It’s a new year and that means a new batch of students have arrived at the Enrichment Centre to start their 4 year enrichment program. Each of these students went through testing by the HWDSB and has been identified using very specific criteria as being a gifted learner.
The intent of the program is to supplement the learning that is already occurring in their home schools, enhance student awareness of themselves and their abilities, to provide opportunities to work with like minded individuals and to collectively push the boundaries on learning, creativity and possibilities.Hence, the use of Leonardo daVinci as the figurehead on which to base our Grade 5 programming.
DaVinci was born April 15th, 1452 and during the course of his lifetime accomplished many things. As we gathered as a large group with our grade 5 students, during only their second session at the Centre, students rambled off an extensive list of the things daVinci was including: mathematician, artist, writer, scientist, botanist, inventor and city planner. It is daVinci’s extensive list of skill sets that allows us to dive into a variety of topics during our daVinci Kids year. Our goal is to expose the students to a wide variety of topics, ideas and skills and to have them start to ponder where their own skills and talents lie.
During session 2, we started to look at who daVinci was. We discussed as a group the concept of perfectionism and how it can sometimes aid us in creating great work and on other occasions cause us to not complete a task or not see the value in the work that we create. Did you know that daVinci never considered the Mona Lisa painting complete? There is so much mystery and debate surrounding this painting! It is a painting that daVinci never gave to the person who originally commissioned it.
Students were also introduced to the fact that daVinci kept a journal.There are many reasons for keeping a journal. It can stretch your IQ, evoke mindfulness, aid you in reaching your goals or assist in growing your emotional intelligence. In addition to these personal reasons, society can benefit from reading your thoughts. Centuries after daVinci had written in his journal, Mark Rosheim was able to use daVinci’s journal to build a version of daVinci’s Robotic Knight. Technology described in daVinci’s journal was then used by NASA in planetary exploration. WOW! Centuries later we are still learning from daVinci! During this session grade 5 students were encouraged to get and start a journal of their own. Entries can be whatever length they want them to be and about whatever they want them to be about.We may not have the technology now to make your ideas a reality, but in the future – who knows?
In the afternoon, we dove into daVinci as an artist as an opportunity to bring the students together. This was only their second time as a team and team building still needed to be developed. Students were given a section of the Mona Lisa and were asked to use pastels and pencil crayons to colour match to the section they had been given. Each student was asked later in the day to place their piece on the grid as we built our Mona Lisa’s. These paintings will hang in the Centre as a reminder of what we can create when we work together and that we all bring different skill set, abilities and talents to the group.
In addition to looking at daVinci as an Artist, we also looked at daVinci as a Mathematician. Students and teachers discussed, explored and played with the Fibonacci Number Sequence. The Fibonacci Number Sequence exists so many places in nature! The ratio between any two successive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence is very close to the number 1.618, also known as the Golden Ratio. This ratio was said to be used by daVinci in the painting of both the Mona Lisa and The last Supper.
This session only touched on a little of the knowledge and skills that can be explored through the lens of Leonardo daVinci. During the remainder of their first year at the Enrichment Centre, students will have the opportunity to further explore daVinci as a Mathematician, an Artist, a Writer, a City Planner and an Inventor.
All of us here at the Enrichment Centre look forward to continuing to learn and grow with our new group of daVinci kids over the next four years!