It Can Start With a Single Dot

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Do you have students who think they aren’t artists?  I know that I do.  What about children who are so scared of making mistakes that they have trouble getting started?  I know that I have these types of children in my class, too.
What are we doing to help them?  Are we giving them scaffolded attempts at being creative and expressing their artistic ability?  For the last few weeks I’ve been teaching an after school class that is linking literacy and art.  Each week we have read a story by a favorite child author and then created artwork inspired by the book.  It’s been so interesting to see how some children can jump right into creating, while others need extra support to get started.
Today I’d love to share a simple, easy to make craft inspired by [“The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds].  The original idea for this project came from the blog [Drip, Drip, Splatter Splash].

For this craftivity I used watercolor paints, white construction paper in the shape of a square, a large dot tracer, and black construction paper to mount the finished paintings on.After reading “The Dot” and discussing the message of the story – to simply try even when we don’t feel artistic or feel we can’t draw/paint/etc – we set out to paint!  The kids started by tracing a large dot onto the white construction paper.  They then had the choice to paint inside the dot, paint the area around the dot, or both.

I’m so happy that I chose this lesson for our first class together.  I think starting with the message that everyone can be an artist and all it takes is trying is powerful for setting the kids up for success.  As the kids got started painting there were no tears, no I can’ts, no frustration – just fun!

I think they came out absolutely adorable!  Who knew that beautiful artwork could start with a  single dot?

How do you encourage children to try in your class?

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