Did you know Leonardo took the name of the town where he was born, Vinci, Italy as his last name?
He wrote many of his notes backwards, presumably so others couldn't decipher what he had written?
He also sketched many new inventions?
During April we spent some time studying the life and work of Leonardo DaVinci. My son was particularly excited about this as his birthday is the same date as Leonardo's - April 15th. We worked on this project off and on for the whole month, not that it was long, but we also had other studies and materials to use. Our study encompassed several aspects.
The books we used were:
- Getting to know the World's Great Artists Leonardo Davinci by Mike Venezia
- Leonardo DaVinci for Kids His Life and Ideas by Janis Herbert
- Beautiful Dreamer by Robert Byrd
- Leonardo da Vinci : Discover the World of Leonardo Through His Apprentice's Diary by Steve Augarde
- The Stolen Smile by J. Patrick Lewis
- Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes, and What the Neighbors Thought by Kathleen Krull
- Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl
The children made lapbooks. These were from a set that someone else wrote to go with the Venezia book. All I had to do were copy and cut. I was thinking I had purchased the set from Currclick, but when I looked for it today I could not find it on their site.
They completed a Famous Artist Biography notebook page about Leonardo. This included the dates he lived, where, names of some of his works, and general information about him. I purchased the set of notebooking pages from Notebooking Pages.com, but I believe the free artist sample on the site is Leonardo DaVinci.
I also had the children write about the Mona Lisa. I thought since this is such a well known piece, that it would be beneficial for them to know some of the facts as well as uncertainties behind its creation and history. The border paper used for that writing is also from Notebooking Pages.com .
Leonardo DaVinci was also know for his detailed drawing of everyday objects as well as he painting. So to help my children look at all the details of something I had them choose an object or two around the house that could be easily disassembled and draw all the parts. I asked them to arrange their drawings in the order how the item would be put back together.
The top picture is my 10 year old daughters work. She drew a Pepper Mill. The bottom picture was drawn by my 7 year old son and he featured a flashlight with the batteries.
We only did a very few of the many activities and projects it would be possible to do in a unit about Leonardo DaVinci. However, I think it was enough so we could all learn something and not be overwhelmed or lose interest in the topic. There are still plenty of activities related to Leonardo DaVinci which we can do when we reach that time in history.