Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet
This Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion activity also includes:

Motion is the focus of ten hands-on activities that challenge scholars to build machines invented by Leonardo da Vinci. Following several steps, small groups work collaboratively to recreate machines including levers, pulleys, wheels, axles, wedges, inclined planes, screws, gears, ball bearings, parachutes, and floats.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Assign a reflection piece—direct learners to write on paper or a classroom blog, a brief reflection of the activities they  completed
  • Celebrate a day of inventions—set up tables for centers, have each challenge along with its instructions readily available for participants to follow 
  • Challenge pupils to invent their own machine—have them draft and share their inventions with their peers 
Classroom Considerations
  • The lesson is designed to accompany a museum exhibit that showcases da Vinci's designs 
  • Some activities require food—plan around classroom allergies 
  • Provides several extension activities 
  • Each activity is accompanied by a description of what is happening when the machine is in motion 
  • Encourages following directions 
  • None