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September 11, 2014 Spark Creativity With International Dot Day By Kriscia Cabral
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    International Dot Day is on September 15. Using Peter J. Reynolds's The Dot as a vehicle, learn ways to motivate students to use their imagination and foster their personal creativity. Encourage your students to “make their mark” with these sure-to-be favorites.

    Teacher Terry Shay created International Dot Day in 2009. The idea behind the day was to read the book, The Dot, and then “make your mark.” How can you share your creativity with the world? The ideas are endless and that is the message behind the book. Support your students by encouraging imagination and creativity in the classroom.



    Books for International Dot Day (and for Many Days to Follow)


    The Dot

    By Peter H. Reynolds

    The Dot tells the story of Vashti who, convinced she cannot draw, makes an angry stab on her paper in art class. That dot marks the beginning of Vashti's journey to self-discovery.


    International Dot Day is a great day to introduce a “creativity movement” in your classroom. Explore creativity in your students and share their creations with others. Let the classroom be a safe place for masterpieces of all kinds.

    Check out the International Dot Day website for a slew of wonderful ways to “make your mark” this year.





    By Peter H. Reynolds

    The sequel to The Dot offers the idea that thinking “ish-ly” is far more wonderful than “having the exact right answer.” Ramon struggles to find joy in his passion as his older brother’s remarks bring him down. Luckily, Ramon’s little sister sees the world differently and shares her gift of “ish” with Ramon.


    Ramon learns that a drawing need not be a literal interpretation of the object of his drawing. What is important is the capturing the essence. Reinforce the power of not being so exact by having students draw with the aim of self-expression. When they are finished they can label the picture as an "ish" and share with classmates.



    Not a Box

    By Antoinette Portis

    A small rabbit takes one box on an imagination journey with endless possibilities.



    Invite students to get creative with their own box. Collect boxes and/or have students bring boxes in.* Allow time for students to build and then share what their box has become.

    *Don't have a box? Use brown bags and have students create "Not a bag" as an activity.

    Imagination is the starting point of all thinking. The connection between what you imagine and how you plan to bring it to life involves the practice of creativity. Angela Maiers shares in her book Classroom Habitudes, “Creativity doesn’t stay strong without work and commitment.” Give your students many opportunities to stretch their ideas and think without needing to find the “right” way to do something.

    How do you encourage creativity in your classroom? I’d love to hear from you!

    Connect with me on Twitter and Pinterest.

    Thank you for reading.






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