Monday, October 18, 2010

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson

Have you ever wondered how to make your own invisible ink? Or how to make a camera out of a cardboard box? Leonardo da Vinci might be famous for being a great artist, but he was also a tireless inventor. Inspired by the notebooks he filled with ideas and sketches for his inventions, author Maxine Anderson has developed simple experiments for students to recreate da Vinci’s big ideas using common household objects. Each project, and there are close to twenty of them, is introduced through its connection to Leonardo da Vinci and its historical context – some of the more interesting ones include a “perspectograph,” hydrometer, helicopter and parachute. Part biography, part history, and part hands-on experiments, this book is loaded with activities for a variety of content areas. For next week’s Italian Heritage celebration, I will be working with the middle school math teacher (hey, Mr. LoPorto!) and his students to create some of the more mathematically based projects in the book.

Anderson, Maxine. Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself. White River Junction, VT: Nomad Press, 2006.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Following the instructions laid out in this book my students built 3D shapes using gum-drops and toothpicks. It was hands-on and very fun for both the students and the teachers. The directions were easy to follow and there were plenty of different shapes with varying degrees of difficulty. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a hands-on way to make math and Leonardo come to life.