Everglades Elementary Students Leave Their Mark On The World

International Dot Day was a month-long celebration at Everglades Elementary School. The event was established to recognize the unlimited possibilities that each person holds with himself/herself. Art Teacher Sandy Goldglantz and Music/Drama/Performing Arts Specialist Becky Berry integrated that message into activities throughout the month.

To kick-off the lesson, Mrs. Goldglantz read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds to students. She says she likes using this story as the foundation for the International Dot Day activities because it illustrates how vital teachers are and the profound impact they have on their students.

Mrs. Goldglantz believes many students can relate to Vashti, the main character in the book, who feels she is not an artist. “Her teacher’s positive approach and encouragement gave Vashti the confidence she needed to believe she can do anything if she tries.”

Young girl posing with artwork

Mrs. Goldglantz strives to give her students the same level of confidence that Vashti’s teacher offered and comments from fifth grade students show she is succeeding. Here’s what a few fifth graders took away from this lesson: Have confidence and believe in yourself and you can make things happen; Don’t say you can’t do something until you try; and Teachers encourage students to open their minds and be creative.

In addition to reading The Dot, each grade participated in different dot-related art activities. For example, students in the primary grades designed their own dots while fifth grade students used a black dot to create their own artistic design.

Lessons from The Dot extended to the music classroom as well. Mrs. Berry says students were greeted with giant colorful dots on the floor, which some classes used to create note shapes while others used the dots to pose for Dot Day photos.

Music classes enjoyed hearing The Dot story accompanied by jazz music. “After which we discussed improvisation as an expression of creativity used in the jazz musical genre,” shares Mrs. Berry. “Music classes also sang and performed choreography with The Dot Song.”

Both teachers agree the collaboration between the music and art departments empowered students to feel confident in expressing themselves, with some children creating special Dot Day shirts.

“It was a great opportunity for everyone, both staff and students, to enjoy the celebration of creativity and self-expression through the arts,” noted Mrs. Berry.

Mrs. Goldglantz added, “In the book, The Dot, readers learn to ‘just make a mark and see where it takes you’ and I want my students to take that lesson to heart and leave their mark on the world.”