I love how things fall into place when I plan a learning experience. I bought a book on Leonardo da Vinci that is part of a series called Getting To Know The World’s Greatest Artists some time ago. I got it just because it seemed like a good resource for some future lesson. But I honestly did not know how to approach studying Da Vinci (or any other artist) because… because I only knew one thing about him, and that was that he made the Mona Lisa.
So, my brain gears went on overdrive when I found out that there was going to be a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Mind Museum from September 1 to November 30.
Then serendipity strikes. My sister called me a few days after I mentioned the exhibit to her. One of her patients has given her a Mona Lisa reproduction for unknown reasons. How odd for a gift, right? It’s now hanging over a bed, tied on the aircon’s power cord (because it isn’t ours so we can’t put a hole in the wall for it). We try to look at it from different angles to see if the grand lady’s eyes will look like they’re following us.
And as if that wasn’t enough of a sign to go ahead, a unit study on the World’s Greatest Artists series became available for free at Confessions of a Homeschooler. Oh hey, it’s still free until now!
And finally, I remembered that my mother-in-law has a beautiful coffee table book on Da Vinci.
And so we began our journey in discovering Leonardo da Vinci, his life and his work. We had fun following the surname convention during that time. “Da Vinci” just meant “of Vinci,” so I became Mariel da Quezon (City). We learned, too, that he used a secret alphabet and wrote in mirror code… perhaps to keep his secrets to himself. So we did that too.
Little T then chose to draw a snail because Da Vinci had drawn animals when he was a boy.
When we went to my sister’s house for a day, we included my nephew in our lessons. We made our own paint, just like Da Vinci and the other artists during that time. We used flour, salt, water, and food color.
The kids then drew pictures and painted them with the newly-made paint.
Little T finds da Vinci’s paintings more interesting than his inventions. We pored over the differences between two versions of his painting The Virgin on the Rocks.
We also found Da Vinci’s The Last Supper fascinating. We read the story of The Last Supper on our children’s Bible story book as well as a book about Jesus’ 12 disciples, which I got at the recent Manila International Book Fair.
Finally, finally, we went to the Da Vinci exhibit on one of only two weekends that they have a Renaissance Fair. We almost didn’t go because it was raining hard. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that there was a fair, with lively music and vendors in costumes.
Come back here on Thursday and let me tell you about the fun we had at the Da Vinci exhibit at the Mind Museum. In the meantime, browse over the following resources I compiled for you:
- Leonardo da Vinci For Kids
- Vinci for Kids – This is a beautiful free ebook with lots of interesting information and suggested activities. It can be your main book if you decide to discover Da Vinci too! I’m still going to mine this for more things to do until the end of this week!
- A press release about the exhibit at the Mind Museum
- Youtube.com – This is the documentary shown at the Mind Museum exhibit. Shhh! It’s too long to watch there, but very interesting that my husband searched for it. Maybe for kids ages 10 and up.
- Confessions of a Homeschooler – A unit study on the books in the series Getting To Know The World’s Greatest Artists