The art program is an integral part of the Philly Montessori classroom. As such, we will have a dedicated art studio space, and we will also incorporate art throughout all of the major curricular areas. We believe that all children are naturally artistically inclined, and that this inclination can be fostered given the correct tools and environment. In our art program, children learn to create their own art, as well as to be respectful and appreciative of the art that others create. They learn that art is personal, subjective, and often a reflection of one’s imagination, feelings, or environment. The emphasis is always on the process, not the product.

Traditionally, art in a Montessori classroom is a part of the Practical Life exercises. This is because explorations through art have the indirect benefit of refining children’s hand-eye coordination, concentration, and fine and gross motor skills. Art is also a language rich experience for children, and in our classroom we use art to build vocabulary and expressive language skills. Consider this sentence: “Oh wow, I see you mixed white paint with blue paint to create a lighter shade of blue!” A teacher can extend learning by making detailed observations of artwork, can reinforce new language (ex. “Lighter” and “shade”), and can draw the child’s attention to artistic techniques such as color mixing. For older children, this learning can be further extended to math, science, and literacy. For example, children may explore creating their own color wheels using mathematical formulas, they may do research on how and why colors change when they mix, or they may write a story about a painting they created. Consider now that the examples given only focus on one artistic medium, which is paint, and then imagine the possibilities in learning when new mediums and techniques are introduced and explored by both teachers and children alike- you may conclude that learning through art is truly limitless!

The Philly Montessori art program draws inspiration from the natural world, and incorporates natural items into artwork—making paint from berries, for example, or creating installation pieces out of found leaves, sticks, or rocks. We also invite local artists into our classroom, and use the work of historically renowned artists as inspiration for our own artwork—all with an emphasis on sensory experience and play.

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