Thursday, 2 October 2014

Our Final Leonardo da Vinci Day

We've finished!

The children used the pictures from our display and their new knowledge to create huge posters about Leonardo da Vinci.

The Boy requested more time to transform his cuddlies: see yesterday's post!

Panda Girl finished her panda in perspective oil painting.

Ballet Girl made a tank, da Vinci style, but out of cardboard and with food inside - for her hamster!

And Monkey Girl transformed her penguin into a parrot!

And that's that!  A new unit next week.  We finished the day with Tap Dancing, Modern Dancing, a picnic in the park and Sea Cadets for the two eldest.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Making Teddies Into Other Sorts of Teddies

Today we had a bit of fun with Leonardo da Vinci's tricks,  The children especially enjoyed the story of Leonardo sticking wings and horns on a lizard and pretending to his friends that he had found a dragon.  The kiddies used some of their cuddlies and gave them a makeover!

Monkey Girl transformed her mouse...

...into a human.

Panda Girl's tiger became a...

...CUTE dragon!

Ballet Girl's seal went for the...

...turtle look.

And The Boy's beloved duck...

...became the cutest elephant I have ever seen :)

Last week the children experimented with parachutes for teddies.  This week I wanted them to try da Vinci's parachute using his actual measurements and design.

Can you spot it?!  They worked beautifully!

Although The Boy's first attempt landed in a tree.

The past two days have also included a morning with friends... for this dude...

...shortbread hearts made by Monkey Girl...

...smashing handwriting/poetry by Ballet Girl

And Tap Dancing, Modern Dancing, Gymnastics, Sea Cadets, Nature Study, Maths, English, Faith Work, Science and Spanish.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Leonardo's Trebuchet and a Kingdom of Your Own.

We learnt how during the Renaissance years, the kingdoms, duchies, city-states and republics that made up what we know today as Italy, were in constant fear of attack from their neighbours.  Leonardo, offering himself as a military engineer to Ludovico Sforza, ruler of Milan, designed weapons, fortifications and military machines.  Many of his designs are used today: tanks, temporary bridges, life preservers and the step ladder.   He continues to amaze us!

 So Papa made a trebuchet!  Because he can and because he's awesome.

We used marbles, dice, lego and bouncy balls to work out which went the furthest and which was most effective at knocking down fortresses!

Two kiddies built a fortress and two kiddies, using our calculations for distances, fired the trebuchet and eventually successfully demolished it!

The children then designed their own duchies, republics or kingdoms.  They had some great ideas for peaceful living, generous laws and eco-houses.

After lunch the two littlies studied The Three Foxes by A.A. Milne and the two eldest spent the afternoon making an educational video about Iambic Pentameters, which they are learning about in their poetry work.  It was awesome.  I just need to fit it all together so I can post it on here!

We finished the day with trampolining!

Ballet Girl spent the weekend sailing on the lakes and passed her Level 1 Power Boating Course.  I am a proud Mama!  She is at Sea Cadets this evening with her Royal Marine Sergeant Papa.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Natural Paints and Making Plastic

Before the Renaissance, painters in the Middle Ages used paints made by mixing various colour pigments with egg to make egg tempera.  It had major limitations for Renaissance painters: it couldn't be stored and it dried quickly.  This is where oil paints became invaluable but having used oil paints ourselves, we wanted to give egg tempera a try.

The children ground and dried mud, sand and brick dust.

And mixed it with egg yolk.


Leonardo da Vinci invented plastic!  I had no idea he had done this and neither did anyone else for over 400 years!  In 2004 an Italian scholar discovered a recipe Leonardo had written to make 'plastic glass'.  

We had a go ourselves with cream and vinegar.

The main thing we learnt with this experiment is that is smells revolting.  Utterly revolting.

We did manage to make some small pieces of plastic but it was all just so revolting and yellowy-disgusting-ness that I just cannot share the photo!

Leonardo da Vinci loved practical jokes and he often pranked his friends with invisible ink.  We made some out of a bicarb paste and dyed vinegar.

Corn on the cob for lunch.

The Boy continued his inventing theme and made a tree safety catcher, i.e. if you're stuck in a tree you can be rescued quite easily with one of these.  Awesome :)