The Potential da Vinci in All of Usby: Sarah Petto and Andrew Petto

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The study of the human form is fundamental to both science and art curricula. For vertebrates, perhaps no feature is more important than the skeleton to determine observable form and function. As Leonard da Vinci’s famous Proportions of the Human Figure (Virtruvian Man) illustrates, the size, shape, and proportions of the human body are defined by bones and their articulations. In this unit that focuses on the human skeleton, students are introduced to these concepts by asking them both to study da Vinci’s drawing and build their own model of the human skeleton. Units on animal camouflage and architecture are also presented to further support the art and science connection.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:31 PM

I am always looking for innovative and inexpensive ways to construct models to help my students better understand science concepts. This article offered several good suggestions. I especially liked the author's idea of using rolled newspapers to model the microscopic structure of compact bone. My anatomy students will be constructing a model using this idea tomorrow. I also like the suggestions for modeling camouflage and mimicry.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:09 AM

This article explores the integration of the arts and science that meets curriculum objectives in both disciplines. Starting with Da Vinci’s Virtruvian Man (ca. 1490) students apply understanding of form and function of the human body by building a model of the skeleton. The article explains how this model then leads to understandings of architecture, animal camouflage, and the morphology of bones. This is an interesting approach to learning science. While the article shows a clear connection between the two this would be a hard thing to do for someone not knowledgeable in both disciplines.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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