I discovered International Dot Day totally by accident. The art teacher before me left some amazing children's books about art and art history. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds was one of those treasures!
I immediately recognized its value for my teaching and have used the simple, accessible message to start up every year. "Make a dot and see where it takes you" can help build a classroom environment of understanding, awareness, and grit. The character's engagement, perseverance, and eventual gallery directly correlate to the pop up art show we put on to build a sense of both student unity and appreciation for quality work.
We celebrated International Dot Day for the third year in a row at CIS and it just gets better and better. Admin, teachers, and upper school students get involved alongside the elementary. Parents come out to see their child's handiwork. Students peruse their class's art and are often found making encouraging comments to friends (and gasping when they find that their homeroom teacher can pull out quite a drawing too!)
And Dot Day is just one great example of how energy-building a pop up art show can be! The 2nd Graders' Tin Robots graced the hallways last year (and will again this year) as a resounding success. Displaying art can do far more than any amount of discussion in terms of children learning to be confident in their own expressions and proud of their own hard work (or, in some cases, learn that choosing to work hard really does make a difference in the end.)
Our Art Department has joined together in this understanding and is being creative with how to display art in these pop-up shows. Our school's beautiful outdoor planning means that art gets hung on clotheslines tightened between poles and on boards protected from rain under tents. The Music Department has let us borrow their blocks for musicals to prop up for hallway shows and the library often donates a bulletin board to use for a month's gallery too!
How do you display art at your school? How have you found it helpful for student engagement?