The art program is in full swing at all levels at Princeton Montessori School, from Toddler to Middle School.
Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School students work in the TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) environment, an open art learning studio. Our thematic focus for the year is “Roots.” Lower Elementary art is rooted in self-awareness skills, how art helps them to understand themselves, and how art communicates their feelings to others and tells their story. Upper Elementary students are creating art that responds to the Carter Hodding quote “A wise woman once said to me that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these she said is roots, the other, wings.” Over the year, they will be asked to create art that answers the questions, “Who am I?”, “What are my roots?”, and “Where will my wings take me?” Middle School students take part in three International Baccalaureate units of study – “My Roots,” “Your Roots,” and “Global Roots.” In these units, the students will research and create art inspired by their own cultural heritage and that of others.
In order to prepare for the free choice structure of the TAB art program, students have participated in some introductory activities which we call “Round Robin” art making. These experiences give students the background and instruction they need in order to choose and use the tools and materials independently. The first round-robin of the year gave students the opportunity to try out art pencils, pastels, charcoal, and other drawing materials. After that, they participated in an attachments round-robin, which allowed them to practice the skills they’d need to create sturdy 3D constructions. The next planned round-robin will give the students a hands-on introduction to nine different forms of collage. After these introductory experiences, students will be well-prepared to use materials of their choice to create authentic pieces of art.
Third-year Primary artists visit the Imaginarium environment for art making. Introductory lessons to practice that refine basic skills for creating works of art are foundational steps that build a competent artist.
The Toddler Atelier program offers creative lessons incorporating natural items for the child to explore their senses and foster a deeper connection with their environment.
The Primary Art Atelier program provides art experiences outside for children to investigate various forms, textures, colors, and visual encounters with the natural world. Creative discoveries are self-directed and open the child’s work to infinite possibilities.