It is the third post in the series "Expanding the Child's horizons" where I am presenting materials that to my mind will help our children to see the whole world with opened eyes and to have no borders (you can read about the idea of series in part one here).
Today our theme is art.
I think art is a very important part of our lives. I was always wondering why so many people don't like visiting art galleries? Why don't a lot of people like classic music? Why the great number of our population doesn't understand contemporary art? I found the answer when I started my Montessori path. The secret is in the childhood. This was the great opening for me.
In old times when the new worker came to the art shop for the first several months, the owner lets him work only with the most expensive and original work. Then the worker could easily say if the thing fake or not. The same thing with people, if we give children the original and authentic art from the birth our kids then will appreciate art more. They will have the art taste. They will have more ideas for creating their own art. They will understand from the early years that they are able to create such beautiful things.
The thing is like with food. We all like some type of food. We like it because we were eating it from the earliest age. So when we come to another country and try something new it feels strange for us. Some got used to spicy food, another to vegetables, it all depends on what you were eating when you was a kid in a big way.
Now let's look at what our kids receive (I am not talking about everyone just about many people I know and I was working with), I mostly see that parents buy infants and toddlers some kiddy books with bright and funny pictures and give them some simple child songs to listen to. I am not against the child songs in any way, but maybe because of listening only to simple child songs in the childhood the majority of people now like simple pop music, that often has no specific meaning. Remember when you heard some song with stupid motive and then you can not get this song from you head? They do not show art to the children or don't play them different music because they think that child will not understand it. But he will. In the period of absorbent mind, he will gladly look and listen to these wonderful things. And then this art will become his ideal and all the things he will see in future he will compare to it. You know when a child first sees the world he doesn't know what is good and what is bad. If the room around him is clean he will think that this is the order, if the room is not he will think that this is how the order looks. So we need to build the good fundament for his future if want him to have no borders of thinking.
To my mind if we want to raise the child who is developed harmonically in many different areas we need to give him different things from the early childhood. Different books to look, different songs to listen, different things to touch.
Today I am presenting my new material "Art Movements Matching Cards".
The main aim of the material is to find 3 paintings that correspond to one art movement. All the paintings go in two sizes. There are normal-size cards and big cards, you can choose what size do you prefer and print the variant you like more.
The material consists of cards with names of modern art movements. There are 11 movements presented in the material. Each movement has its color.
There are 3 paintings of the different artist for each art movement. I tried hard to find paintings that are made in the same style for children to understand the idea. Here you can see three paintings that correspond to the surrealism.
Every card should have on the back side portrait of the painter, his name, name of the painting and color dot. You need to glue this card to every painting. Dots colors are similar with the art movements colors, so they will serve as a control of error.
The material also includes small cards with artist name and picture and painting name. They are made for learning names of the artists and paintings.
So there are several types of activities in this material. You can use them independently. This is one of the ways of presenting several of them for better learning.
Activity 1. Matching the paintings corresponding to the same art movement (art movements learning)
Activity 2. Matching paintings with names cards (learning names of the artists and paintings)
Advice on working with the material
- You can use this material with toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids. Depending on the age of the child the difficulty can change and be more difficult.
- If you are working with younger children it is better to learn only one art movement at a time. With older children you can take two of them or even three. Here the task for them will be to classify pictures
- If you are working with material step by step don't present all levels at once. It is better to present them later
- When starting another level I always ask, "Do you remember we were looking at some paintings?" Or something like that. It points to the child that if is important for me what we are doing with him and that I keep it in mind. Also, it connects all the tasks so the child understands that it is the part of a whole
- You can skip the task of matching the name with toddlers. If you want to introduce him art movements don't wait for him to sort cards, it is very difficult task. With toddlers, you pick one art movement, name it and just show paintings. That is all, the task here is just to present and appreciate.
- To the toddler, you should point "this picture is made by the man whose name is..."
- In the beginning of the presentation of the material I always give the child idea of what we are going to do, like "today we are going to learn about Impressionism art movement". If I am showing material for the first time I don't use a lot of words. The child will understand what I am doing without constant supporting of my actions with words. Later I can ask about his opinion and ask questions. In the end, I tell him what we have done "see, we learnt something about Impressionism art movement today"
- Don't say that the painting is beautiful, ask the child opinion first and then tell if you like it
- You can hang the pictures corresponding to one art movement in your classroom while learning. Or just hang any of the paintings for the child to look
What are the reasons of using the material:
1. child will learn, remember and get familiar with artists, paintings and art movements
2. it is easy to use
3. it includes several different activities
4. you can use it in a lot of different ways
5. material includes instruction for using
6. it has the idea of increasing difficulty
7. it is appropriate for different ages