kelley visited the schools that celebrated. Kelley is program director of fine arts.
“This is a wonderful way to teach children to be unafraid of challenges,” said Kelley. “Students also learn to feel free to express themselves. The arts are powerful teaching tools. Art educators love the book because it celebrates the power of creative teaching.“
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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