Leonardo da Vinci Packet

NAME____________________________________________ GROUP______
Da Vinci Day!!!!!
Centers Packet
Measure like leo!
Vitruvian Man: Vitruvius, a Roman engineer of the first century B.C.,
influenced Leonardo da Vinci's work in architecture and also his drawing of
the human figure. One of Leonardo's drawings is called the Vitruvian Man.
It is based on a model of ideal proportions which Vitruvius established.
The drawing shows a square inscribed inside a circle. There is a
man with outstretched arms and legs, in fact two pairs of each,
which touch both the circumference of the circle and the vertices
of the square. Upon viewing the drawing the conclusion can be
made that the length of a man's arm span is equal to the height of
the man. In other words the ratio of the Vitruvian Man's arm span
to his height equals 1.
The following activity will investigate if this is true or not.
Question: Is the ratio of our arm span to our height
really equal to 1?
You must measure each person’s height and arm span, recording your
data in the da Vinci packet. You must measure:
What conclusions can you draw from da Vinci’s theory?
Observe like Leo!
Leonardo, a true scientist, valued his own observation above anything. He
wrote that his writings would be based on a “much greater and much more
noble” authority than any written description. In fact, he frequently challenged
the current knowledge of the time. For example, Leonardo did not accept the
common belief that the moon had its own source of light. Through
observation, he concluded correctly that the sun’s reflection lights the moon.
Leonardo’s emphasis on experience is a critical element in the
development of the scientific theory.
Of all of Leonardo's known observations, his discovery of the cause of heart
disease through a buildup of cholesterol could have saved millions of lives if
his discoveries were ever taken seriously at the time and published by his
peers. Through observations of cadavers (dead bodies dissected in the name of
science), Leonardo had figured out that a substance carried though the blood
and produced by what we eat imbeds itself in the arteries and blocks natural
blood flow.
Heart disease due to cholesterol kills multiples of thousands every year. If
cholesterol had been recognized by the medical communities of the 15th
century, the specific foods that produce and diminish cholesterol would have
been figured out and millions of people would now have been saved!
Leonardo saw great importance in using images to record his
observations of the world around him.
For following activity you will provide me with a visual
observation of the courtyard located outside the windows.
Use the page in your packet for this center to accurately represent the
courtyard setting. Pay attention to detail. Attempt to use the principles of
LINEAR PERSPECTIVE that you learned yesterday in class.
Leonardo wrote in Italian using a special kind of shorthand that he invented
himself. People who study his notebooks have long been puzzled by something
else, however. He usually used “mirror writing”, starting at the right side of the
page and moving to the left. Only when he was writing something intended for
other people did he write in the normal direction.
Here is a sample of
Leonardo’s writing
as it appears in his
This is how it
would look
reversed by a
People who were contemporaries (people who lived during the same time) of
Leonardo left records that they saw him write and paint left handed. He also
made sketches showing his own left hand at work. Being a lefty was highly
unusual in Leonardo’s time. Because people were superstitious, children who
naturally started using their left hands to write and draw were forced to use
their right hands.
For following activity you will attempt to write like Leonardo
da Vinci. Record your answers in your packet.
1. Write your name in cursive backwards.
2. Hold a pencil in each hand. Print in all capitals:
backwards with your usual writing hand (for most
of you, this will be your right hand) while writing
forwards with the opposite hand (for most of you,
this will be your left hand).
3. Put your paper on the ground directly next to the
mirror. While looking in the mirror, attempt to
print the sentence:
Miss Payne is a super cool lady.
If done correctly, this sentence will be backwards
on your paper!
4. Answer question number four in your packet.
4. No one knows the true reason Leonardo used mirror
writing, though several possibilities have been suggested….
Why do you think Leonardo wrote in reverse?
Make Music Like Leo!
Among all his other accomplishments as painter, inventor and
scientist did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci also wrote music?
to hear a sample of music he created.
We know he played a number of musical instruments including the lira da
braccia and the lyre.
Time and again biographers speak of how he designed a silver lyre in the shape
of a horse’s head which was said to be more resonant and have a more
beautiful sound than conventional wooden lyres. We know of one designed to
look like the head of a dragon or monster.
On top of creating music and play instruments, da Vinci was also said to have
a lovely singing voice!
For following activity you will attempt to create an original
musical phrase like da Vinci.
1. Click on the Internet window that is ALREADY OPEN FOR
If there isn’t one open, please ask for help. The page should
look like this.
2. Follow the directions on the screen: Click on the color squares
to add notes to your piece.
3. When you are satisfied with your melody. Record the notes in
your packet. Follow the code for writing sheet music.
4. Clear your music from the web page when you are done.
5. Don’t forget to title your piece!
Leonardo’s research inspired him to expand on the ideas of Greek and Roman
philosophers, to create new and fantastic ones of his own!
Da Vinci knew that the key to creating a better world and making
magnificent things was in learning!
For following activity you will become a scholar like da Vinci
and research about his life.
Read the short biography and create a profile for Leonardo da Vinci.
(Draw his portrait in the box)
The most important facts about Leonardo da Vinci are:
Invent like leo!
Though Leonardo da Vinci may be most famous for his works as an artist, he
actually spent quite a bit more time working on his activities in science and
technology. Of course, his detailed sketches and distinct artistry played a large
role in his inventions, and his sketchbooks later provided evidence that da
Vinci had envisioned many ideas long before the technology to build them
actually existed.
One of the most creative inventors in history, Leonardo da Vinci dreamed up
inventions and innovations across a variety of fields. Whether designing
weapons of war, flying machines, water systems or work tools, da Vinci the
inventor (much like da Vinci the artist) was never afraid to look beyond
traditional thinking or "dream big".
Though the first actual helicopter wasn’t built until the 1940s, it is believed
that Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches from the late fifteenth century were the
ancestor to the modern day flying machine. As with many of da Vinci’s ideas,
he never actually built and tested it – but his notes and drawings mapped out
exactly how the device would operate.
Da Vinci’s helicopter measured more than 15 feet in diameter and was made
from reed, linen and wire. It was to be powered by four men standing on a
central platform turning cranks to rotate the shaft. With enough rotation, da
Vinci believed the invention would lift off the ground. Unfortunately, due to
weight constrictions, modern scientists do not believe da Vinci’s invention
would have been able to take flight.
For following activity you will create a flying machine and
test several models of it.
1. Raise your right hand. Repeat the following words:
“I solemnly swear not to get out of control with my flying machine. I swear
to not play with it in any other class, or let it distract me for any other da
Vinci center today in Social Studies. I understand that if I do not obey this
oath, the flying machine will be taken away from me and I will receive a 0
on this portion of the activity.”
2. Cut out flying machine blades along dark solid edge lines marked with
3. Fold along long dotted lines in the direction of the arrows. Fold line A one
way, and line B the opposite way. Fold flap at bottom along short dotted
line (in direction of arrow).
4. Slide a paperclip onto the bottom to keep the short flap folded.
5. Hold the copter as high as you can. Grip where it says “Hold copter
6. Now let the copter drop. It may take a few tries before your copter flies the
way you want. Keep trying!
What happens if…
1. You twirl your fingers in the direction you want the copter to fly, as you
let go?
2. You make the copter blades shorter, or longer?
3. You add more paper clips, or use no paper clip?
4. You use only 1 copter blade?