Entries in Montessori Art (2)


Grain Matching - Food Unit

Contributed by Connie Jones Ostrowski from the 2011 Seattle PNMA Sharing Fair.

Curriculum Area: SENSORIAL

Age Group: 3-5

Prerequisites: Rough and Smooth Touch Tablets

Direct Aim: Classification skills, sorting/matching different textures of grains


  1. "Today I would like to show you some different types of grains. Let's see if we can match them up."
  2. Take out each container of grain and take a close look and briefly describe the texture, color, and say the name of the grain.
  3. Show the grain 'wheel' and say, "Now I will find the match."
  4. Match them, placing the containers of grains to the corresponding spot on the grain wheel.

Variations/Extensions: After doing basic match ups for a week or so, you could add a 'texture art project' using the same grains and with glue on cardboard.

Materials: Use a basket or tray, create a 'grain wheel,' dividing the circle into 10' pie slices and cover with different types of grains. The more varied, the better.

Source of Materials or Supplies: Go to the bulk section of your grocery store (PCC or Whole Foods) to acquire varied grains. This was used for a Food Unit to demonstrate the different kinds of grains used as staple foods around the world.

Ideas for Grains: black quinoa, oats, emmer, buckwheat groats, corn, wild rice, millet, brown rice...and things made from grains (cereal, wheat flour rainbow pasta)


What is the Child Telling Us?

Cristina Perotti of Rome, Italy sends us a picture drawn by a little girl in a traditional primary classroom which has minimal learning materials, along with some behavioral issues. There is no tower in the classroom, yet this little girl spontaneously drew one to show Cristina. This was a special moment for Cristina as she pondered the genius of Maria Montessori. Cristina said:

"Children teach us so much. They tell you what they need, the material they want in order to learn...I was amazed."