Science is defined as “the systematic study of the physical and natural world’s structure and behavior through observation and experimentation.” In Leonardo da Vinci’s work, we find the essence of that definition. For more than 40 years, Leonardo da Vinci gathered his observations and ideas in his now-famous Notebooks. In those notebooks, we can observe Leonardo’s systematic exploration of the world, its patterns, and the constant search for interconnectivity among the world’s phenomena. These notebooks include over 100,000 drawings and more than 6,000 pages of notations. Without a doubt, observation skills were at the core of his scientific exploration.

Just like a modern scientist today, Leonardo used systematic observations, logical reasoning, experimentation, and mathematical concepts to find answers to satisfy his curiosity. As a teacher, I found inspiration in Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy to infuse a passion for observation and questioning in my students. I did this as the first step to engage learners with science education, but also to facilitate the learning of any other subject and show the interconnectivity among all areas of knowledge. I would show my students pages of Leonardo’s notebooks and how on those pages, the great genius of the Renaissance, through the use of simple sketching techniques and recording his ideas, was able to open the doors to a whole world of inspiration. I genuinely believe that those students that create and maintain an interactive notebook in the style of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks have a powerful tool that can be used to make connections and expand their understanding of the world around them. It offers a space where students layout the product of their perceptions in order to make meaning of them, apply their new ideas, and share them with their peers, parents, and teachers.

Teachers who promote Leonardo da Vinci’s interactive science notebooks in their classrooms will foster a higher order of thinking and increase comprehension and retention in their students. Sketching, labeling and coloring as forms of note-taking have a radical impact on creative problem solving and deep information processing. These types of notebooks not only become enabling tools that create windows to the world and promote creativity, but they are also an excellent instrument for tracking and assessing students’ learning.

Research clearly shows that using notebooking techniques in the classroom increases students’ success. I know from experience that using interactive notebooks helps students develop, practice, and improve their scientific understanding. Students learn to monitor and take control of their own learning. Plus, the use of notebooks engages students in real science processes and techniques. They have the opportunity to record data and information following the steps of the scientific method while using sketching as a form of note-taking.

Science notebooks help students with reading, writing, math, and visual communications skills that are fundamental in the 21st-century workplace. But this is not only useful in science. Using interactive notebooks inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks helps students develop crucial visual literacy skills while increasing understanding and retention in any subject. They facilitate learner-centered activities that dynamically involve students in a constant reflection on what is being learned and how and why it is being learned. Additionally, these notebooks enable communication with parents and can be used as a demonstration of learning. Best of all, in the words of Leonardo da Vinci, these notebooks help developing a Complete Mind, which, according to Leonardo, could be achieved by following these steps:

  • Study the science of art
  • Study the art of science
  • Develop your senses (especially learn how to see)
  • Realize that everything connects to everything else

In 2014 I published and children’s book titled Leonardo da Vinci – The Art of Science. This book helps us show young readers how they can find inspiration in Leonardo’s legacy to create and maintain their own interactive notebooks. I have recently updated the book and the resources offered for the classroom. The Spanish version is ready for you to order now. (the English version is coming out soon)

Although the text has been written for students at 5th or 6th-grade levels, this book’s main objective is to provide educators and parents with a tool to awaken their children’s curiosity and desire for scientific and artistic exploration. We offer free printable resources and book readings via Zoom (for school groups) to help inspire students with Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy.

I would love to have the opportunity to work with you and your students. Meanwhile, here is a video that talks about Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Posts

Teachers engaging in professional development for teaching emergent bilinguals using technology.

Professional Development on Teaching Emergent Bilinguals

I am convinced that professional development (PD) significantly influences the effectiveness of educators, which directly impacts language learners in our educational environments. Positive PD can transform teaching practices, leading to more engaging, inclusive, and effective instruction for language learners. Conversely, ineffective PD can result in stagnation, missed opportunities for growth, and, ultimately, suboptimal learning experiences for students. The Importance of PD for Emergent Bilinguals In my experience, when educators

Teacher providing feedback to bilingual students in a classroom setting.

Addressing Syntax Errors in Bilingual Education

Syntax errors can lead to misunderstandings, but their impact varies depending on the context and severity of the error. In my experience teaching Science to 5th-grade Spanish bilingual students, syntax errors do not always cause misunderstandings as frequently as other types of mistakes, such as vocabulary errors or mispronunciations. For instance, if a student says, “Photosynthesis is sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide,” even if the syntax

Ugly Foods and Education

“Ugly Foods” and Education

As part of my work for different higher education institutions, I have been training future teachers and helping them in their certification processes as bilingual or English as second language teachers. Each semester, after making the required presentations and reviewing the expectations for the course, I always start every class by talking about the importance of two aspects that I

Our New Website -

Our New Website

The year 2020 for us, as perhaps for many in the rest of the world, was a year full of uncertainties and challenges during which we have learned a lot both professionally and personally. Among the most fundamental things we have learned has been knowing how to appreciate every detail of our everyday life and not taking anything for granted

©​ Enabling Learning Blog 2024​
About Us

Scroll to Top
El acento escrito

¿Cómo colocarlo?

Si no sabes cómo colocar el acento escrito, te compartimos varios enlaces que te  pueden ayudar según sea el caso de tu dispositivo.

WindowsKeyboard shortcuts for international characters

WindowsHow to Type Characters with Accents on Windows

Mac OS and iOSEnter characters with accent marks on Mac

AndroidType in a different language