daVinci Program Update! daVici as an Inventor!!

(Grade Five Gifted Program Update November 15, 2017)

daVinci as an Inventor

Big Idea: How do past and present inventions impact our world of today?

During this session, we focused on Leonardo daVinci’s Notebooks and talked about why he documented in such a wide variety of ways – and differently from how we all think of “note taking”. We spent some time as a class discussing the value of writing notes and carrying around a personal “Notebook”  to jot down ideas, information and to help stay organized through lists and calendars.  We were pleased to have been given a donation from Staples. Some students chose to trade in their Journals for some of the books we acquired through this donation.

Students were very receptive to using Journaling in this way. Even some of our “non-writers” told us that they would keep this way of documenting going as they move forward in their learning journey. We reminded them that this type of journaling is also good for their mental well-being, reducing stress and anxiety and suggested they add a mood tracker. We have asked the students to keep up their Notebooks and to use this as a strategy to “avoid boredom” and to practice their creative skills in an off-line way.  


The attached link is slides of examples and information that we shared with the students. These were simply used as prompts throughout the day.


We continued our day by looking at how and why Leonardo documented his inventions and recognized that many of  daVinci’s inventions came to fruition hundreds of years after he died.


In this inquiry, we also reviewed the concepts behind Design Thinking.  https://www.ideou.com/pages/design-thinking


Students used this model to help them design their own invention and used the Global Goals to guide their thinking: http://www.globalgoals.org/outcomes/  Here, we focused students on Problem Solving through an Empathy lens and looked at both local and global issues.




Briefly, we discussed the concepts behind developed and developing countries. Here is a link to investigate further: https://data.worldbank.org/products/wdi-maps



A large part of this inquiry day was spent helping students understand their identification as “Gifted Learners”. Many students expressed feeling stressed about this identification due to having higher expectations put on them. Others expressed that they felt “different’ and didn’t like being “labelled”. Some students told us that knowing that they are “Gifted” helps them understand themselves better. Others said that sometimes they felt bored or not “inspired” to learn at school.

The Journal/Notebooks are only ONE way to help students on a day-to-day basis because it allows students to record their feelings, thoughts, and ideas as well as extending their knowledge about specific topics – like da Vinci did. We also encourage students to pay close attention to the foods they are eating, how much exercise they are getting each day (even if it is only a walk), how much sunlight they get, how much sleep they get each night.

Feel free to contact the Enrichment Team if there are any questions or ideas that you would like to add that help us enrich the lives our our students,



Zoe Branigan-Pipe, Jenn Deans and Gerry Schaefer.


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