Invention Convention

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Students will discover Leonardo da Vinci’s inventive ideas as they invent a new machine for the 21st century.

By Michelle Jamal [Michelle is an art educator]


  • The learner will recognize the contributions of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • The learner will invent a new machine for the 21st century.
  • The learner will make a model of the invention.

What You Need:

  • invention diagram (see recommended links below)
  • cardboard boxes
  • tempera paint
  • brushes
  • paint cups
  • water containers
  • glue
  • scissors
  • pipe cleaners
  • fabric scraps
  • construction paper
  • markers
  • other found objects

What You Do:

  1. Identify and discuss the contributions that Leonardo da Vinci made during the High Renaissance period of Art.
    • Artist
    • Scientist
    • Inventor
  2. Students will choose a partner. Each group of students will think of a new machine that would make life easier in the 21st century.
  3. Make a diagram of the machine. Briefly describe how the machine will work.
  4. Use cardboard boxes and other found objects to build a model of the invention.
  5. Paint/color the machine after it is completely put together.
  6. Add fabric, glitter, yarn, buttons, etc… to finish the invention.
  7. Present the invention to the class.
    • What is the name of the invention?
    • What does it do?
    • How does it work?
    • How much will it cost?
    • Where could you purchase it?

About Leonardo Da Vinci

by Andrea Mulder-Slater, KinderArt®

Born: 1452; Died: 1519

Leonardo Da Vinci was, as you are probably aware, a true master artist. In fact, many folks refer to him as the greatest artist ever produced by the Renaissance. The man who grew to a ripe old age of 67, is probably best known for his mysterious painting, “Mona Lisa” or “La Gioconda”, a portrait of the wife of a Florentine official which was painted in Da Vinci’s later years. As a painter, Da Vinci was astounding, having trained under the watchful eye of Verrocchio, a Florentine painter, goldsmith and sculptor. Da Vinci learned his craft and went on to use it not only for pleasure, but for payment. His reputation as a master earned him many commissions. He was the original creative thinker, a philosopher as much as an artist who after contemplating a move in his work, would stop, look and contemplate some more.

A painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, architect, mathematician and philosopher, Leonardo Da Vinci influenced generations of humans.

Additional Resources

Leonardo’s Mysterious Machines

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Inventions


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