LEONARDO: A DREAM OF FLIGHT
SUBJECTS — Biography; World/Italy & the Renaissance; Science-Technology; Aviation;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Talent; Mother/Son; Friendship;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — None.
AGE: 8 – 11; MPAA Rating — G;
Drama; 1998; 53:24 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.
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The Western world has always been entranced with Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches of flying machines. “Leonardo: A Dream of Flight” is a fictional story of the great artist/inventor and a young crippled boy who is also fascinated by flight. This film is one of the Inventors’ Specials, an award-winning series of films designed to introduce children to the lives and accomplishments of great scientists and inventors.
SELECTED AWARDS & CAST
1998 Gemini Award, Best Writing for Children’s or Youth Program; 1998 KIDS FIRST! Endorsement from the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media; Winner of a 1998 Parents’ Choice Recommendation.
Brent Carver, David Felton, Cedric Smith, Tom Melissis, Natascia Diaz, Brenda Bazinet.
BENEFITS OF THE MOVIE
This film will introduce children to Leonardo Da Vinci and the problems of flight.
Before watching the film, briefly describe some of the amazing accomplishments of Leonardo da Vinci. See Helpful Background. Immediately after the movie, or at odd times over the next week (for example at the dinner table or in the car on the way to school) bring up some of the Discussion Questions, starting with the Quick Discussion Question in the sidebar. Don’t worry if you can only get through a few questions. Just taking the film seriously and discussing it is the key. Allow your child to watch the movie several times and continue to bring up discussion questions relating to the film.
Leonardo da Vinci has fascinated the ages. There are many websites describing his life and accomplishments: Some of the best are:
- Webmuseum, Paris (Contains commentary and excellent reproductions of some of Da Vinci’s paintings);
- The Leonardo Home Page at the Boston Museum of Science;
- Excerpts from Leonardo’s “TREATISE UPON THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS”; and
- Flight and Other Obsessions.
For a brief biography of Da Vinci from the producers of this film see, The Life and Times of Leonardo Da Vinci
Amongst his many elaborate drawings, the Renaissance visionary Leonardo da Vinci shows what is a basic human-carrying helicopterlike machine. His sketch of the “aerial-screw” or “air gyroscope” device is dated to 1483 but it was first published nearly three centuries later. His proposed device comprised a helical surface formed out of iron wire, with linen surfaces made “airtight with starch.” Da Vinci did not build his machine, except perhaps for some small models, but his idea was clearly far ahead of its time.
ASSIGNMENTS, PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES
This Learning Guide was last updated on December 10, 2009.