Make Your Own Plastic

Make Your Own Plastic

While this recipe doesn't involve boiling lilies or eggs, combining the following ingredients over heat will result in a natural plastic that you can shape, dry, carve, and paint, very similar to Leonardo's plastic glass.
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A Different Kind of BattleField

A Different Kind of BattleField

From World War I

In the early years of WWI, army recruiters mined soccer games and rugby matches for recruits. According to historian Adam Hochschild, soccer games “proved the single best venue for recruiters.” Arriving spectators would see recruiters wearing sandwich boards bearing the message, “Your Country Needs You.” The game would start with a patriotic speech. Players often stepped forward to enlist, and fans quickly followed their lead.

My World

My World

From Global Citizenship

Through the “My World” Survey, people can identify which of the 17 SDGs matter most to them. At, you can take the survey and select six SDG priority areas. You can also view results by country to see what people care about across the globe.

Make Your Own Gordian Knot

Make Your Own Gordian Knot

From The Silk Road

One legend says Alexander conquered Asia by solving the puzzle of the Gordian Knot. According to a prophecy, whoever untied this endless knot would rule the continent. Alexander took the direct approach—he cut the knot open with his sword. Today, a “Gordian knot” means an unsolvable problem. No one knows exactly what the Gordian Knot looked like. But you can make a knot called a Turk’s Head appear “endless” by joining the ends after it’s...

Make a Culture Collage

Make a Culture Collage

From The Renaissance Thinkers

We use the term Renaissance to define the years in Europe from the 1300s through the 1600s. Is there one word or phrase that defines the era we live in right now? Let’s make a Culture Collage and see if we can find one.



The New York Times Book Review
"Anderson regales us with tales of Leonardo's brilliant, often mischievous nature, and the nearly unfathomable range of his inventions."

School Library Journal
"A welcome addition to schools."

Old Schoolhouse Magazine
"Will keep the kids occupied with constructive activities and is sure to spur on their own creative inventions."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"More than an activity book, this nifty volume explores Leonardo's life, times and endless imagination."

"A pleasurable read . . . encourages the young reader to appreciate the unconventional pathfinder."

Publishers Weekly
"Bring[s] an immediacy to da Vinci's life and work."

Science News
"This educational guide gives children age 9 and up hands-on experience, using materials found readily around the house, with creating their own version of some of Leonardo's inventions."

Calliope Magazine
"Amazing Leonardo Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson is a terrific resource, with its detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams and templates for creating projects that Leonardo designed. The accompanying text introduces the reader, in a personal way, to one of the world's greatest inventors"

Curriculum Connections
"Anderson offers an ingenious introduction [to Leonardo] that cross the curriculum."

Science Books and Films
"The book is perfect for capturing a middle schooler's attention! Highly Recommended."

Chosen as one of "Our Favorite Things" for the 2006 holidays by Family Fun Magazine
"Decoding Da Vinci's sometimes ingenious, sometimes outlandish discoveries proves to be great fun in Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself ."

Children's Digest
"Experience the ingenuity of Leonardo da Vinci firsthand."

Children's Literature
"This is a book of fun and creativity."

Detailed Book Description

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself introduces readers to the life, world, and incredible mind of Leonardo da Vinci through hands-on building projects that explore his invention ideas. Most of Leonardo's inventions were never made in his lifetime-they remained sketches in his famous notebooks. Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself shows you how to bring these ideas to life using common household supplies. Detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for creating each project combine with historical facts and anecdotes, biographies and trivia about the real-life models for each project. Together they give kids a first-hand look into the amazing mind of one the world's greatest inventors.

Available In:
Paperback, $15.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | black and white interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: World History



Leonardo the Artist and Dreamer
Leonardo’s Useful Machines
Leonardo and Water
Leonardo in Flight
Leonardo’s War Inventions