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Leonardo da Vinci: The Inventor

Updated on November 07, 2015
Image credit: http://www.juliantrubin.com/
Image credit: http://www.juliantrubin.com/

An army tank? A parachute? A machine gun? A bicycle? All these and more were developed by the creative genius, Leonardo da Vinci, in the late 15th century! This is part 3 of a 3 part hands-on unit study on Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist, Scientist, & Inventor. This lesson will cover his work as an inventor. Join us as we recreate and test out Leonardo da Vinci's inventions! These lessons are geared toward 3rd-4th grade level children and their siblings. They were created by another creative teacher for a weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 16 children between the ages of 1-13. Use these fun lessons with your class, family, or homeschool co-op group!

Leonardo da Vinci's Inventions - All photos are from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_inventions_of_Leonardo_da_Vinci

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Giant CrossbowParachuteGliderWar TankFlying MachineOrgan Gun/Machine GunRobotScaling LadderBicycle
Giant Crossbow
Giant Crossbow
Parachute
Parachute
Glider
Glider
War Tank
War Tank
Flying Machine
Flying Machine
Organ Gun/Machine Gun
Organ Gun/Machine Gun
Robot
Robot
Scaling Ladder
Scaling Ladder
Bicycle
Bicycle

Leonardo da Vinci: The Inventor Lesson Plan

1. Pray. Read & discuss Colossians 3:23.

2. Review what we have learned about Leonardo da Vinci.

3. Read Read Neo Leo by Gene Barretta.

Favorite Books on Leonardo da Vinci & His Inventions

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci
Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci

This is the best option for a read loud because it is not too long and focuses on his inventions and how they have been replicated today.

 
The Genius of Leonardo
The Genius of Leonardo

This is an enjoyable picture book about Leonardo and his young apprentice. Leonardo paints the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper and also invents his flying machine with the boy's assistance.

 

4. Have children create models of Leonardo da Vinci's ornithopter, parachute, and trebuchet by following the directions in Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can By Yourself by Maxine Anderson. Give children time to play with their creations.

Favorite Books on Leonardo da Vinci & His Inventions

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions: You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself)
Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions: You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself)

This is the book we used to get ideas on what to have the children recreate. Most of the materials are already things you'll already have around your house. For example, the parachute is simply made from paper, tape, string, and a heavy object (like a washer). The activities range from easier (easy enough for a 5 year old to do with little assistance) to challenging (difficult enough that you will want someone with an engineering mind to assist you if you are not mechanically inclined.)

 

5. Ask the children if they think Leonardo da Vinci's inventions would actually work. (Most of the children thought they wouldn't really work as a full-scale model.) Show clips from Leonardo: The Man Who Wanted To Know Everything to show modern people recreating and testing Leonardo da Vinci's parachute, army tank, para-glider & scuba gear.

6. Five minute review of what we've learned today.

Our Favorite Children's Books on Leonardo da Vinci & His Inventions

Uh-oh, Leonardo!: The Adventures of Providence Traveler by Robert Sabuda is a really cute picture book that casts Leonardo da Vinci as a mouse. It follows him as he creates all his inventions. It was one of our absolute favorites! Leonardo and the Flying Boy (Anholt's Artists Books For Children) by Laurence Anholt is a nice picture book about A young apprentice helps Leonardo da Vinci as he creates his flying machine. Leonardo Da Vinci: Dreams, Schemes, and Flying Machines (Adventures in Art (Prestel)) by Heinz Kaehne has selected illustrations from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks and then brief explanations about each one. It hits on some of the more famous illustrations. It is perfect for children. Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed by Domenico Laurenza is so neat to look through! It includes Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and then computer animated images of what they'd look like in real life. We loved flipping through this!

Favorite Books on Leonardo da Vinci & His Inventions

Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer
Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer

This lovely picture book tells the story of how Leonardo da Vinci was always dreaming up various inventions.

 

His Creations Recreated

By Land & By Sea - Photos are from en.wikipedia.org & leonardodavincisinventions.com.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Leonardo's Design for an Armored TankModern Recreation of His Armored TankModern Recreation of His Armored TankLeonardo's Design for a BicycleModern Recreation of His BicycleLeonardo's Design for a Diving SuitLeonardo's Design for the Breathing Apparatus for His Diving SuitModern Recreation of His Diving SuitLeonardo's Design for a CarModern Recreation of His Car
Leonardo's Design for an Armored Tank
Leonardo's Design for an Armored Tank
Modern Recreation of His Armored Tank
Modern Recreation of His Armored Tank
Modern Recreation of His Armored Tank
Modern Recreation of His Armored Tank
Leonardo's Design for a Bicycle
Leonardo's Design for a Bicycle
Modern Recreation of His Bicycle
Modern Recreation of His Bicycle
Leonardo's Design for a Diving Suit
Leonardo's Design for a Diving Suit
Leonardo's Design for the Breathing Apparatus for His Diving Suit
Leonardo's Design for the Breathing Apparatus for His Diving Suit
Modern Recreation of His Diving Suit
Modern Recreation of His Diving Suit
Leonardo's Design for a Car
Leonardo's Design for a Car
Modern Recreation of His Car
Modern Recreation of His Car

By Air - Photos are from en.wikipedia.org & leonardodavincisinventions.com.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Leonardo's Bat Wings Glider DesignBat Wings Glider DesignModern Recreation of Bat Wings Glider DesignLeonardo's Glider DesignModern Recreation & Testing of Glider DesignLeonardo's Helicopter DesignModern Recreation of Helicopter DesignLeonardo's Parachute DesignModern Recreation of Parachute DesignModern Recreation & Testing of Parachute Design
Leonardo's Bat Wings Glider Design
Leonardo's Bat Wings Glider Design
Bat Wings Glider Design
Bat Wings Glider Design
Modern Recreation of Bat Wings Glider Design
Modern Recreation of Bat Wings Glider Design
Leonardo's Glider Design
Leonardo's Glider Design
Modern Recreation & Testing of Glider Design
Modern Recreation & Testing of Glider Design
Leonardo's Helicopter Design
Leonardo's Helicopter Design
Modern Recreation of Helicopter Design
Modern Recreation of Helicopter Design
Leonardo's Parachute Design
Leonardo's Parachute Design
Modern Recreation of Parachute Design
Modern Recreation of Parachute Design
Modern Recreation & Testing of Parachute Design
Modern Recreation & Testing of Parachute Design

Want to Learn More about Leonardo da Vinci?

Making and testing out models of Leonardo da Vinci's ornithopter from Lesson 3: Leonardo da Vinci: The Inventor
Making and testing out models of Leonardo da Vinci's ornithopter from Lesson 3: Leonardo da Vinci: The Inventor

Recreate and test out some of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions, begin an observation notebook, apply his art techniques as you study his art work, and more in this exciting 3 part unit study on Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist, Scientist, & Inventor!

  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist - Always been intrigued by Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile? Wondering about The Last Summer? This is part 1 of a 3 part hands-on unit study on Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist, Scientist, & Inventor. This lesson will cover his work as an artist. Sculpt a horse, use watercolors to paint a bird, practice drawing using perspective, and more!
  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Scientist - Did you know the artist who painted Mona Lisa was also an impressive scientist? This is part 2 of a 3 part hands-on unit study on Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist, Scientist, & Inventor. This lesson will cover his work as a scientist. Build a working hydrometer and hygrometer, begin a nature journal, write notes in a secret code, and more!
  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Inventor - An army tank? A parachute? A machine gun? A bicycle? All these and more were developed by the creative genius, Leonardo da Vinci, in the late 15th century! This is part 3 of a 3 part hands-on unit study on Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist, Scientist, & Inventor. Join us as we recreate and test out Leonardo da Vinci's inventions including the ornithopter, parachute, and trebuchet!
  • Leonardo da Vinci Presentations, Meal, & Field Trip - This is the culminating project following a 3 part unit study on Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist, Scientist, & Inventor. Children will present on Leonardo da Vinci's works of art and inventions and then will enjoy an Italian meal together. Also included are the field trips we attended while studying this unit.
  • Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies - Looking for all of my lessons and unit studies? Over the years I have posted over 30 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 140 lessons. For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at the above link.

Leonardo: The Man Who Wanted To Know Everything by BBC

We really enjoyed this movie and learned quite a bit from it. It does have a few minutes focusing on the rumors of his inappropriate dealings with young males, but that can be easily skipped over if you stay alert while watching it.

The Re-Inventors: da Vinci Chariot (History Channel Series)

© 2012 iijuan12

Which of his inventions would you like to try out? - Or just leave a note to let me know you dropped by! I love getting feedback from you!

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    • KevCooper profile image

      KevCooper 4 years ago

      The bat wing glider

    • bilafond lm profile image

      bilafond lm 4 years ago

      I have already tried the tank and machine gun. Thank you for all the three parts of this lens of yours. Very good. I liked all of them

    • iijuan12 profile image
      Author

      iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

      @bilafond lm: Thank you for dropping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the lenses!

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