A dot is not necessarily an important thing in the life of literacy. Or so we think.
I asked the children at MOP what they would call a dot and they said point, spot, circle, round, full stop, end point, bindi and finally we got dot. Why the fuss?
Wise story participants that they are, they all know that the story will come from these discussions and games, but a dot ? That small insignificant mark on the paper that is almost always forgotten by beginner writers and readers, that mark that often ruins an art work by placing itself in the wrong space.. a dot.
Actually it was THE DOT, a fine book by Peter Reynolds that was making a fuss at our story time. We reminded ourselves about the author illustrator and where to find these names on the cover page and we settled down to listening to The Dot.
Vashti was instantly a familiar character and as we reviewed her body language to understand if she liked art or not, many children felt kindred to Vashti. One declared that they only draw in the library program. I took heart from that as we moved on with The Dot.
Peter Reynolds tells the story well. It is crafted interestingly to provide moments for prediction ( when the teacher says hmmmm) to surprise ( when the art is framed above the teachers desk) to sufficient vocabulary development ( use of the word ‘jab’ and the expression ” bet you can’ ) and the language play ( with ‘made quite a splash’) had the listeners glued to the book. ( infact the word ‘glued’ in the story line also provided us with a good teaching learning moment)
The Dot left us all with a feeling that you can do things IF you have the right environment and the right teacher. This was a special moment to hear how they felt about their teachers. There was unanimous agreement that school had both good and bad teacher and the library program had only good teachers. It was heartening.
We settled down to painting dots and had our own art exhibition where in the lane of the St. Inez bandh, our MOP children made quite a splash!