The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds


  • White coffee filters and a spray bottle
  • Water washable markers
  • Alphabet dot cards, 1 per child
  • Dot stickers-lots or BINGO daubers
  • Ahead of time; a note to parents collecting CLEAN tin cans and old CD’s.
  • Water Beads
  • Several boxes of DOTS candy and a box of toothpicks


  • Round (shaped like a circle, sphere, or cylinder)

Before Reading the Story

Show the children a picture of a circle, sphere, cylinder, dot, polka dots. Explain to the children that these are all called round shapes. Ask them if they can think of any objects that are round. As they name, tell them that what they named is a round circle shape, a round sphere shape, a round cylinder shape, a round polka dot shape, or a round dot shape. The idea is to put round with these basic shapes to help the children better visualize.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes. AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows progress in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and grouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Reading the Story

Begin the story reading with the emotional anger that Vashti feels. On the page where it starts, “the next week when Vashti walked into art class…”, point to the picture and ask the children what it is. On the last page, ask the children why Vashti asked the boy to sign his line picture? Explain to the children that ALL artists sign their work. Have the children help retell the story by asking questions. WHy was Vashti angry at the beginning of the story? (She thought she could not draw and was not an artist). What did the teacher do? How did that make Vashti feel? What did Vashti do? Why did Vashti tell the boy to sign his line picture?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates growing abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

After Reading the Story

Explain to the children that in the story Vashti thought she was not a good artist but her teacher knew that if she tried, she could be amazing. Ask the children to think about something they are really good at. If they are unable to think of something, tell them something that you see them doing well. (I like how well you can peddle the tricycle, I like how well you always clear your lunch plate and never spill food on the floor, I like how well you can cut with scissors, I like how well you play with your friends).

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness if self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.


Put out a variety of marker colors, bright colors work best. Have the children color white coffee filters using the markers. Once they are ‘finished’, fold the coffee filter in half and give it three sprays of water from the spray bottle. Open it up and the colors will have run together. Hang it to dry.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in an increasing variety of tasks and activities.

Put the DOTS candy into one bowl and the toothpicks in another. Demonstrate how to make squares, triangles, and pyramids by attaching the toothpicks to the DOTS.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take shapes apart.

Music and Movement

Teach the children the chant, Round and Round.

Round and round and round again.

I have no beginning and I have no end.

Can you guess what I am?

A circle, a circle, a circle!

(Encourage the children to name items in the shape of a circle).

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; begins to recognize, describe,compare, and name common shapes, their parts and attributes.

Put on the Bert & Ernie Circle Song and encourage the children to dance to it by spinning their bodies or body parts in circles. Give each child a scarf to use while dancing.

Creative Arts/ Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.

Dance the Polka Dot Pants Dance.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.


Ahead of time ask the parents to donate CLEAN tin food cans and old CD’s. Add these to the block center for extra building materials.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; Approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.


On a piece of paper per child, make a small black circle/dot near the center of the page. On the bottom write,”One small dot can become a _________”. Give the children drawing materials to make something from the dot.

Creative Arts/Art; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences. AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; Approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Library and Writing

Make copies of the Alphabet Dot cards and add dots. The children can peel the dots and attach to a letter.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge;knows that letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics that can individually named. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Sand and Water

Add water beads and water to the table today along with scoops and bowls. Remind the children that the beads need to stay in the table.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; demonstrates increasing capacity to follow rules and routines and use materials purposefully, safely, and respectfully.

Dramatic Play

Math and Manipulatives

Help the children make number charts. On a piece of paper (per child) write numbers 1-5 or 1-10 down the side of the paper. Let the children use the dots or the BINGO daubers to make the appropriate number of ‘dots’ beside each number.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Outdoor Play

Make a simple obstacle course using a crawl tunnel, hoola hoops, and circles drawn with chalk or any things that you might have that are a circle shape, like a dot.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.


Ask each child to name something that is the shape of a circle, a sphere, or something that is round.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.