Augusta Golden May 8, 2021 Dot to Dot
Are you a parent interested in helping your child build on their drawing talent? You may have even been surfing the net looking for step-by-step projects they will enjoy. Once you find a project, then what? How do you present that information for your child to draw? YouTube offers many great drawing ideas with step-by-step instructions. Once you have found an artist that offers an instructional drawing video that you find fun and easy, do the project first yourself. Once you have your head around the basic principles, then you can prepare to pass this lesson on to your children. Show the children the completed project first. Next, take your students through each step of the lesson. You draw each element of shape, or line, first and have the children copy what you do. Take your time to ensure every child has completed each instruction before moving on. With very young children you may need to take them through each step with dot-to-dot. This way they will not feel discouraged at not meeting the level of the older students work.
This Saturday marked the fifth annual International Dot Day, a day dedicated to encouraging students creativity and inspiring confidence. Classrooms around the globe have been celebrating this and last week with unique activities such as dot art, musical "sound dots," and using dots to help teach maps and math. Dot Day was started by teacher Terry Shay in Waterloo, Iowa, to celebrate the publication of Peter H. Reynolds childrens book "The Dot"; the book shares the story of a young girl named Vashti who is encouraged by her teacher to "make her mark." In the story, Vashti tries to prove to her teacher that she cannot draw by making a small mark on the paper while declaring, "There!"-Vashtis art teacher then encourages her to be brave and use her imagination to see where this dot could take her.
The event is inspiring creativity in the classroom worldwide: many teachers are reading Reynolds book aloud to their class, while some have been giving out certificates and dot candy as prizes. Elementary teacher Melissa Black is having her fourth graders use Pointillism (working with primary and secondary colors) and tiny dots to make paintings. She had her younger students start their artwork by gluing a paper dot of any size and color onto a piece of paper and learning to use the dot as a part of a bigger picture. Music teacher Judy Holloway is "Making Music with Dots" in her classes. She planned to use the notion of "sound dots" to relay basic lessons about rhythmic and melodic dictation while making the lessons fun and easy for her young students. "Third graders made colorful rhythmic patters and second grade wrote Do Re Mi on staff paper," Holloway wrote. "First grade will take colored markers and respond to music that is staccato (dots!) and legato by drawing designs on the whiteboard." Other teachers are having their students dot the equator and prime meridian on a map while they learn about latitude, longitude and other map skills. Some math teachers are using brightly colored dots in their lessons on arrays. In the computer lab, students are using Paint for Windows to discover where their dot takes them. Teachers are also sharing their plans with other teachers on the web; some are using Skype in the classroom and others are posting their ideas to the International Dot Day Facebook page.
Next you will need something to draw with. I like to use a variety of drawing pencils. They are labeled with numbers and letters, like 2H, 2B, 4B, etc. I prefer to use 2B, 4B, and 6B pencils. The larger the number, the softer the graphite. You can get darker blacks with a 6B pencil. Get a few different ones to start with, and over time, youll see which you prefer. The H stands for "hard," and the B stands for "black." You will need erasers to clean up unwanted lines. I use two types. One is a kneaded eraser, which is a gray block. To use it, you pinch it like play dough, to any shape you want, then erase with it. Its perfect when you want to erase just one dot or skinny line of color.
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
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