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Leonardo Da Vinci Project Ideas

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous artists of all time, but how much do your students really know about him? These projects can help them delve deeper into the life and works of the quintessential Renaissance man.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the greatest artists, inventors, and thinkers of the Italian Renaissance. There are many reasons for students to be exploring the life and works of Leonardo in the classroom, whether as part of a lesson on art, history, physics/engineering, or mathematics. The following projects are designed to be easily adaptable for students of various grade levels and areas of interest.

Leonardo Da Vinci Project Ideas

Interviewing Leonardo

After teaching the class the basic information about Leonardo da Vinci, each student is going to conduct their own research into the artist's life and works. They will explore his biography, his art, his inventions, his theories, and his attitudes about the society he lived in. Each student will then write a fictional interview, in which they imagine they are interviewing Leonardo da Vinci himself. Students will write up their interview questions, and attempt to write answers they feel he would use. This interview should display a deep knowledge of his life, personality, and accomplishments. As an alteration to this project, you can consider pairing students up and having them act out the interview, with one student playing Leonardo and the other acting as the interviewer.

  • Materials: Research materials

Curate An Exhibit

Students will conduct a research project to learn about Leonardo da Vinci's life and works. They will then curate a museum exhibit on the artist by selecting a number of his works to display together. Students will also write a museum guide pamphlet that provides a biography of Leonardo, describes the central theme of the exhibit, and explains how each work connects to it. You may ask students to print copies of each work to make a physical exhibit, or just to turn in the pamphlet explaining the hypothetical exhibit.

This project should be assigned in a way that connects Leonardo to your class and lessons. For example, in a math class, ask students to curate an exhibit on Leonardo's use of geometry in his paintings. For a science/engineering class, ask them to curate an exhibit on his sketches of scientific studies, mechanical inventions, or depiction of nature in his artwork. For a class on the Renaissance, ask students to show how Leonardo embraced the themes of Renaissance intellectualism in his inventions, research, and artwork.

  • Materials: Art and craft supplies as desired

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