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Level: Junior
Grades: 3-5 | Age: 8-11 | Written by: Michelle Jamal
[Michelle is an art educator.]

Students will discover Leonardo da Vinci's inventive ideas as they invent a new machine for the 21st century.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Identify and discuss the contributions that Leonardo da Vinci made during the High Renaissance period of Art.
    • Artist
    • Scientist
    • Inventor

  2. Students will choose a partner. Each group of students will think of a new machine that would make life easier in the 21st century.

  3. Make a diagram of the machine. Briefly describe how the machine will work.

  4. Use cardboard boxes and other found objects to build a model of the invention.

  5. Paint/color the machine after it is completely put together.

  6. Add fabric, glitter, yarn, buttons, etc… to finish the invention.

  7. Present the invention to the class.
    • What is the name of the invention?
    • What does it do?
    • How does it work?
    • How much will it cost?
    • Where could you purchase it?

About Leonardo Da Vinci

by Andrea Mulder-Slater, KinderArt®

Born: 1452; Died: 1519

Leonardo Da Vinci was, as you are probably aware, a true master artist. In fact, many folks refer to him as the greatest artist ever produced by the Renaissance. The man who grew to a ripe old age of 67, is probably best known for his mysterious painting, "Mona Lisa" or "La Gioconda", a portrait of the wife of a Florentine official which was painted in Da Vinci's later years. As a painter, Da Vinci was astounding, having trained under the watchful eye of Verrocchio, a Florentine painter, goldsmith and sculptor. Da Vinci learned his craft and went on to use it not only for pleasure, but for payment. His reputation as a master earned him many commissions. He was the original creative thinker, a philosopher as much as an artist who after contemplating a move in his work, would stop, look and contemplate some more.

A painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, architect, mathematician and philosopher, Leonardo Da Vinci influenced generations of humans.

Additional Resources

Leonardo's Mysterious Machines

Exploring Leonardo da Vinci, Science Learning Network

Leonardo da Vinci: A Man of Both Worlds

Recommended Books/Products:
Leonardo Da Vinci for Kids : His Life and Ideas
by Janis Herbert
The marriage of art and science is celebrated in this beautifully illustrated full-color biography and activity book of Leonardo da Vinci. Kids will be gin to understand the important discoveries that da Vinci made through inspiring activities, such as determining the launch of a catapult, sketching animals, creating a map, learning to look at a painting, and more.

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