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Unlock Creativity with The Dot Activities in the Classroom

Welcome to the CLL literacy guide on The Dot activities for the classroom. This post contains engaging literacy activities based on the picture book, ‘The Dot'. The book's simple yet profound themes of self-belief, perseverance, and the power of encouragement make it a versatile tool for teaching. Discover how The Dot activities can promote character analysis, sequencing, and understanding cause-effect relationships, fostering creativity, confidence, and a love of learning.

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The Dot Summary

Vashti stared at a blank paper in art class, unsure what to do. Her teacher offered wise advice: “Why don't you make a mark and see where it takes you?” Annoyed but curious, she jabbed her pencil, creating a single dot. To her surprise, her teacher hung it on the art room wall. 

Encouraged, Vashti made more dots, creating a collection of artwork. Proud of her achievement, she inspired others with her message: “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” One small mark can lead to greatness.

Book Series

The Dot (1)
Ish (2)
Playing From the Heart (3)

The Dot Activities

The Dot book celebrates having the confidence to give something a go, having a growth mindset, and inspiring others. As a teacher, you can use The Dot activities to teach about setting, inferences, theme, character development, and making connections.

This post will focus on The Dot activities for character analysis, cause and effect and sequencing.

The Dot Read-Aloud Questions

The Dot questions encourage your students to reflect on the story, interpret the characters' motivations and feelings, analyse the author's message, and apply their understanding to their experiences.

I have over 80 questions to use before, during and after reading The Dot book in this activity pack. Here are some questions you can ask before reading the book.

The Dot questions encourage your students to think critically about the story, character development, plot progression, setting, and underlying themes, helping to improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Describe the problem faced by Vashti and how it was solved.

  • Why do you think Vashti is frustrated in art class?
  • How did Vashti's mindset change throughout the story?
  • What does Vashti's teacher do when Vashti says she can't draw?
  • Do you think Vashti's first dot was art, or did it only become art when it was signed and framed?
  • What would have happened if the teacher hadn't framed her art?
  • How does Vashti's artwork evolve throughout the story?
  • How does Vashti's interaction with the little boy towards the end mirror her own experience with her teacher?
  • Why do you think the author chose a dot as the central symbol for this story?
  • Can you relate to Vashti's initial feelings about her drawing ability? How?
  • How does The Dot show the importance of trying, even when you believe you can't do something?
  • How does this story show the power of a teacher's encouragement?
  • Can you describe the main character Vashti? What kind of person is she at the beginning of the story?
  • How does Vashti's attitude towards her abilities change?
  • What lesson did Vashti learn from her art teacher? How can we apply this lesson in our lives?
 
A reading comprehension activity with a picture of a book and a card from "the dot" activities.
The Dot Read-Aloud Questions

The Dot Character Analysis Activities

Vashti evolves from being hesitant and unsure to confident and creative. Analyzing her character development can help students understand how characters can change and grow in a story.

Clear Character Development: Vashti changes from a frustrated girl who believes she cannot draw to a confident artist who inspires others. 
ACTIVITY: After reading the book, have students list Vashti's character traits at the story's beginning and end. This can help students understand how characters evolve and change.

Relatable Characters: Vashti's feelings of self-doubt and her journey to self-confidence are relatable to many students. This relatability can help students better understand and analyze her character.

Influence of Secondary Characters: The teacher in the story plays a significant role in Vashti's transformation. 
ACTIVITY: Start a discussion about the role of the teacher in Vashti's journey. This can help students understand how secondary characters can influence the main character's development.

Emotional Depth: The book explores a range of emotions, providing a chance to discuss how these emotions contribute to Vashti's character and actions.

Simple Text, Deep Meaning: Although the language in the book is simple, it conveys deep themes such as self-belief, perseverance, and the power of encouragement. This makes it accessible for analysis while offering complex ideas to explore.
ACTIVITY: You can ask students to draw or write about Vashti's character at different points, discuss the teacher's influence, and explore how Vashti's feelings drive her actions.

The dot reading comprehension activities.
The Dot Character Traits Activities

The Dot Sequencing Activities

The clear sequence of events in the story—from Vashti's initial reluctance to her eventual success—provides a good opportunity for students to practice ordering events. They can learn to identify a story's beginning, middle, and end, understand how events build on one another, and see how characters evolve over time.

Clear Timeline: The Dot book follows Vashti from her initial frustration and lack of confidence in her artistic abilities to her transformation into a confident artist. This progression provides a straightforward sequence of events for students to follow.

Character Development: Vashti's journey serves as a timeline itself. Students can track her attitude and confidence level changes, helping them understand how characters can evolve over time.
ACTIVITY: Use a story map to help students visualize the sequence of events. This could include a flowchart with arrows showing the story's progression from one event to another.

Event Progression: The story's events build upon each other. Vashti starts with a single dot, creates more elaborate dot artwork, and finally mentors another student. This progression allows students to practice organizing events in the order they occurred.
ACTIVITY: Encourage students to retell the story in their own words, focusing on maintaining the correct order of events. This will reinforce their understanding of the sequence and allow them to practice using transitional words like “first,” “then,” “next,” and “finally.”

Visual Aid: The picture book format offers visual cues to help students understand the sequence of events. The illustrations provide additional context and aid in comprehension, making sequencing easier and more engaging.
ACTIVITY: Create cards representing key story events. Shuffle them and have students arrange them in the correct order. This activity can be done individually or in groups, promoting understanding of the sequence and collaborative learning.

A free dot to dot book with a picture of a dot to dot activity.
The Dot FREE Sequencing Activities
The Dot Sequencing Activities
The Dot Sequencing Activities

The Dot Cause and Effect Activities

The Dot book presents a clear cause-effect relationship between Vashti's actions and her growth as an artist. This can lead to discussions about how one action (making a dot) can have a significant impact (inspiring her to become a confident artist). As you read the story to your students, ask them to identify the cause and effect relationships.

Vashti's Frustration (Cause) Leads to a Simple Dot (Effect): At the start of the story, Vashti feels frustrated and believes she cannot draw. This leads her to make a simple dot on her paper.

Teacher's Encouragement (Cause) Leads to Vashti's Confidence (Effect): The teacher's positive reaction to Vashti's dot and her encouragement to explore further gives Vashti the confidence to continue creating.

Vashti's Exploration (Cause) Leads to Artistic Growth (Effect): As Vashti begins experimenting with dots, she grows as an artist, showing that effort and practice can lead to improvement.

Vashti's Success (Cause) Leads to Inspiring Others (Effect): At the end of the story, Vashti inspires another student who believes he can't draw, mirroring the initial situation but with Vashti now in the role of the encourager.

Create a Cause and Effect Chart: Use a graphic organizer to help students visualize the different cause and effect relationships throughout the story. For instance, cause: Vashti signs her name under the dot. Effect: She starts to take ownership and pride in her work.

The Dot Cause & Effect Activities
The Dot Cause & Effect Activities

The Dot Video

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