Child-Size Masterpieces consists of a series of books with art masterpieces printed on 5" x 6.5" cards that are cut out from the pages of each book. There are 16 different paintings featured in each book, with two copies of each per book for a total of 32 cards. Books correlate with instructions and lessons in a separate book, How to Use Child-Size Masterpieces for Art Appreciation.
As the author explains, you could actually purchase whatever art reproductions you like that are available on postcards or similar size cards and use those for lessons as described in the manual. For your convenience, Aline Wolf has created books with cards that are printed on durable card stock and have printed on the reverse side information on the artist and the artwork. One copy of each card also includes expanded information on the artwork plus a brief biography of the artist.
Books containing the artwork cards vary by level of difficulty and skills taught. The books are:
- Level 1 - Easy: For Steps 1,2, 3; Matching, Pairing, and Sorting
- Level 2 - Intermediate: For Steps 1,2, 3; Matching, Pairing, and Sorting
- Level 3 - Advanced: For Steps 1,2, 3; Matching, Pairing, and Sorting
- For Step 4: For Learning the Names of the Artists
- For Step 5: Learning about Famous Paintings
- Transportation in America
The program is based on Montessori methodology. Cards are stored in labeled pocket folders that you create. Preschoolers work at the simplest level to match, identify similarities and differences, and create pairs. They might learn colors and shapes through this process.
Older children learn to identify common themes, works by a particular artist, styles of painting, and works from a "school of art" (information included in the manual). Suggestions are included for timeline activities.
The Child-Size Masterpieces approach transforms learning art appreciation into a fun, hands-on experience. Although it was developed for young children, I suspect the advanced techniques would be just as effective with older students, even into the high school years.