Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our Study of Leonardo da Vinci ...

For the month of September we will be studying Leonardo da Vinci for both art and science.  My oldest loves Leonardo da Vinci and has really talked him up to the little ones. They are all eager to learn more and do fun projects.

Leonardo da Vinci For Kids His Life and Ideas~21 Activities will be our spine.  We will be doing numerous activities from this book, as well as reading other parts that are not covered here in our picture books.

We will also be reading the following books~

  • Kids Discover magazine on Leonardo da Vinci

  • Leonardo da Vinci Dreams, Schemes, and Flying Machines

  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy

  • Famous Artists Leonardo Da Vinci

  • The Artist, Inventor, Scientist, In Three Dimensional, Movable Pictures

  • Katie and the Mona Lisa

Where do you start when it comes to Leonardo da Vinci?  It seems like he dabbled in almost every topic.  We will only be concentrating on a few areas of his life based on the kids' interests.  We are planning to do the following:

  • We will learn how da Vinci used casts to make statues by casting our own miniature chocolates.

  • His adopted son was quite a handful and was often given treats made out of anise to encourage good behavior.   We will make Aniseed sweets (cookies).

  • Leonardo was one of the first cartographers to make maps from a bird's eye view.  We will be making a map from a bird's eye view as well.

  • During his early apprentice years, he often made metal picture frames and death masks.  We will be doing punched tin picture frames out of pie tins and life masks.

  • We will be able to see a real Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery of Art when we visit my parents later this month.

  • We will do the lesson on taking things apart and drawing them in Discovering Great Artist.

  • We will be doing several picture studies.

  • We will wrap up our study of Leonardo with a special vegetarian dinner (Leonardo was a vegetarian), which will include his favorite, minestrone soup. 

  • During our feast, we will tell Leonardo's favorite riddles to Daddy and Grandma to see if they can answer any of them.  Also, Leonardo da Vinci often had theme parties.  Everyone will come as the personality of their favorite planet, a theme Leonarado once used with his guests.   For example~one could come dressed as Venus, named for the god of love and beauty.  I will be coming as Tellus (earth), who is known as Mother!  Sorry, Mom, I read the list first .... LOL

  • We will also be learning more about simple machines, but I have not decided which one we will make yet.

That about wraps up for this go around of Leonardo da Vinci.  I tried to leave some room for rabbit trails that are sure to happen.




  1. Hi Dawn,
    You are as consistent as the sun rises. You are an amazing teacher. Wow, is all I can say everytime I read your blogs. Write a book.
    Love, Antoinette

  2. This looks great, Dawn, so many resources! I love how you said you are leaving room for bunny trails. :-) Those are so fun.

    This is a wonderful post for the CM carnival.

  3. Ok, I am packing up my kids now and we should be there in two days.
    We're supposed to hit DaVinci this week in our history lessons, but your plans are so much better than mine I'm sure you wouldn't mind another six students. :)

  4. Looks like you have a great study mapped out.


  5. I love it when mommas like you share their artist goodies! It helps me with my choices! Glad you posted this :o)

    Have fun!

  6. Hi Dawn,
    I just found your blog via Lapaz Farm :) I homeschool my kidos but also teach art part time.
    I LOVE LOVE leonardo !
    Wanted to share a book and website with you (you might already know about this.... but thought I would share anyway)
    The book is Called "Leonardos Horse" here is link to amazon but your library should have it.

    Its a great story of a man in the 1980s who is determined to build a horse that Leonardo never go to build.
    Here is the website for the Leonardo Horse Organization
    There is now a horse in Milan and in Michigan :)

    Such a neat story i had to share!

    OH. and Leonardo also wrote Fables...
    I found a book at our library by him and the kids had a great time with it.... here a link to a webpage with some samples... but I am sure you could find a book at the library :)

    (can you tell I love leonardo LOL..)
    Have a great time!
    Love you blog!

  7. Looks like a fantastic study!! He's on our list this year to. Can't wait! Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Can you give me some info on learning about casting with the chocolates? That sounds like something I would love to try! I am teaching a homeschool coop class which is about art history and art methods - that would fit so well!
    Great ideas!

  9. I agree - you are amazing! Looks like you have tons of fun things planned! Enjoy sweet friend.

    Let me know when you are headed this way so we can make plans to meet up!


  10. What a memorable learning experience your kids will have with this! It looks like you have all your bases covered. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Okay, consider it stolen. (smile)

    Seriously, thank you, thank you for the blessing of such a compliment to me on my blog, and thank you for posting your ideas in this area. I am STILL trying to pull together all of my resources for this year's art and music studies, and you've given me new energy. It's funny--I was walking downstairs and thinking that I needed to decide which composer we will study this semester, and here you are with the art lesson already listed! Da Vinci will fit nicely into our spring semester, giving me time to gather some books. His story is amazing; I once blogged about my own thoughts after seeing his work in a museum. Check it out here when you have time:

    God bless you, today and always!