Saturday, September 17, 2016

Basic Lessons for the Art Shelf

As the children become more acquainted with their classroom environment, it is important provide opportunities to learn basic procedures while building skills.  In these early days, the students are practicing finding an activity to work with, setting up the necessary materials, completing the lesson, cleaning it up, and leaving it ready for the next person in its place back on the shelf.  
In addition to the lessons using the Montessori materials in the various areas of the classroom, setting up art lessons promoting these same concepts aids in developing the skills children will need through out all areas.  Our new students need ways to practice utilizing various art materials, including the use of a paintbrush.  The following lessons show examples of simple lessons that are currently on the art shelf.  While I use the term 'simple,' there really are several steps and skills involved within each activity. 

Using Do-A-Dot Painters
Here, the child practices gathering necessary materials, setting up the workspace (sense of order), opening and closing containers, and numerous skills in building fine motor control and concentration.

The activity is not quite over yet - now the child practices replacing the materials and leaving it ready for another person to use!

Painting with One Color
As simple as it sounds, there is quite a lot happening here!  The child must make three trips to the shelf to set up this activity (movement is always promoted in a Montessori classroom!).  First, the child takes the tray with paint.  Then, the student returns for the art board and apron.  Once the apron is on, then, they go back for the paper and set it up at the workspace.

Now, onto learning how to use the paintbrush.  Part of the lesson includes naming the parts of the paintbrush, and pointing out how much paint to use.  In this photo, the child has been careful to use just enough paint on the bristles, and is delicately using the brush.  When finished, the child readies all materials for the next person, including rinsing the brush at the sink.  
As the children learn the steps and procedures using these types of materials and lessons, we will add more options to the activities.  This may include additional colors for painting or lessons that require more steps within in the process.  The children are doing wonderfully and taking great care in completing these art lessons.  I am looking forward to observing them practice their skills, and guiding them as they continue to grow.


  1. Wonderful steps to painting! I like the Do Dot Painting step. You can explore more such crafts in

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