Today is International Dot Day based on the absolutely adorable book, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. In the story, Vashti is upset because she doesn’t believe that she can draw. With a little encouragement from a teacher, Vashti realizes that she is an artist and begins creating her own masterpieces. Finally, at the end of the story she encourages a little boy to become an artist as well. A story “that begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing.”
We celebrated Dot Day a little early in my library – last Friday for or first Fun Friday program of the new school year. We’re changing things up a little bit by offering Fun Friday for our 2nd – 4th grade students and then offering Fun Friday Jr. for students in Kindergarten and 1st grade. For our older group, I started off reading the story and afterward we talked about what happened and how Vashti became an artist. Then we played a rousing game of Twister. This was a great game to practice left/right, the kids had a great time trying to stretch and move around each other. After Twister, I pulled out a large piece of butcher paper that the kids used to create their own dot artwork.
And finally, I used our Ellison die-cut machine and cut out dots in a bunch of fun colors that the kids could use to create their own personal dot to take home.
For our little ones, we did a similar project, but left out the Twister game. Overall, I think the kids had fun and even though some were familiar with the story they did a great job listening and responding to my questions. I think these types of projects are sometimes more difficult for kids, because there’s no “finished project.” It’s more just to explore art materials and use your imagination. I really loved that the main character’s name was Vashti, which leads the reader to believe that the little girl is most likely a diverse character, with a heritage from Persia or the Middle East.