Lesson Plan

Leonardo da Vinci: Creative Genius

Vitruvian Man
Photo caption

The Vitruvian Man is a drawing made by Leonardo da Vinci around 1490.

Leonardo da Vinci—one of history’s most imaginative geniuses—was certainly born at the right time and in the right place. The Italian Renaissance was an exciting period of discovery and invention, of exploration and creation.

Students will discover why Leonardo is considered the ultimate Renaissance man. They will learn about his famous notebooks, focusing upon his machines of motion, then zooming in on the flying machines. As a culminating activity, the students will describe how Leonardo epitomizes the Renaissance man, by discussing this remarkable artist and inventor through the amazing variety of his creativity.

Guiding Questions

Who was Leonardo da Vinci and how does he exemplify the period in which he lived, the Renaissance?

In what areas does he show creative genius and what is the evidence for this genius?

Why is the work of Leonardo intriguing even in modern times?

Learning Objectives

Describe the Renaissance, and explain how Leonardo da Vinci reflected the spirit of the age

Discuss the many achievements of Leonardo

Explain the significance of his famous notebooks

Describe some of Leonardo’s inventions and contributions in a variety of fields