Our 8th grader loves art and science, and recently I found this Leonardo da Vinci Topical Study at Educents. I wanted to show my daughter how versatile and brilliant da Vinci was, and this study was the perfect opportunity!
Learning About Da Vinci
I downloaded the e-book and then printed what I knew we would enjoy. There are many different ways to learn in this study, but some of them I knew wouldn’t appeal to my child. That’s not to say they aren’t useful! They are, but I know what will and won’t work with her. She’s definitely a “just the facts” kind of kid.
More than a Painter
Da Vinci was an amazing man. He studied anatomy, astronomy, botany, geology, mechanics, zoology, and more! This unit study is complete and gives great information in well-thought-out chunks. It’s in chronological order – the author divided da Vinci’s life into 4 periods:
- the early years
- the Milan years
- the travel years
- the final years
We started with the maps of Europe and Italy. I had her mark locations on a bigger map we use in our schooling. I think seeing where he lived gives a good foundation. Then we looked through the timeline for an understanding of the “flow” of da Vinci’s life.
What we found is that besides the famous Mona Lisa or Last Supper, da Vinci’s interests and art changed through his life. It’s interesting to see how the time period he lived in influenced him, but at the same time, he was light years beyond anyone else living then.
Each section has an overview and then lots of background information on da Vinci’s life. With plenty of pictures and drawings, it’s easy to get a solid grasp on the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci.
Who could use this?
I see several ways to use this unit study. It could easily be incorporated into a study of the renaissance period – da Vinci is known as a true “Renaissance Man.” His discoveries of the anatomy of the human body are fascinating and could be used to facilitate further discussion of anatomy, as well as guiding students to draw the human body. Da Vinci studied nature and used notebooks to record his findings. Students could learn from his writings and drawings; they’re amazing to see! And of course, a whole study on art could center around his famous Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. It’s definitely a unit study that is as adaptable in a school setting as in homeschool and can be used to supplement history, math, art, and science courses.
For a more visual look at da Vinci, check out Jaime’s book In Art: Leonardo. If you want to teach your kids how to draw, look at How to Teach Art to Children which covers the seven elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, form, and space. Other products are also available from Catherine Jaime at Educents including Sharing Shakespeare with Students.
About the All-Star blogger
I’ve been married almost 30 years. I’m a “retired” Navy wife (hubby did over 22 years). I’m mom to 5 amazing kids + a son-in-law and I’m a brand new Grandma! We homeschool and I love to talk about homeschooling, curriculum, phases/stages at All in One Mom.