What a fun week we had in the JTL art rooms! We celebrated “International Dot Day” with our 6th and 7th grade students. This has become an annual tradition for the art department to recognize how our students can “make their mark” on the world. We connect with other schools in our district, too. It’s a great way to make connections beyond our classroom walls.
WHAT IS “DOT DAY”?
Dot Day is an international day of celebration in honor of Peter Reynold’s children’s book, “The Dot”. The story is about a young student who doesn’t think she can draw. The teacher tells her to just make a mark. She furiously smacks her marker on the paper and leaves a mark. The teacher asks her to sign it, so she does. The next week the dot is in a beautiful gold frame, which makes the student want to make an even better dot. And so the story continues with a small act of encouragement leading to a huge boost of confidence. The young student is then given the opportunity to “pay it forward” when another young child inquires about being an artist, but not being good enough.
This story serves as the catalyst for “Dot Day”. Dot Day serves as an opportunity to encourage our students to “make their mark” on the world. You can learn more about Dot Day here: http://www.thedotclub.org/
On Dot Day, we remind our students that one small act can have a huge impact on the world around them. Thus, our “Kindness Rock” project came to develop.
SPREADING KINDNESS THROUGH CREATIVITY.
Inspired by the “Kindness Rocks” movement, my fellow smART teacher and I decided to have our students paint rocks that could be part of a permanent installation on our school grounds, as well as contribute to our local group, “Pocono Kindness Rocks”.
ROCKIN’ IT IN THE ART ROOM!
To prepare for Dot Day, we asked students and teachers to bring rocks into the art rooms. We also took some of our classes outside on our school’s nature trail to collect rocks. It was a perfect opportunity to teach our students that artists often gather materials in order to create! The rocks were then rinsed off and painted with gesso to provide a “white canvas” for students to paint on.
Students were instructed to paint their rocks in any way they desired. This was their chance to “make their mark”! We showed them lots of examples of painted rocks and emphasized important painting skills and tips such as maintaining tools and materials, how to sketch and plan a design, avoiding too many layers, etc. Finally, it was time to paint. The kids did an awesome job!
We realized that most students needed a little more time to paint then we expected, so we will happily extend Dot Day into next week. We would rather the students create rocks they are proud of than feel pressed for time. Once the rocks are complete, my smART partner and I will spray the rocks with a clear coat to preserve the paint in the outside elements.
SPREADING THE KINDNESS.
Our goal from this project is to create an outdoor rock garden for our students, faculty and community to enjoy. Our principal is very excited to display the rocks outside of our school for the students, parents and community to enjoy. We decided to wait until Spring to create the outside display due to some construction and landscaping goals (stay tuned!). In the meantime, our talented Tech. Ed. teacher built us a display stand so we can showcase the rocks within the school and for parents at Open House next week.
The students painted 2 rocks. One rock will be part of the school rock garden, but the second rock is intended to be hidden and shared with others. The students are very excited to surprise someone with their special rock and I cannot wait to see the reactions as our kindness rocks pop up in unexpected places!
Dot Day was truly a success and you have two very proud art teachers! What a perfect end to the week!