International Dot Day: Get Involved!

International Dot Day is coming up on, around, or during the week of September 15-ish.

Every year, millions of students and educators connect on International Dot Day to celebrate creativity, courage, and collaboration.

Getting involved in International Dot Day is easy. It is free, flexible, and open to any classes from all around the world.

This ultimate guide to International Dot Day explains exactly what it is and how to participate.

We’ve put together lots of examples from the educational blogging community and invite you to leave your own ideas in a comment.

About International Dot Day

International Dot Day began when Terry Shay introduced his class to Peter H Reynold’s book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

Since then, this date has been celebrated each year as International Dot Day — a day for classes to explore the story’s powerful themes: bravery, creativity, and self-expression.

About the Book – The Dot

The Dot tells the story of a caring art teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way.

In Peter’s book, the teacher encourages the student to begin a journey of self-discovery and creativity, starting with a simple dot on a piece of paper. Transformed by this journey, the student goes on to inspire others.

How to Get Involved

Participating in International Dot Day is simple.

  1. Visit https://www.internationaldotday.org/welcome Here you can read up on the day, find ideas and check out the resources.
  2. Sign up to participate. This is just a simple survey the organizers use to help plan events around International Dot Day.
  3. Read the book to your class. If you or your library don’t have the book, you might opt to view a YouTube video or purchase the interactive online version. 
  4. Express yourself in any way. This is where you can get creative. Your dot theme can be incorporated into story writing, artwork, songwriting, photography, dance, cooking, performances, or more.
  5. Publish! If you have a blog, this is the perfect platform to show the world how you have celebrated the day.
  6. Connect. International Dot Day is as much about celebrating creativity as it is about connecting and collaborating. There is a page on the International Dot Day website which has been set up to help you connect with others. There are links to a Google Doc and social media channels. There are many teachers looking to connect their class through their blog or Skype etc. Such wonderful possibilities for your students!
  7. Connect. International Dot Day is as much about celebrating creativity as it is about connecting and collaborating. You can connect with the Dot Day community on Twitter or Facebook. There are many teachers looking to connect their class through their blog or tools like Flipgrid or Skype. Such wonderful possibilities for your students!
7 Steps To Participating in International Dot Day for Teachers Edublogs -- The Edublogger

International Dot Day Ideas

International Dot Day is something you can celebrate throughout your entire school, with your class, or by connecting with other classes around the world.

Here are a few ideas from previous International Dot Days.

1) Shannon Miller’s Resources

Dot Day logo

K-12 Teacher Librarian, Shannon Miller is a leader in the International Dot Day Community. A post on Shannon’s blog explains how you can connect and celebrate.

She shares a link to a Google Doc where people can add their details, schedules, and make connections. Shannon has also put together some Padlets with resources and picture books, plus a Pinterest board.

Check out Shannon’s post for all the details and links.

Padlet books with dots

2) Group Blog: Connect The Dot Stories

When I was teaching grade 1/2/3 students last year, we connected with 3 other classes in different countries for Dot Day and set up a group blog.

We worked on a range of collaborative activities. One of the most popular was “Connect The Dot Stories“.

Here’s how this activity worked:

  • Students got together in small groups and came up with a team name.
  • The group came up with one keyword from The Dot story that was written or inferred.
  • They then came up with a set of 4 other words (not necessarily from the story).
  • The children wrote each of their 5 words on a circular ‘dot’ and had a photo taken of the words.
  • These photo story prompts were posted on the blog.
  • Individuals/pairs/groups from the other class then came up with a short story that includes each of the words.

This was a fun challenge!
Here’s an example that was posted to the blog by one team. Other students used those word prompts to make up a short story.

Team Polar Bear: Art, opened, draw, empty, polar bear, strong

Other activities we came up with that you might want to explore include:

3) Google Meets

Amy Kincaid‘s elementary students met with a bilingual class via Google Meet. They shared writing assignments about encouragement.

Read more on Amy’s Library Blog.

4) Dot Day Circle Stories

Kevin Hodgson‘s sixth graders celebrated being creative with writing and with art.

They wrote short Circle Stories with either a circular object or a circular theme. They used the words to “paint” the stories into circles (or dots) using a free tool called Visual Poetry.

They collated their Circle Stories in a Padlet.

Find out more on Kevin’s class blog, The Electronic Pencil, and on his professional blog, Kevin’s Meandering Mind. 

Made with Padlet

5) Kindness Rocks

Inspired by the Kindness Rocks movement, Mrs. Shemansky and her colleague did a rock painting activity with their middle school art classes.

The students ‘made their mark’ by painting two rocks each. One rock became part of the school rock garden and the second rock was hidden and shared with others.

Read more on Mrs. Shemansky’s Class Blog.

Mrs. Shemansky's rock project for Dot Day The Edublogger

6) Dotty Videos

Senior School students at Togher School in County Cork, Ireland put together this great video about Dot Day 2018! Here is their video from Dot Day 2019!

During a collaboration with Linda Yollis‘ class in California in 2017, her third graders made a video to show my students around her school.

Read more about this project on Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog.

7) School-Wide Thinglink

Dot Day was a school-wide affair for Karen Arrington’s students in 2017. The activities involved design thinking, art, augmented reality, Flipgrid, and more.

Karen compiled all of the great activities the students completed in a Thinglink.

Read more details on these activities on Karen’s Tech Tips blog. 

8) Skyping In-Person

Jen Bearden dot day art The Edublogger

Jen Bearden, Rachael Turken, and their first-grade students tried all sorts of things on International Dot Day. There was singing, dancing, artwork, and math.

See what these young students got up to on Jen Bearden’s blog, 20 Something Kids And 1 Kooky Teacher, and Rachel Turken’s blog, im 4 students. 

Jen Bearden dot day Skype The Edublogger

To share their creations, Mrs. Bearden’s class was going to Skype with Ms. Turken’s class next door as practice for future calls. Technical problems led to them doing ‘in-person’ Skype calls in a fun and creative way.

Check out all the action from their in-person Skype session on this blog post. 

9) A Dotty Day

Becky Versteeg and her Team 2 Eagles students had a busy Dot Day in 2017. After reading the story, they got creative with some artwork and writing.

This video with The Dot author, Peter H. Reynolds, provided inspiration for their dotty creations.

Artwork dot day Team 2 Eagles The Edublogger

They then tried some dot day math with dominoes and finished the day with some music.

These lyrics are for a song that Peter H. Reynolds and Emily Arrow wrote for International Dot Day. Find the video and actions here.

Dot Day song lyrics The Edublogger

10) Going on a dot hunt

Karen Arlington’s school has been participating in International Dot Day since 2011 and you can check out some of the creative ways her students have celebrated here. 

In 2017, Karen’s first-grade students went on a “dot hunt” and took photos of dot-shaped objects. Her video is embedded below.

How will you celebrate?

How will you make your mark on International Dot Day this year? Leave a comment and tell us.

If you blog about International Dot Day, be sure to leave the link in a comment!

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15 thoughts on “International Dot Day: Get Involved!

  1. Oh. Sounds cool, I don’t think my middle school classes would care to try it, though. I think they’d rather make us do more work than draw in class, which, fair enough.

    I’ll still draw my own little personal dot for fun, though.
    September 15!

  2. This is the first time I have every heard of Dot Day. I think it is a great idea to celebrate it with Kindergarten and First Graders. It is a great for children’s creativity and and away to express themselves. I will surely have this in my lesson plans this Sept. 15th.

  3. We will also celebrate Dot Day in Tandil, prov of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, next week. I love the story and its message, and I find the idea of connecting children from different parts of the world so interesting that my youngest art students will connect through Skype with children from USA next week. It will be their first time ever to do that, so were all quite excited. We’ll also invite parents to our class to create a collaborative dot mural using drawn, collaged & painted dots. Have a great Dot day week!

    1. Hi Sole,

      It’s wonderful to hear how you are embracing Dot Day in Argentina! I bet the children are really excited to Skype. I love that you are even getting parents involved. Do you have a blog at all?

      Thanks for getting touch and have fun this week,
      Kathleen

        1. Hi Sole,

          Thanks so much for taking the time to share you pictures. They’re lovely. It sure looks like the kids are having fun getting creative!

          Well done,
          Kathleen

  4. Hi Kathleen,

    I have never celebrated International Dot Day before, so I am looking forward to joining in with my grade 3/4 class next week and sharing the fun on my class blog!

    Thanks for sharing these great ‘dotty’ ideas from around the world. There are so many inspiring and creative teachers out there!

    ~ Kelly

    1. Hi Kel,

      I’m so glad you will be participating this year! I had only vaguely heard about it before this year too. I love how easy and flexible it is, and it promotes a great message. Can’t wait to see what your class gets up to!

      Kathleen

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