Social Sundays: A day with Leonardo DaVinci

I love teaching the Renaissance.  It is such a rich period of history not only in the artwork but also politically, religiously and scientifically.  
Whether it has been building domes with Brunelleschi or painting like Michelanglo (upside down!), we have a great deal of fun and learn tons.  One of my favorite aspects of the Renaissance man epitomized by Leonardo DaVinci.  

When we study Leonardo, we get up and moving and we rarely talk about his art (in this lesson).   Here's a quick idea for teaching DaVinci as the Renaissance man plus some of my favorite (FREE) videos to incorporate:

  • Choose a station (or 2): Students choose from several centers (learn more about how to work with stations in secondary in the post here): herbology, bird sketching, catapult building, and more.  
  • Read the background information:  Students get oriented to the topic. At each center, students read about Leonardo DaVinci's accomplishments in this area. 
  • Get engaged (Try it out):  Students get into the experiential learning from constructing catapults to sketching birds or classifying herbs.  My audio learners really enjoy the video portions of the lessons
  • Discuss it: Students come together to share their experiences and discuss the concept of the Renaissance man.  It's always interesting to hear not only what they think of Leonardo beyond his artwork but also their ideas about Renaissance men(and women) in the modern era.  
In addition to the 4 activities, I offer centers with videos and questions related to Leonardo DaVinci, the Renaissance, and the concept of the Renaissance man.  Student-approved videos include:

  • Full life documentary (I show this one at lunch because so many of my students find it of interest):
  • Ideas of the Renaissance:
  • Crash Course Renaissance:
  • Renaissance Report from Horrible Histories:
  • Renaissance from Horrible Histories (longer one):

More ideas for the Renaissance coming soon.

Social Sundays is a bi-weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching social studies.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message in the comments below or at the store in the question and answer section.  



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