One of our favorite celebrations at my school every year is International Dot Day, an amazing global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration based on Peter H. Reynolds' book, The Dot.
The book tells the story of a loving teacher who dares a doubting student to embrace her abilities by being brave enough to "make her mark." When little Vashti takes her piece of paper and makes a small dot, the teacher turns the moment into one that builds the young girl's confidence, courage and creativity, which inspires others around the world.
This year we’re not only celebrating Dot Day, but were commemorating the 20th anniversary of The Dot! How special is that!
At my school in Van Meter, Iowa, we have celebrated International Dot Day from the very beginning, and every year we dream up more ways to engage our PK-12 students to help them make their mark on the world. We weave activities and resources into our library and classrooms via art, music and SEL and with home-to-school connections.
Why don't you join us? Here are five activities and resources that you can use to celebrate International Dot Day!
1. Creating art
The best thing about Dot Day is dreaming up ways to inspire young people to make their mark creativity with art materials of all kinds.
Over the years, we have created giant dot murals on butcher paper, covered the school sidewalks with colorful chalk dots, painted on coffee filters, drawn on paper coasters, and one year we even covered a giant exercise ball in duct tape and passed it around the school for everyone to sign.
In addition to the Dot! Dot! StickTogether poster that we’ll be hanging up for students and teachers to work on collaboratively, we’ll also be adding an exciting new project this year. Our students will create their own sticker posters using the Pixel Art interface from StickTogether.
Students can use this free digital tool to create dots and make their mark in creative and fun ways. You can read all about the StickTogether Pixel Art interface in this blog post, where I share how to create your class Pixel Art Portrait Mural to kick off the new school year with your students.
We set up Pixel Art Stations for Dot Day where students can create in StickTogether’s Pixel Art interface to celebrate Dot Day. You will find this choice board and the site here.
2. Using technology
We also find lots of innovative ways to weave technology into our Dot Day celebrations. Our students create augmented reality dots using the Quiver Dot Day sheet and make them come to life with the Quiver app. They also build “Dot Land” in Tinkercad with virtual candy, wrappers and boxes. And they create Dot Day interactive e-books with Buncee. This year we are making life-size paper coaster dots with the green screen and DoInk. You can find the instructions for this project here.
3. Creating a Dot Day choice board
Dot Day can go beyond the classroom. I encourage families to get in on the fun. The Let's Celebrate Dot Day Choice Board is a fun place to read, sing, create, play and more when celebrating International Dot Day at home. Listen to The Dot, watch Peter draw on KidLitTV's Ready Set Draw, sing The Dot Song with Emily Arrow, create a Buncee Dot Day story or mural, and other activities to do at school and home. You will find this choice board and the Dot Day Collection by Destiny filled with other resources here.
4. Reading related books
In addition to sharing The Dot, I love finding lots of other books to help us celebrate International Dot Day. This Padlet is filled with stories to share during your celebrations and conversations.
This year, I also used Capstone Connect to create a choice board filled with Capstone e-books that tie into our Dot Day Celebrations at Van Meter. We share this choice board with our students in Google Classroom and Seesaw so they have a choice in the e-books they want to listen to and read. You can replicate this choice board by using e-books you have in your library collection and others online.
5. Offering STEAM activities
And one of our favorite new resources this year is the STEAM Choice Board with activities and experiences focused on International Dot Day. You’ll find the choice board here in this post.
As you can see, International Dot Day is the perfect way to kick off a year of empowering our students and teachers to embrace their creativity, innovative spirit and, of course, their voice and the impact they have on themselves and others.
Visit The Dot Day site to register and for more project ideas, resources, posters and more. And make sure you follow @DotClubConnect on X (formerly Twitter), @internationaldotday on Instagram and #InternationalDotDay on both for lots of ideas and a place to share how you are celebrating within your community too.
Shannon McClintock Miller is the district teacher librarian and director of innovation of instructional technology at Van Meter Community School in Iowa. She is also an international speaker, presenter and consultant.
Shannon McClintock Miller is the district teacher librarian, innovation director and art coordinator at Van Meter Community School in Van Meter, Iowa. She also is the Future Ready Librarian spokesperson and a public speaker working with teacher librarians, educators and others around the world. You can find Shannon at @shannonmmiller on Twitter and Instagram, and she blogs at The Library Voice.