Do you need lesson ideas and Dot activities? In this blog post, you will find Dot Day ideas, interactive worksheets, and I hope, a few new ideas to use in your own classroom for this wonderful book.
We simply love The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It is one that we use year after year. Here are a few activities and lesson plan ideas for you to use with this picture book or on International Dot Day, on September 15th… every year! [Yes… it is a thing!]
The Dot Activities for Growth Mindset
This is one of those children’s books that work well into your growth mindset activities. This heartwarming story can be used with older students and younger students alike. Confession: When I try something new that I feel like I want to give up on, I think of the story of Vashti and employ some positive self-talk.
The Dot Book Summary
At the end of art class, Vashti stares at her blank paper, feeling a bit lost. Her teacher gives her a little push, telling her to just make a mark and see what happens. Frustrated, she angrily jabs her pencil on the page, creating a tiny dot. To this little girl’s surprise, her teacher asks her to sign it and hangs it up in the art room.
With her teacher’s encouragement, Vashti starts making more dots, one after another. She starts feeling proud and confident in her artistic abilities. She proudly displays all her dot works of art when the school art show comes around. As she admires her creations, she notices a young boy looking at them with awe. He tells her he can’t draw like that. Inspired by her teacher’s words, Vashti encourages the boy to make his own mark and see where it takes him.
I can’t help but think about how students often don’t see themselves as readers, writers, or even artists at the beginning of the school year. You will even want to revisit this book throughout the year. Peter Reynolds also wrote ISH, which is a perfect companion for the following week or at any time of the year.
The Dot Activities and Lesson Plans for Reading Comprehension
In our Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension series, we revisit a single text and dive deeper into the text through the use of comprehension questions. Each day, we revisit the book for a different lesson focus. Here are some of the literacy activities we do with this book.
#1 The Dot Activities – Visualization
Our first reading prompt for The Dot is visualization.
Visualization in reading is about creating mental images while reading. For young students, encourage them to imagine the characters, settings, and events in the text. This helps them engage with the story and remember it better. It’s like making a mental movie as they read.
We read the book until we get to page 6 where Vashti grabbed a marker and gave the paper a jab.
#2 The Dot Activities – Retelling the Story in Order
On the second day with The Dot, the entire class participates in the retelling of the story. The big lesson plan idea is to get students to notice the details in the story. It is also a great way to foster oral language as students practice retelling the story again and again.
After the whole group lesson, this can quickly turn this activity into an independent learning center. Students can always open the book to remember the story if they need to.
#3 The Dot Activities – Character Analysis
An additional reading comprehension lesson is we examine the main character.
Character analysis in reading comprehension helps students understand a story’s depth. It promotes empathy, as they connect with characters’ emotions and motivations. This deepens comprehension and fosters critical thinking, making reading a richer experience for young learners.
Vashti starts out as an angry little girl who makes an angry dot. Yet over time, she changes. Here are a few ideas for an anchor chart you could create with your own class students.
#4 The Dot Activities – Making Connections
On our fourth day with The Dot, students work on making connections.
Making connections in reading comprehension helps students relate to the text personally. It enhances understanding by linking the text to their own experiences, other books, or the world. This active engagement deepens comprehension and makes reading more meaningful for young learners.
Students are asked to connect with Vashti’s frustration about drawing and discuss how they may have been frustrated about something they felt was difficult for them.
#5 The Dot Activities – Opinion Writing
Students are also asked to share their opinion about their favorite part.
Opinion writing in reading comprehension encourages critical thinking. It prompts students to analyze and express their thoughts on a text. This deepens their understanding and fosters communication skills, making reading more interactive and insightful for young learners.
The Dot Lesson Plans – Print and Teach Activities
You can find this literature unit containing all of these lesson plans and activities for The Dot, plus five additional back to school reading comprehension lessons by clicking:
The Dot Videos
#6 The Dot Activities – Sing the Dot Song!
Do you know about Emily Arrow on YouTube? She wrote The Dot Song to go with this great book. It has hand motions that go along with it, which is perfect for your Dot Day activities!
#7 The Dot Activities – Listen to the Author!
I also love this recording of The Dot because this video is read by Peter H. Reynolds. He also talks about where he got the idea to write the book! What a great way to listen to REAL LIFE AUTHORS for writers’ workshop mini-lessons.
You will want to be sure to include this video in your Dot activities.
Here is a recording of the entire book, The Dot!
The Dot Art Projects
We always include an art project or craft in each of our Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension units.
#8 The Dot Water Color Painting
Students create their own dot art projects with watercolor paints.
If you want thicker paper than watercolor paper, use tempura paint on paper plates! This is always a lot of fun. Some students make more than one by using a different piece of paper and exploring! This is also a fun way to strengthen fine motor skills.
#9 More Art Projects for The Dot
I love the art projects that Elementary Arts posted on his Instagram page. His feed is filled with fantastic ideas for International Dot Day.
In addition to this project, you will find many more projects filled with his creative spirit.
These are coffee filters, and they work perfectly for this activity!
Here is the STEM response sheet that goes with this student activity.
#12 The Dot Snacks! Did Someone Say SNACKS?!
You had me at snack! I’m pretty sure this is a full day’s worth of sugar and carbohydrates, but in the interest of a fun activity… isn’t this perfect for The Dot Day?
You can find this recipe over Cravings of a Lunatic, which is pretty much my life’s story…ha!
#13 The Dot Literacy Skills Centers
These fun activities can be differentiated. For example, some students may need the beginning sound sort.
Other students will be reading for the word family sort.
#14 The Dot Math Skills Centers
Students will work on adding the missing number to these math problem task cards.
#15 The Dot Worksheet Activity
These two little friends are playing a fun math game!
You can find the STEM activity and the center activities in our Science, Math, and More Extention Units.
Would you like to learn more about the power of an Interactive Read Aloud?
The Dot Free Lesson Plan Template
You can download this lesson plan template by clicking on the image below.
If you would like to find more lesson plans like this one, you can find them by clicking:
#16 The Dot Free File Worksheet Activities
I created these fun and free worksheets for you. These are also differentiated. Here is what you will find in these Dot themed set of worksheets:
- Beginning Sounds Worksheet
- Short Vowel Sounds Worksheet
- Counting Worksheet
- Add 1 Math Worksheet
Simply add your name to the box below, and the free file will be sent to your email inbox.