South Orangetown Central School District

It was a sea of polka dots at William O. Schaefer Elementary School on Friday as students and staff celebrated International Dot Day!

Dot Day is a celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration based on the children’s book, “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. To recognize the special day, students and staff were encouraged to wear polka dots and teachers planned various activities inspired by the book and its message to “make your mark” on the world.

WOS Art teacher Liz Piteo kicked off her first of several art projects that are inspired by “The Dot” that students will work on this fall. “Peter Reynolds continually influences and inspires our young artists here at WOS! On our first day of art class, students in grades 1 and 2 heard the story “Ish” and warmed up with an “ish-drawing” exercise. I will be sharing Reynolds’ story, “I Am Peace” as we work on our pinwheels for our Peace Day display,” said Piteo. On Friday, first graders learned about the art of Vassili Kandinski and his Concentric Circle paintings and even formed a human concentric circle as a class for inspiration before painting their very own! Kindergarten students will create tie-dyed coffee filters to explore color mixing and second graders will be creating a pumpkin still life with dots inspired by artist Yayoi Kusama.

WOS Technology teacher Randi Nerkizian challenged students to “create bravely” as they participated in a variety of dot-inspired projects including the circles challenge. Students were given a sheet of paper with 12 circles and they had to turn as many of the circles into objects in three minutes. Some students chose to design and color their very own unique dot using a paper plate.

Throughout the week, WOS Library teacher Celine Zatarga taught students all about Reynolds and explained how he is not only the author, but also the illustrator of his books. Zatarga then had students choose from two different activities inspired by the book. Students either created a drawing by starting with a single dot on their paper or they were given a paper with two circles on it and they had the choice to make two different designs or two symmetrical designs.

WOS art students hold concentric circles paintings