The Children’s Art Gallery

    In museums, priceless original artworks are strictly off-limits to little hands. Expensive art books warn children to handle them with the utmost delicacy before the treasured pages are shut and tucked away on a shelf, out of reach.

    But Art Appreciation for the Montessori Classroom removes those obstacles. These cards invite even the youngest children to not just admire the vibrant visuals, but to physically interact with great artistic works. Children are encouraged to touch and explore each reproduced masterpiece without fear.

    By giving children a hands-on connection with art from an early age, these deceptively simple cards draw attention to color, style, and creative techniques. Every matched pair provides an “Aha!” moment of discovery as subtle similarities reveal themselves through careful observation.

    More than just appreciation for art itself, the ability to analyze, compare, and discover the interconnected elements across various works cultivates critical thinking skills that will benefit every aspect of your child’s development.

    This method has been created and developed by Aline D. Wolf in her essential book How to Use Child-Size Masterpieces for Art Appreciation and pairs perfectly with Luc Traver’s Touching the Art handbook. These two lesson books, paired with the carefully selected works below, provide everything you need to bring world-class art appreciation into your Montessori classroom.

    Art Books in This Series

    Step 1: Matching Identical Artworks

    The sets of cards begin as six pairs of totally different images, distinct in theme and style, and become more similar as the difficulty increases.

    Step 2: Pairing Companion Paintings

    Increasing in difficulty, Step 2 has the children pair two paintings by the same artist that are not identical but are similar in subject and style.

    Steps 3 & 4: Grouping Paintings

    Step 3: The card sets in each folder can be mixed and matched to increase or decrease the difficulty, begin with highly contrasting styles and move towards very similar styles.

    Step 4: Once the children are highly proficient with grouping work from the same artist, you can introduce the name of the artist.*

    * This step differs from the recommendation in How to Use Child-Sized Masterpieces. Aline D. Wolf says to make Step 4 folders by grouping subjects (still life, portraits, landscapes, etc) and comparing how different artist styles compare.

    Step 5: Famous Artworks

    Begin by matching the title of the painting to the picture, then match the artist’s name to picture. The back of the cards are labeled with matching numbers as the control.

    Art in History

    Representative artworks from important time periods in history. These time periods tie onto the same periods I study in the Fundamental Needs, so you can use these materials as representations of the spiritual need of art for those civilizations!

    Art Appreciation for the Montessori Classroom

    The Children’s Art Gallery

    Volume 3 contains cards from Pre-History through the Renaissance. These time periods match on the Fundamental Needs materials.

    Display Art

    These artworks were selected intentionally for use with Touching the Art by Luc Travers, but can be enjoyed on mini-easels placed throughout the classroom.

    Art Appreciation for the Montessori Classroom

    The Children’s Art Gallery

    Volume 4 contains full page images that you can cut out and display throughout the classroom.

    Recommended Books

    How to Use Child Size Masterpieces for art appreciation Montessori
    How to Use Child-Size Masterpieces for Art Appreciation by Aline D. Wolf

    Essential. Includes lessons for using these art cards. This book was my primary source for making these materials.

    Touching the Art by Luc Travers
    Touching the Art by Luc Travers

    This is the best method I know for learning how to deeply enjoy art. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

    Windows on Humanity: A History of How Art Reflects Our Ideas About Our Lives & World by Sandra Shaw

    A fascinating way to view the history of art. This book was influential on how I teach history overall.

    Norman Rockwell Postcards

    In these books, I only include art that is in the public domain.

    If you would like to feature art after ~1930, you will need to supplement with your own postcards.