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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Da Vinci the Genius!:Invention exploration & drawings

4th grade continued on their art history timeline where we left off, the Middle stop, The Renaissance! We learned about the Renaissance and how it was a time of 'rebirth' and all kinds of change! I played some Renaissance music to get into the mood while students quietly came in to find their seat.

Miss Oetken's Da Vinci invention drawing
Then we talked about one of the most famous artists from the Renaissance who was known for being a 'genius' of many trades! And this famous man in history was...Leonardo Da Vinci! We learned that not only was a he a scientist who was interested in understanding the human body, he also interested in flight! He would study the wings of birds and create experiements and inventions that could aid in human flight.

sketches of the human skeletal system with notes.
Leonardo would actually illegally steal bodies from the
morgue so he could dissect the body to understand how 
it looked inside and worked!

one of DaVinci's drawings/studies of an invention for human flight

Da Vinci would also design and experiement with different inventions that included weapons & machines that could make jobs for people easier in everyday life. He was a man who was way ahead of his time. He even designed a machine and named it a "helio-copter"...hmmm....JUST LIKE A HELICOPTER! But, he did something very smart to keep his findings and notes on his discoveries a secret......he would write everything BACKWARDS!

Da Vinci's invention of a 'helio-copter' that of an early helocopter!
Notice the backwards handwriting in his notes

And of course he's known for his impecable artistry in paintings. We learned about his most famous painting the Mona Lisa! We learned that there's many mysteries to the Mona Lisa and now thanks to some new specialized cameras that can see through layers of paint, some of those mysteries are being uncovered!

Da Vinci's self portrait as an elderly man
 Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

 4th graders were to come up with an invention drawing of their own! I asked students "What do you hate doing? What do you wish could be made easier with an invention? What will your invention help make easier and how?" Come up with an invention. Give it a name or a title.This title CAN be written backwards if you wish. Show arrows to pointing to parts of the invention to label and tell what it does. Give a few sentences about how the invention works.

Students first drew with pencil on manilla paper (since it resembled parchment paper color). Then traced over with the drawing and words with brown colored pencil to make it look like the aged and old ink in DaVinci's drawings. Then we rubbed brown pastel on our finger and rubbed around the edges of our drawing to give it that parchment paper look. Some students even lightly crumbled their paper and made subtle tears around the edge to get the full effect! The inventions were...well...GENIUS!

student work and inventions!

student work invention

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