Renaissance Artists Day 4: Da Vinci

Da Vinci

We actually ended up spending a couple days for Da Vinci, since he did so much.


  • Magic Tree House #38 Monday with a Mad Genius by Mary Pope Osborne

  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy by Laurence Anholt

  • Katie and the Mona Lisa by James Mayhew

  • Leonardo’s Horse by Jean Fritz

Watch: The Animated Hero Classics Leonardo da Vinci

Discuss: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was an Italian Renaissance artist and inventor. He is considered a genius and painted many wonderful pieces. He was always sketching in his notebooks about his ideas and things that he had seen. He wrote his notes backwards so that if you held it up to a mirror you could read it.

Artist Journal: Print out a work of art for the artist and glue it in the book. Write the title of the work of art and the name of the artist. Write the years of the artist’s life and what type of art he did. Da Vinci created a flying machine that he called The Great Bird. Sketch a picture of your own flying machine invention. Give your invention a name.Renaissance Art Study (32)

Virtuvian Man Experiment

Read: Leonardo’s Horse by Jean Fritz has a good picture of the Vitruvian Man without showing the nudity but not covering up too much of the drawing.

Discuss: Leonardo’s drawing Vitruvian Man is based on a model of ideal proportions which Vitruvius established. It is of a man with outstretched arms and legs which touch both the circumference of the circle and the perimeter of the square. When you look at the drawing you can see the length of the man’s arm span is equal to the height of the man.


  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Cement area (driveway)


  1. Have the child lay down with feet straight and arms outstretched.
  2. Take the yarn and measure the child from head to toe with it. Cut the yarn that size.Renaissance Art Study (37)
  3. Take the same piece of yarn and measure from finger tip to finger tip. See if it matches.
  4. Go outside to the driveway. Fold the piece of yarn in half.
  5. Have the child hold one end of the folded yarn on the ground and don’t let it move.
  6. You take the other end of the yarn and tie it around a piece of chalk. Then draw a circle like using a compass.Renaissance Art Study (38)
  7. Have the child lay down the same way on the cement in the middle of the circle (finger tips and toes should be touching the circle..Renaissance Art Study (39)
  8. Use the chalk to trace the outline of the child in the circle and square.Renaissance Art Study (41)
  9. See if your outstretched arms equal your height too.Renaissance Art Study (40) Renaissance Art Study (42)

Mona Lisa Puzzle

We used page 71 of this Unit for out Mona Lisa Puzzle.Renaissance Art Study (43)

Drawing Pieces

Read: pg. 19 in Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga.

Discuss: Leonardo da Vinci was always taking things apart to see how they worked. He also drew and took notes about each piece of whatever he happened to be taking apart. He wrote his notes backwards so they could be read in a mirror.


  • Something to take apart (an orange, cassette tape, flashlight, ring stack toy)
  • Pencil
  • Erasers
  • Drawing paper
  • Colored Pencils


  1. First sketch a drawing of the object as a whole.Renaissance Art Study (36)
  2. Then take the object apart and draw each piece separately (be sure to label each piece with backwards writing).Renaissance Art Study (33) 
  3. Then color the sketches with colored pencils.Renaissance Art Study (35) Renaissance Art Study (34)

Da Vinci’s Catapult

We found Da Vinci’s Catapult at Hobby Lobby.  Then we learned about Leonardo’s Catapult too.Renaissance Art Study (77) Renaissance Art Study (76) Renaissance Art Study (78) Renaissance Art Study (81) Renaissance Art Study (79) Renaissance Art Study (80)


Renaissance Artists Unit Study

Day 1: Giotto

Day 2: Limbourg Brothers

Day 3: Botticellli

Day 4: Da Vinci

Day 5: Raphael

Day 6: Michelangelo

Day 7: Rembrandt