The Dot

Age Range: 5 - 11

Vashti thinks she can’t draw. But her teacher is sure that she can. She knows that there’s creative spirit in everyone, and encourages Vashti to sign the angry dot she makes in frustration on a piece of paper. This act makes Vashti look at herself a little differently, and helps her discover that where there’s a dot there’s a way…


Book Author: Peter H Reynolds

See More Books from this author

Teaching Ideas and Resources:

English

  • Look at the front cover of the book and discuss the title. What could this story be about? Do the illustrations give any clues?
  • Use the title ‘The Dot’ as the starting point for your own story.
  • Write a biography of your favorite artist.
  • Write Vashti’s diary entry for this day.
  • Write a prequel to this story that explains what happened during Vashti’s art class.
  • Vashti ‘sat glued to her chair’. Was she really glued to it? What kind of literary technique is this?
  • Write an article for the school newspaper about the art show. Could you include an interview with Vashti?
  • Can you turn this story into a playscript and perform it to an audience?
  • Write a sequel to the story. What happens to the boy after he has signed his own picture?

Maths

  • Can you count the number of dots on each page? How many dots are there in the book altogether?
  • Look at the different sized pieces of paper that you might use for art. Can you measure the dimensions? Can you work out the areas and perimeters of each?

Computing

  • Can you use art software to create a picture that starts with a dot?
  • Use the paintbrush tool in painting software to create a ‘dotty’ picture. Look at examples of pointillism for inspiration.
  • Could you create a narrated version using video / multimedia software?

Design Technology

  • Design and make some frames for your own art work.

Art

  • Use the words ‘Just make a mark and see where it takes you,’ as inspiration for your own artwork. What type of mark will you make? Where will it take you? What materials will you use?
  • Make a picture that consists of dots.
  • Can you find out more about pointillism? Look at famous examples of pointillism and make your own.
  • Think of different types of art materials that can be used to make a dot. Can you try them all? How are they similar / different? Which is your favourite? Why?
  • Vashti experiments with different colours. Can you try to mix colours to make new ones? Make a chart that shows what happens when you mix different groups of colours together.
  • Vashti tries making a dot by NOT painting a dot. Can you try this yourself?
  • Can you create your own ‘Dot to Dot’ pictures?

Music

  • Sing and perform the following song with your children:​​

History

  • Find out how people have created art throughout history. What were the first types of art? What materials were used? How has art changed through the years?
  • Create a timeline that shows when famous artists lived.

PSHE

  • Vashti says that she can’t draw. Has there ever been a time when you thought that you couldn’t do something? How did you overcome it?
  • How can you help others when they don’t believe that they can do something?
  • Look at the illustrations. How is Vashti feeling in each picture? How can you tell?
  • This book is dedicated to the author’s teacher who dared him to make his mark. How could you ‘make your mark’?
  • Use this story as the starting point for discussions about ‘growth mindset’. What happens to Vashti when she starts to believe that she can draw?

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