The Point.

Possible Classroom Concepts: Mathematics – Geometry ( Point, Line, Shape)

Language Arts – Literature, Science – Molecules, Social Studies – Countries Around The World (Australia)

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – George Seurat, Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely, Yayoi Kusama, Chuck Close, Ben Heine

Elements of Art – Shape (Circle), Line

Positive/Negative Space

The next couple of posts will be devoted to how art and math correlate. There’s an excellent book entitled Math at the Art Museum by Group Majoongmul which can give you some great ideas. 

In honor of “International Dot Day”, which is quickly approaching on September 15th, let’s start with the smallest math unit, “the point”.  In art, we would call a point a dot or very very very small circle. Most of you are probably familiar with the picture book,  The Dot, by Peter Reynolds. If not, buy it, check it out of the library or view the story in this video. It’s a must see for so many reasons. Here are some mathematical concepts you can “point” out as you read The Dot  for literature on Dot Day or any other day.  The very first mark that Vashti made was a representation of a mathematical point. Later, Vashti goes on to create larger dots which represent the shape of a circle. One dot is even a negative shape of a circle. I love this book because it shows Vashti thinking, brainstorming and using her imagination. This is a continuation of a concept I recently talked about in this post. At the end of the book, Vashti encourages the young boy to make a line (the next concept after a point in geometry). You might encourage your students to predict what will happen next in the story, to use their thinking skills and brainstorm what the boy will do with line (how he will use his imagination).  Students could also choose a different geometric shape and see how many different ways they can depict it.


George Seurat’s “Saturday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte”

The evolution of dots in art history closely follows Vashti’s dot journey. George Seurat started the whole trend with very small points/dots repeated over and over again. This movement is called “Point”illism . In the 1950’s, the dots got bigger in a movement called  Op ArtBridget Riley and  Victor Vasarely really embraced the dot. Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama also made dotted art at that time and continues to create dot art to this day in paintings, sculptures and installations. She sees dots as part of the universe going into infinity, like molecules make up objects and planets make up a universe. This is a scientific way of looking at dots. Chuck Close and Ben Heine are contemporary artists who make dotted portraits. For more dot artists and dot art ideas check out my Pinterest Circles board here.

The Australian Aboriginal culture also uses dots in their paintings. Examples and the story behind them can be found here and a video can be found here. This would be a GREAT addition to a social studies unit on countries around the world.

So, whether you’d like to celebrate an entire Dot Day including many subject areas or in a small way with one subject, I hope this post has been helpful! Have you ever celebrated Dot Day? If so, please share what you have done. I’d love to hear. Simply, click on the title of this post and scroll down to the comment section.

I hope you’ll visit again real soon!


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