Written By: Peter H. Reynolds
Enjoy looking at the front cover and illustrations with your child before beginning the book. Ask your child about the illustrations by asking questions like:
What do you see on the cover?
What does the dot look like to you?
What do you think the story will be about?
What do you like about the pictures?
Who do you think the little girl in the picture is?
Why do you think this story is called “The Dot”?
Encourage your child to make predictions about the plot and characters before beginning the story by asking such questions as, “Why do you think the little girl looks upset in this picture?”
As You Read
Allow your child to stop and point out unfamiliar words when reading and encourage him/her to try and identify their meanings by using the illustrations and words surrounding them.
Examples of new words from The Dot include:
Throughout the story, ask your child questions that make connections between the story and their own life experiences. For example, when Vashti first talks with her teacher and says that she can’t draw, ask your child questions like:
Can you think of a time when you didn’t think you were good at something?
What did you do about it?
What do you think Vashti is going to do?
Why do you think Vashti’s teacher had her sign her dot?
Summarize and Interpret
To gauge your child’s comprehension of the story, ask them about what happened in the book. Ask your child the following questions to explore their understanding.
Why was Vashti upset in the beginning of the story?
What made Vashti try to work harder at drawing?
What was your favorite part of the story? Why?
Does this book remind you of another time? How so?
What would you do if you could be there with Vashti?
Vashti’s teacher taught her an important lesson about creativity and inspiration: all you need is one spark. In this case, a dot is all you need. Engage your child in conversation about creativity and perseverance saying, “What did Vashti do after her teacher framed her dot? What will you do next time you feel you aren’t good at something?”
Activities: Make Your Own “Dot”
Supplies: Watercolors, paint brushes, paper, glue, scissors and a printer.
Let your child explore their creativity by making their own drawing! They can make a dot like Vashti, a squiggly line like the little boy, or a drawing of their own creation. There is no limit to what your child can create so just hand them a paintbrush and see what they come up with! When they are done, you can print out the frame in this template to put their work on display. Simply cut it out and paste the painting right on top. You don’t need to stop there! Your child can keep on painting and you can create a collection of your child’s work. [Source: Teacher Vision]