Art & Montessori, From Birth to Age Twelve

In the Montessori tradition it is the child’s own original and unique art that is preferred over adult-generated forms to be colored in. This gives the child not only a very good self image, but skill at both observation and draftsmanship. As Dr. Montessori said, we cannot teach a person to be an artist but we can help him develop an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, and a soul that feels. For many years this Michael Olaf Montessori Newsletter has been shared by schools around the world.

The First Year
In the first days and months of life the child’s attention is on the environment. Since the infant cannot yet move about, he is exploring visually. There was a small print that I had brought back from India taped to the wall next to where my second child spend the first weeks of life. Then it was packed away. When it was unpacked many years later she remembered and said that she loved that kind of art all her life. I am sure that it was imprinted on her idea of what should be in the environment, what is “beautiful” in just those first few weeks. . .  more at the link below.

The truth is that when a free spirit exists, it has to materialize itself in some form of work, and for this the hands are needed. Everywhere we find traces of men’s handiwork, and through these we can catch a glimpse of his spirit and the thoughts of his time. The skill of man’s hand is bound up with the development of his mind, and in the light of history we see it connected with the development of civilization.

Art is essential in the environment of the child from birth on. It is a way of approaching life, of moving and speaking, of decorating a home or school, of selecting toys and books. It cannot be separated from every other element of life. . . more at the link below.

Imagination does not become great until a person, given the courage and strength, uses it to create. If this does not occur, the imagination addresses itself only to a spirit wandering in emptiness.

All of the academic work in the elementary class is connected with and expressed by means of the arts. Instead of unrelated art and music lessons for the few, the techniques of creating in all areas (art, music, drama, dance, etc.) are taught by the teacher (often with the help of parents or specialists, but only when called upon by the students, for a reason), and then used to make learning exciting. There might be a play acting out the process of photosynthesis or the population of the world, a quilt made with squares of leaf shapes as a school fundraiser, or a series of beautiful watercolors demonstrating the principles of geometry. Just as in all areas, the teacher is in charge of teaching the tools and the students of designing and executing the work. . . more at the link below.


Over 30 pages of art lessons for the Montessori primary class found in this book.


Author’s Person Art page: PAINTINGS

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