Monday, June 23, 2008

Create Your Own Leonardo da Vinci Journal

Thanks for waiting patiently for a post today. I’m caught up now with my school work.

Leonardo da Vinci observed everything around him. He often took notes about what he saw. He also wrote down the things he learned from his studies and experiences. He kept journals throughout his life which included writing, drawings, and diagrams. There was something strange about his journals, though: he wrote everything backward.

Leonardo wrote in mirror writing. The writing looks like a mess but if you hold it up to a mirror you can read it perfectly (if you read Italian). Some believe that Leonardo did this to keep his work secret. Others think he wrote backward because he was left-handed and didn’t want to the ink to smudge. Either way it’s pretty tricky.

Today, make your own journal and record your observations like Leonardo did.

Supplies Needed:

5 (or more) sheets of copy paper
1 piece of cardboard or heavy paper
Needle and thread
Hole punch and yarn
Fold each sheet of paper in half. Stack the folded sheets inside each other. Your journal should already look like a book. Fold the heavy paper or cardboard to create a cover.
Older kids can open the book to the center and sew along the fold line.
Younger kids should have a parent help them punch holes down the left side of the closed book. Then, weave the yarn through the holes and tie off at the end. Use a dull, plastic yarn needle or just push the yarn through with your fingers.

Decorate the cover anyway you wish.

Take your journal outside and record what you see. You may wish to try your hand at mirror writing or make up your own secret writing.

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