Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Leonardo da Vinci: A Simple Unit Study

Leonardo da Vinci was a fascinating man.  Inventor, artist, writer, scientist.  God blessed him with a special curiosity that led to intricate knowledge of the world and a foresight of invention that was (and is) unparalleled.  I couldn't wait to study his life in detail.

Did you know that when you are excited about a topic your excitement naturally translates to your children?  Because of this, sometimes (okay, often) we study topics or people that are interesting to me.  I get passionate and they think I'm crazy.  But actually, they get passionate as well.  Even if this is not a topic that they "need" or that they will pursue further on their own, my interest leads to a general air of joy and curiosity.  Therefore, we spent a whole week with Leonardo!

Setting aside the structured curriculum for this time, we learned, explored and were fascinated by this incredible man.

We generally begin each day with read-aloud time and this week was no different.  I had pre-chosen a selection of books on Leonardo and gathered them ahead of time.  Most were requested from the library a few weeks prior and some I purchased.  I will share details and links below.

After some reading, we would do an activity of some sort. These included some paper models of Leonardo's journal sketches, a board game, card game and video.

At the end of the week, our study culminated in a visit to a fortuitously timed exhibit at our local Science Museum.  Leonardo da Vinci: Man-Inventor-Genius and Man-Artist-Genius was a collection of scale models of Leonardo's inventions and painting.  A lovely experience after learning so much about him!

Resource List

Books we read aloud:
Monday with a Mad Genius
Leonardo's Horse
Leonardo and the Flying Boy
Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer
Neo Leo
Who was Leonardo da Vinci
da Vinci by Mike Venezia
Leonardo da Vinci by Diane Stanley

Books we used as reference or for the kids to browse:
Lives of the Artists
Leonardo da Vinci for Kids
Amazing Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself

Leonardo da Vinci: Animated Hero Classics DVD (find at your library or purchase used)
Da Vinci's Challenge Game
Go Fish for Renaissance Artists
Inventions (the paper models)

I'm sure you can find other wonderful resources.  Plan a simple unit study and have some fun learning about Leonardo da Vinci!

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Melissa said...

So delightful! Unit study can be the most fun for teacher and student:)