On Monday, September 14, 2015 Lincoln Elementary School in Buenos Aires, Argentina celebrated its first International Dot Day, a global celebration of Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot. International Dot Day promotes global community connections, creativity, and inspires originality. Peter H. Reynolds’ hope is to motivate a community of people who will use their talents and energy to make the world a better place. The book, The Dot, tells a story of Vashti, a young artist who thinks she cannot draw. With a little help from her art teacher, Vashti discovers her artistic confidence and her ability to “make her mark”. Vashti then inspires another student to take a risk and begin to make his mark.
In the past I read The Dot with only my first grade students. They used watercolor paints to create dots on paper just like Vashti did. This year, after a request from Ms. Susan Voracek, Lincoln’s ES Librarian, to incorporate an art station in her annual book fair, Lincoln took International Dot Day to a new level. Under my direction, and with the help of some awesome parent volunteers, all elementary students painted dots of various colors and sizes on ceiling tiles. Artists worked in groups to mix paint colors and to make their mark creating unique design. After the tiles dried I worked with our maintenance staff to hang the ceiling tiles in the fine arts hallway and the kinder foyer. Our amazing artists have now left their mark at Lincoln for years to come. Check out our installation video to see the process.
There were many other Dot Day activities going on in the classrooms as well. One example, with the help of learning coach, Yau-Jau Ku, Ms. Cate Hollenbeck’s first grade class skyped with a school in Venezuela to share their Dot Day experiences. Another example is students created dot inspired artwork and stories in their Spanish classes. Isn’t it great that such a simple text can provide both deep interpretation opportunities and fabulous art projects with common resources.
While this was the first International Dot Day celebration at Asociación Escuelas Lincoln it was a huge success.
Author Peter H. Reynolds even tweeted about us. Parents, faculty, and students enjoyed the festivities.
How will we continue to make our mark…only the future can tell. If you haven’t read The Dot yet, check it out.
-Christine Wiest Elementary Art Teacher Asociación Escuelas Lincoln