Modelled Reading Lesson: The Dot

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds is one of my favourite books and this Model Reading explores the books theme.

Grade: 1


Identify the main idea and a few elements of text, initially with support and direction (1.7)

Focus of the Lesson:

Analyzing elements of text to determine the theme

Modelled or Shared: Modelled 


Teacher asks the students questions to help introduce the story:

Just looking at the cover, what do you think this book is about?

How many of you like to paint or draw? 

What’s your favorite thing to paint or draw?

Is there something you don’t like drawing? Why?

Teacher shows student an artwork they created and explains: 

This is a picture I created! I had a really tough time making it and I don’t like it, but I think I have a book for us to read that might help. We’re going to read The Dot by Peter H. Reynold that has a really important lesson that we can learn from. As I read the book, I’ll stop at different points to help us find the important message.


Teacher reads the book using clear and expressive language. 

Stop on page 4 and do a think aloud:

Wow, Vashti seems really angry. I wonder why she feels that way? It might be because she can’t draw. 

Stop on page 12 and do a think aloud:

I wonder why the teacher hung up Vashti’s dot? She might be encouraging Vashti to practice drawing. 

Stop on page 18 and do a think aloud:

It looks like Vashti is getting better and better as she tries to make more dots!

Stop on page 20 and do a think aloud:

By not giving up, Vashti became so good that her work was displayed in the school art show and look! So many people came to see it! 


Teacher will discuss with students the theme of the story:

What do you think happened to the little boy who drew the line?

Why did Vashti encourage the boy to draw a line and sign it? 

Students participate in Think, Pair, Share to answer: 

What lesson did Vashti learn?

Teacher asks volunteer to share their discussion with the class. 

Teacher explains to students the teaching point:

The lesson that Vashti learned in the story was to never give up. Another word for this is “perseverance.” Most stories have a lesson in them, this is called the “theme.” 

Write “theme” on white board and the definition. 

Extension activity: Students draw an image of a time when they showed perseverance. 

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