da vinci

the homework robot and other da vinci inventions

today was my last museum masters class of the fall session…and i’m awfully sad it’s over…oh, how i’ve loved teaching this class…i couldn’t have asked for more wonderfully creative students  – they were just absolute sponges of information. so opinionated and cooperative and wise beyond their years. in eight short weeks we covered haring, carle, michelangelo, da vinci, van gogh, seurat, munch and the cave paintings of Lascaux (which, my students now know is pronounced as if a French man was saying “Let’s Go!!). To see all of these children really come to appreciate the lives of these artists, the works they created and then see their own minds come to life in their individual creations is just a delight.

Today’s class was a discussion of the life of Leonardo da Vinci. We talked about his skills as a painter, inventor, sculptor, mathematician, geologist, anatomist…you name it, he could do it. Mostly we discussed his amazing inventions and his journals (written backwards from right to left – a fact the kids adored). The children were separated into groups and tasked with coming up with a new invention, naming that invention and then creating drawings for the prototype. A few examples of what these brilliant minds came up with?

1) The Homework Robot – need I say more?

2) The Future Car – which not only travels to the “future” (otherwise known as 2012) but also includes a television that is permanently tuned to a newly-broadcast “Star Wars Channel”

3) The Flying Bath Mat – which easily transports you from shower to bedroom so as to not get the floor wet.

4) And my personal favorite: The Book Vacuum  – which you read and, if you press a word with your finger, the book sucks you in and you experience that word for yourself.  Curious about the word “tickling”? Just press the word and instantly you’ll be tickled.

I can’t wait for the next session to start in January. And until then, I’ll be blessed and charmed by all of my goodbye hugs from today and the beautiful little minds behind them.


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