Saturday, September 22, 2012

Opera for everyone

I just wanted to share this wonderful free material for the study (and enjoyment) of four classical operas.

Opera was always a part of my family, and I still remember my first time at the theatre to enjoy "La Traviata"... Here are the Instructions on how to install it in your computer


The Barber of Seville

La Traviata
Madama Butterfly


Monday, September 17, 2012

Art extension for metal insets

A while ago we purchase some metal insets at discount prices, and after using them following the Montessori album pages, we started experimenting a bit with them in our art classes.

So what follows is an activity that combines the metal insets with a little play of straight lines vs curved lines in order to create a 3D optical illusion. (This can also be associated with a discussion/lesson on the science behind optical illusion.) For even more examples of this phenomenon you can see here and here and here ...

So the first step is to choose a metal inset (or any other shape that can be traced on paper) and place it on a white piece of paper. Trace around.

With a ruler trace horizontal parallel lines on the page, excluding the shape you have just traced. This gives the child quite a bit of practice with the ruler, too :)

Now the tricky part: using the points of contact of the lines with the edge of the figure as a starting and finishing point, trace an arch joining these two points. Again, it does not have to be perfect, but this first line is going to be the guide for all the other curves inside the figure, so you can actually help the child by tracing a couple and explaining that we still need to keep them parallel.

Once all the lines are traced, you are ready to colour. I made my children create their own color pattern, but it can also be just random. They can get creative there.

After all the stripes are fill in with colour, you can enjoy the effect!

This is very simple, but quite rewarding, even as an introduction to the concepts of perspective and any type of "applied" optical illusion in art and architecture.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Paper paper paper

Many Montessori materials, at least here in the US, include 3D realistic depictions of objects of interest going from famous buildings and landmarks to means of transport to wildlife. It is a bit challenging (not to mention expensive or prohibitive) to reproduce that at home, but I have found this website has a nice alternative: print your own 3D (scaled!) models and build them at home. All you need is a color printer, some paper and a pair of scissors and glue. OK, and lots of patience, but it is really a great project to "illustrate" any lesson.

Here is the link: 3D paper models

Check out some examples:


We are currently working on this one: