Friday, August 28, 2009

How to Teach A Child To Paint Continued: Parts of a Paintbrush

Labeling the parts of a paintbrush seems as natural to the Montessori classroom as labeling the environment. Hearing a child tell another child not to soak their brush in water to long as it will cause the ferrule to break sounds almost out of the Victorian age rather than the age of technology. "Ferrule" is a wonderful word and as I type this I am thinking it would be great to use in a good game of Scrabble. Now, all I need to do is remember the word the next time I play. Hmmm...

I introduce the parts of a paintbrush as a preliminary lesson to "How to Clean a Paintbrush." It makes sense that a child should be able to verbally identify what in fact they are attempting to clean.

I print out a sheet with the three parts of a paintbrush listed along with their descriptions. I include an illustration of a paintbrush with its parts labeled ( I use the one at the top of this post). I laminate this sheet and place it in the art area for students to refer to after the initial lesson is given.

The three parts of a paintbrush are:

1. Head - The head is what the hairs on a brush are called. Hairs are made from natural or man-made fibers or both. Some natural hairs used in making brushes include ox, pony, goat or hog bristle.

2. Ferrule - The metal tube connecting the brush to the handle. The ferrule shapes the head of the brush and determines its size. Swelling of the brush handle (due to soaking in water) or a buildup of paint can break the ferrule.

3. Handle - The long, stick like form connected to the ferrule that is made from either wood or man-made products.

An extension of this lesson is to place a variety of paintbrushes on a small tray and ask students to carefully examine the ferrule on each and to describe or sketch the differences in its size and shape. And too, to note how these variances in the ferrule's shape determine the thickness and shape of the head. Recognizing these details will assist the student later when determining which type of brush they want to use to paint or illustrate with.


Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea, Susan! I'm totally going to do this in my intro to painting lessons this fall!

Gypsy said...

That looks great. Painting with my nearly 3 year old has always been a 'full body' experience - total messy play - and I want to change this into a more controlled process so she can actually enjoy painting! Will print out that picture will be a great one to start. So pleased you are back!

Susanne said...

Hi! It's so great to have you back blogging. Thanks for this post! You're right, starting any new lesson with identifying the parts is really traditional Montessori. In the 0-3, lessons are much more verbal, and we name all the materials before we give lessons. It seems right that with 3-6, since the objective is "refinement", to give the specific parts of the tools would follow.