Dot Painting Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Dots become much more than tiny circles when used in painting. This lesson plan teaches students how dots are used in Pointillism to create beautiful paintings. An activity gives students the opportunity to create dot paintings for themselves.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain how dots can be used to create paintings.
  • Define 'Pointillism.'
  • Summarize key elements of Pointillism.
  • List and describe well-known examples of Pointillism.


30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.


  • Images of several well-known examples of Pointillism paintings
  • A chalkboard or white board with the appropriate writing elements
  • A definition of Pointillism
  • Old magazines
  • White heavyweight paper
  • Acrylic paints
  • Round paintbrushes


  • Begin by displaying the examples of Pointillism for the class.
    • What do the images on display have in common?
  • Invite the students to approach the images on display for a closer look.
    • Did you notice anything special about the images upon closer inspection?
    • If you haven't already guessed, the paintings on display are made up of dots.
  • Write the word 'Pointillism' on the board along with the definition as you explain that this genre of art uses dots to form the images of the paintings.
  • Review each of the paintings on display, providing key facts about each work and the artist who created it.
    • How many dots do you think it took to create each of the paintings?
    • Are the dots used the same size?
    • What type of tools would be required to create a painting made up of dots?
    • Is there any object that could not be recreated in a painting using only dots? Why or why not?

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