Welcome To the 2002 AMC Newsletter
Spring/Summer Page

AMC Spring/Summer 2002 Part II


all rights reserved

American Montessori Consulting
P.O. Box 5062
Rossmoor, CA 90720
Heidi Anne Spietz, Editor
ISSN 1084-743X
Copyright 2002
All rights reserved

Click below to visit our AMC Montessori Bookstore

To Visit Our New Primary Montessori Resource Section

We are delighted to announce *many* new additions to our *Montessori Primary Recommended Resource Section*. Visit this new section today to find lesson planning resources. You'll find art, crafts, practical life, manipulatives, books, magazines, cursive writing, music, science, social science, math, classroom accessories, multicultural resources, furniture, foreign language, puppets, puzzles, teacher training, learning programs, and much, much more. These companies offer some terrific educational gifts as well. You'll also want to read below to learn more about these companies and organizations.

Creative Lesson Planning - Lessons About the Renaissance

A Look at Renaissance Art

Part I of this newsletter also contains detailed Renaissance lesson planning information. Be sure to read both parts so that you have a complete set of lessons. You can read the AMC Spring/Summer 2002 Part I by clicking here.

The following lesson planning information is from: Modern Montessori at Home II: A Creative Teaching Guide for Parents of Children 10 through 12 Years of Age by Heidi Anne Spietz. Copyright 1990. American Montessori Consulting. ISBN 0-929487-10-9 Library of Congress-in-Publication Data LB775.M8S757 49'.68 --dc20 All rights reserved. Some of the recommended suppliers mentioned in Modern Montessori at Home II have been updated to reflect newer product lines. Many of the materials mentioned in this book should be available from your local public library, bookstore or used bookstore. Click Here to order Montessori at Home II.

Beginning early in the 14th century and extending throughout the 16th century humanity went through an intellectual awakening. The period in our history is referred to as the Renaissance, a term meaning "rebirth". As you know, the historical period which preceded the Renaissance was a time of great disillusionment and religious repression. Thus, the Renaissance served to awaken man's interest in the universe, and changes in art, music and literature reflected this emerging ideology.

By presenting lessons which focus on the art, music and literature of the Renaissance, your child will learn to appreciate the historical significance of this period. Moreover, he will develop skills which will help him to distinguish works of art completed during earlier or later periods. He will also become familiar with the literary giants and the musical greats of the Renaissance.

You can find many wonderful art appreciation sources for lesson planning by visiting Art Resources and Arts & Crafts Resources

Lessons About Renaissance Art

A child between the ages of 10 and 12 is ready to fully detect the nuances that distinguish one period of art from another. Therefore, much time during your presentation should be spent on classifying works of art according to their respective art periods. This exercise is done in many Montessori schools throughout the United States, and such training can be easily incorporated in a home environment as well.

To prepare for your presentation you will need to purchase ten inexpensive manilla folders, one for each of the ten art periods. The periods of art and examples of two of the artists of each period are as follows:

Byzantine (Giotto, Masaccio)
Renaissance (Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael)
Baroque (Rembrandt, El Greco)
Rococo (Gainsborough, Delacroix)
Impressionism (Degas, Monet)
Neo-lmpressionism (Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec)
Cubism (Picasso, Matisse)
Expressionism (Klee, Kandinsky)
Surrealism (De Chirico, Ernst)
Pop Art (Blake, Hanson)

Next, if it's been awhile since you studied art history, you'll want to visit some of the sites listed at the end of Part II of this newsletter.

Many museums sell postcard reproductions of the artists' work which will also be on display in the gallery area. Some of the museums do have gift shops and/or bookstores where these postcards are sold. Your friends and relatives living in other states may be able to purchase some of the postcards for you, or you may want to purchase some of these postcards by mail.

Next, using a few sheets of paper, jot down notes about the Byzantine art period. Here are some highlights you'll want to mention. The Byzantine period began around 335 A.D. Distinguishable features included the use of bright, vivid color, and gold was used as a backdrop. Frescos or paintings done on walls were common. There was little dimension. Figures looked rigid. Explain to your child that the rigidness of the figures was consistent with the unyielding religious views of the day.

While you and your child analyze the postcard reproductions of this period, encourage your child to note the similarities in style. Discuss in detail the compositions of these paintings. Then, compare them with those of the Renaissance period. When you are finished, place the Byzantine era postcards with notes into a separate folder for later use.

During a subsequent presentation you will want to discuss the contributions made by Renaissance artists. Glance over the postcards which are representative of works done during this period. (I encourage you to purchase the Harper-Trophy set of Art for Children books.) Check to see if your local library owns these books.

These books beautifully detail the lives of the great artists. They are well written and the text is accompanied by large reproductions of the work done by each artist. Thus, your child has more of an opportunity to revel in the intricacies that make each picture a masterpiece. For your convenience I have listed the complete set.


Renoir Van Gogh Gauguin
Da Vinci Velasquez Remington
Matisse Rembrandt Michelangelo
Klee Durer Raphael
Picasso Chagall Rousseau

Explain to your child that during the Renaissance period an oil-based paint was commonly used. Sometimes the oil-based paint was used with tempera. This yielded a different texture due to the luminous quality associated with oils. Next, ask your child to compare works done during the Renaissance with those completed during the Byzantine. Discuss the differences in the shadings used by Renaissance artists. Emphasize that some artists like Da Vinci incorporated the study of anatomy and mathematics into art. Thus, these paintings have more dimension, and the human figures appear more lifelike.

Religious paintings of the Renaissance also differ from the preceding period. The subjects seem introspective and apprehensive. Perhaps this reflects the religious turmoil apparent during the Renaissance.

Place your notes and postcards (reproductions) pertaining to the Renaissance period in a separate folder. Next, prepare a third folder for your discussion of the Baroque period. Plan to devote time during your next presentation to comparing the works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Prepare for this presentation by removing the postcards from the Renaissance folder and spreading them out on one side of the table. On the other side of the table, arrange the postcards which are representative of the Baroque period. Next, encourage your child to study the differences as well as the similarities.

Explain that the Baroque style of art flourished beginning in the early 1600's through the mid 1700's. The use of color and light make this period most remarkable. Rembrandt and El Greco, in particular, used the bold, dynamic use of dark and light to capture the emotional intensity of the scenes created.

Rembrandt used color and light to create an illusion which almost had a two dimensional effect. The technique of creating the balanced effect of brilliant / dark on the canvas came to be known as chiaroscuro. Rembrandt's The Blinding of Samson, painted in 1636 and The Rising of Lazarus, painted in 1630, are examples of how chiaroscuro was applied. By using this technique Rembrandt brilliantly captured the drama of these biblical events.

El Greco, who may be considered an artist of the High Renaissance/Baroque period, also used color to evoke a spiritual feeling. However, unlike Rembrandt, he often elongated the figures, making his subjects look distorted. Explain to your child that most artists of the Renaissance/Baroque period aspired to create figures that were more lifelike. Thus, El Greco's work was not easily understood. Unlike his colleagues, El Greco seemed determined to incorporate elements of Byzantium art into his paintings.

During subsequent presentations, encourage your child to compare/contrast the Renaissance with the subsequent art periods, i.e. Renaissance/Rococo, Renaissance/Impressionism, Renaissance/Neo-Impressionism, Renaissance/Cubism, Renaissance/Expressionism, Renaissance/Surrealism and Renaissance/Pop Art. By keeping notes and postcards for each period in separate folders, your child can periodically do this exercise either with you or at times alone.

I suggest that each subsequent period be contrasted with the Renaissance in sequence so that your child can see how the styles of art have evolved. He will also discover how artists have incorporated elements from the various periods into their own compositions. Such an exercise is believed by many Montessorians to help the child discern and appreciate the role art plays in our society.

Visit Art History Sources on the Web for links to help you with your art history presentations.

Obtain the art supplies you need for your hands on painting presentations from All Art Supplies.

Coyote Creek Productions has produced some very fine lesson planning supplement aids for your art presentations. Your child can actually experience some of the techniques that he will be reading about. The following is a portion of a review appearing in Montessori Resources: A Complete Guide:A Complete Guide to Finding Montessori Materials for Parents and Teachers. ISBN 0-929487-81-8. By Heidi Anne Spietz. Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved. American Montessori Consulting.

Art Lessons for Children is the perfect addition to school and homeschooling libraries. Students as young as seven years of age can learn to paint beautiful watercolor masterpieces by following the well organized videotape presentations. In Volume 1, Donna Hugh does an outstanding job of guiding the young student through the basic watercolor techniques, providing instruction on different procedures such as how much watercolor to use to create a desired effect. She stresses that the young artist needn't spend a fortune on supplies. A set of watercolors, crayons and paper are used to demonstrate how inexpensive materials can be used to create beautiful works of art.

Donna's relaxed, encouraging tone will make even the most hesitant young artist feel comfortable in attempting to experiment with different colors and techniques.

She emphasizes that each person is an artist and his interpretation of the subject matter at hand is an important factor in achieving an inner satisfaction. The student is encouraged to see different shapes in what he has painted and allow his imagination to guide him in completing his watercolor painting."

Don't forget to bookmark this page for lesson planning!

Click Here to order Montessori at Home II.

Don't stop now!! Click here to read Part I of this newsletter. You'll discover some additional music lesson planning ideas and resources for your home and school classrooms.

American Montessori Consulting
P.O. Box 5062
Rossmoor, CA 90720

Heidi Anne Spietz, Editor
Frances Henderson, Manager
The AMC Montessori Newsletter
Spring/Summer 2002
all rights reserved
Copyright c2002-2008

For comments about this issue please contact
Heidi Spietz at Heidi1977@aol.com

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contact AMC via e-mail

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