by Donna Rennie, Primary Montessori Directress
Discover Montessori School
Children do not need lessons in drawing. Children know how to draw flowers, birds, landscapes and even imaginary scenes with an abundance of colour and creativity. When prompted to talk about their art, the little artist will often have a long and detailed description or story for the listener. Her work depicts exactly what she sees in her mind's eye. We do not teach a child to draw, but provide the tools and techniques for day-to-day expression, then step back and observe their creative flow.
That said, the work with the metal insets is often referred to as 'drawing', but its actual purpose is to train the hand so that it will be ready to write. The child's small hand is not yet strong enough to grasp a writing tool and is still uncertain in its movements. The focus here is to strengthen and prepare the muscular control of the hand and perfect the desired lightness of touch required to keep within the limits of a shape. By having the child trace the outlines of the insets and fill in the geometrical figures with lines, we are giving her the opportunity to execute the minute kind of 'drawing' that constitutes writing.
This drawing technique, which initially functions as a direct preparation for writing, later also becomes an indirect preparation and foundation for art and drawing in the true sense of the word. Education through art promotes the development of the whole person, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually