Leonardo da Vinci Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What lasting legacy was left to us by Leonardo da Vinci? This lesson plan uses two engaging video lessons to deliver key facts about da Vinci's many talents and contributions and an activity reinforces learning.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci
  • list da Vinci's key contributions in the art world
  • analyze the impact of da Vinci's life and work


  • 1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


  • A copy of Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ
  • A worksheet created using the da Vinci quiz and the drawing and inventions quiz from the associated video lessons
  • Internet access
  • Devices for students to access the internet


  • Begin by writing the name 'Leonardo da Vinci' on the board.
    • How many of us have heard of this person?
    • Who knows why he is known so well?
  • Play the video lesson Leonardo da Vinci: Biography, pausing at 1:39.
    • In what country are the cities mentioned in the video lesson located?
    • What is an apprentice?
  • Display the image of Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ for the class.
    • Can you spot the angel holding the robe of Christ?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 3:08.
    • Why might da Vinci have intentionally muted the colors and blurred the edges of background images in his paintings?
    • What common themes can you identify in the work of da Vinci?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
    • Did you know that da Vinci created the Mona Lisa?
    • Were you aware that da Vinci was also a scientist and inventor?
  • Now play the video lesson Leonardo Da Vinci: Drawings, Sculptures & Inventions for the class, pausing at 1:19.
    • Are you surprised that only 20 works have been credited to da Vinci?
    • Do you agree that the many interests of da Vinci detracted from his artwork?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 4:33.
    • What might have happened to the sculptures of da Vinci?
    • How different might the techniques used by the nonprofit to complete da Vinci's sculpture be from the ones he used?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson now.
    • How different would our world be today if da Vinci's inventions had been possible in his time?
    • What legacy did da Vinci leave?
  • Pass out the worksheet and have students work independently to complete it.

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