Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Studying Artists and their Works in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom studying artists and their works girl painting
We cannot “teach” a child to be an artist, but as Dr. Montessori says, we can help him develop:
  An Eye that Sees
A Hand that Obeys
A Soul that Feels

with permission via The Joyful Child Montessori Company: (

Maria Montessori wanted children to be surrounded by objects of beauty. Starting at birth, she encouraged parents and care givers to use beautiful objects and toys to stimulate the baby’s senses. Reproductions of great masterpieces were to hang on the walls at children’s eye level rather than have them inundated with commercialized cartoons. She advised that the home be a perfect balance of beauty and order, with each piece carefully chosen not only for its function but also its form.

Teaching art appreciation is an important part of the Montessori art curriculum.

Studying Artists and their Works in the Montessori Classroom

Beginning in the Montessori 3-6 classroom, children are ready to hear stories about great artists. Art books, such as Mike Venezia’s The World’s Greatest Artists series can be place on your art shelves for children to read through at their leisure. They can also be used for whole class instruction on artists and techniques.

Using Marc Chagall as an example, there are a variety of lessons and activities that can be done with young children. After reading about Chagall, talk to children about how he used childhood memories and images to come up with his beautiful, dreamy, and mysterious artwork that we call surrealism. Discuss his use of bright, pure colors as well as his use of arbitrary color for ordinary objects as well as his use of unusual size. Talk about how he uses size and color to make objects seem important and to draws the viewer’s attention to it.

Afterwards, using tempera paints, watercolors and crayons, allow the children to create their own works of art imitating Chagall’s style.

Be sure to check your local art museums for Chagall exhibits. There are several Chagall Museums worldwide. The Kohl Children’s Museum also rents a traveling Chagall exhibit that may be of interest to your community.

As the poet, John Keats (1795 – 1821) once said:

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness…

Children who learn to appreciate the beauty of artistic works open their souls to the beauty and goodness of humanity and will strive forever to protect it.

NAMC montessori classroom studying artists and their works health sciences art music manualOther NAMC blogs:
The NAMC Lower Elementary manual Introduction to Health Sciences, Art and Music contains great introductory activities in Art, including lines, shapes, proportion, perspective, light and shade.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.


Post a Comment

Have questions or comments? Let us know what you thought about this article!

We appreciate feedback and love to discuss with our readers further.

NAMC Blog Inquiries Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Search the NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog

Are you interested in reading back through NAMC's blog articles from years gone by, or for more information on a specific topic?

Browse a select list of our most popular categories below; by clicking on one, you will see every article posted under that topic since 2007. You may also use the lower archive menu to select a year and month, displaying all blog posts in the chosen time frame.

If you are seeking a range of information on a certain topic or idea, try this search box for site-wide keyword results.

Choose From a List of Popular Article Topics

NAMC Montessori Series

Montessori Philosophy and Methodology

Montessori Classroom Management

The School Year

Montessori Materials

Montessori Curriculum

Montessori Infant/Toddler (0–3) Program

Montessori Early Childhood (3–6) Program

Montessori Elementary (6–12) Programs

What is Montessori?

Search Archives for Montessori Blog Posts by Date

Thank you to the NAMC Montessori community!

This year marks NAMC’s 20th anniversary of providing quality Montessori distance training and curriculum development to Montessorians around the globe. Since we began in 1996, we have grown to build a fantastic community of students, graduates, and schools in over 120 countries. We are grateful for your continued support and dedication to furthering the reach and success of the Montessori method. Thank you for sharing this amazing milestone with us!