painting activity inspired by The Dot

The Dot by Peter Reynold is a wonderful book to read. And reread. And be inspired by.

It reminds us of some very important principles:
• everyone has a mark to leave on the world
• effort should be celebrated
• art is inclusive
• encouragement is contagious

summary  Vashti thinks that she can't draw.  Her art teacher gently asks her to make a dot on her paper, and sign it.  Next class, Vashti sees her dot, framed, above her teacher's desk.  It inspires her to make better dots, bigger dots, coloured dots, un-dots, and to see herself as an artist.

My favourite of Vashti's dots is her "undot". 

We looked at the "undot" together and talked about how Vashti did not paint a dot.  We decided to make undots too.  

Negative space is a hard concept for kindergarten kids. 

I figured that they might need a little help.

Mactac to to the rescue.

I cut out a bunch of Mactac dots and stuck them on half an 8 1/2 by 11" paper (heavier bond than photocopy paper - in a perfect  (and budget free) world, I would use watercolour paper).

The kids chose a paper with a dot - and headed to the paints.

We used puck style tempera paints. I have them set up on the tables by colour, and the kids move themselves and their papers to the colours that they want to use.

I love observing how children operate as artists.

Some are very controlled and precise.

Some artists are random and spontaneous. 

Some artists have a definite plan in mind. 

Some artists have a plan, and constantly adapt it. 

After the paint was dry, we peeled off the mactac circle, leaving an unpainted undot on the paper. 

The artists signed their work, and we framed them in swirly gold. 

Each piece of art, reminding us that everyone has something to contribute - everyone has a mark to make.

Make your mark - you never know where it will take you.


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