Project Based Learning: Individual Leonardo Da Vinci Projects


This term we are focusing on Leonardo Da Vinci.  We spent most of last week looking through the resources and getting a feel for what each child might be drawn towards.  After much to-ing and fro-ing topics have finally been agreed upon and the children have enthusiastically thrown themselves into their work.  We have discussed whether Leonardo Da Vinci would be an interesting enough topic to spread over two terms, which had been my original plan.  However, after last terms lack of interest at the end of term for all things plague related, I made the executive decision to limit Da Vinci to one term only.  So, without further ado, here are the children’s plans.


T12 will be looking at Leonardo the inventor.  Da Vinci had a fascination his entire life with birds and flight.  He studied birds with the hope of unlocking the secrets to flight and always believed that one day man would take to the skies.  He made many models, his most famous being the ornithopter:

imageda vinici

He never did manage to perfect the art of human flight.  T12 decided to investigate why.  His plans are to discover what is needed to achieve flight and why Da Vinci’s model would never have worked.  He will look into the history of man’s ventures into the skies above and look at why some are successful and others not so much.

He has not decided yet how he will display his findings but is looking at Minecraft as a possibility.


L11 will be looking at Leonardo the artist, focusing on the Mona Lisa:

mona-lisa_custom-31a0453b88a2ebcb12c652bce5a1e9c35730a132-s6-c30It is her goal to attempt to get inside Leonardo’s head.  She will be collecting quotes from him, studying his work and thoughts and as her final piece is intending to get her sister to sit for her in a similar ‘Mona Lisa’ pose.  She will be studying how Leonardo applied the golden ratio, incidentally found in Fibonacci’s numbers, and attempt to apply the same geometry to her own painting.


C11 has chosen to focus on the life and times of Da Vinci and will write and film, with her brother’s help, a This is Your Life with the spot light being on Leonardo’s life.  Predominantly a British program aired years ago she took to YouTube to do some research.  She watched a few including the following Tom Baker (one of the Dr Who actors) episode (for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about):

In addition, she will research people around at that time with whom Leonardo may have had contact with and they will become the guests on her show:


All together

I am using their obvious genuine interest in Leonardo to teach the children how to write a report.  We will do this in the first couple of weeks and it will be a joint effort with T12 concentrating on Leonardo as an inventor (which will ultimately help him with his project), L11 will be researching Leonardo as an artist (which will help with her project), and C11 will be focusing on Leonardo as a scientist (which may or may not help her with hers!).  They will each follow the same process as outlined in a fabulous little picture book we own, adding illustrations where appropriate.  All three will type their report up and email it to me.  I will join the three smaller reports together to create a larger, more encompassing report on Leonardo the man.  This will be displayed at our presentation.

I will also be leading some project based work.  Da Vinci is such a large sort of man to limit to a project each and my creative juices overfloweth!  So I will be doing a few hands on activities to help each of the children appreciate the enormity of this man, and which I hope will also help them a little in their own projects.  We are all excited to get started, and this time I hope we will all remain this way until the end of the six weeks.



  1. It looks like another very interesting piece of project! I’m personally interested in the artistic side of da Vinci, but his inventive side is equally fascinating.

  2. We, too, have been studying Da Vinci. He is so very interesting. I will be looking forward to seeing what your children do with their projects. I like your idea of tying all three reports into one.

    Have a lovely day, Claire:)

    1. Tying the reports into one large one prevents replication and cuts down on the children’s writing – for which my son is very grateful!

  3. IDa Vinci the tinkerer is the one who interests me the most – or maybe Da Vinci the observer. It’s his multi-talented personality that makes him so intriguing, isn’t it? You ought to have a fantastic semester!

    1. I do it to stop my mind from becoming too busy. I also like the depth it allows instead of moving quickly from one topic to the next. It suits us very well!

    1. Me either! We’ve completed a few this week and the children have had a blast coming up with their own parachutes and aeroplane designs and models!

  4. Oh I am so excited about your Da Vinci studies! The kids projects sound wonderful – can’t wait to hear about your magnificent ideas!

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