Young Leonardos

Teacher Rita R. Williams of New Egypt Primary School in Ocean County was awarded a $7,500 grant from the Hipp Foundation to fund the Young Leonardos project.

Students in Kindergarten and first grade realize their unlimited learning potential in the spirit of the great Renaissance man: Leonardo da Vinci. These students, or “Young Leonardos,” use their natural curiosity in many adventures as they explore, discover, become aware of, and celebrate the union of art and science.

During weekly art instruction, a consecutive series of project studies are created where students will understand “connessione” which in Italian means a recognition for connectedness of all things. Lessons that integrate art with science are introduced to include inventions, mathematics, architecture, biology/botany, and anatomy. The culture and language of Italy, as well as knowledge of Leonardo, is woven throughout the unit to promote global awareness. The main objective is to create a lifelong understanding of the joy of learning by recognizing the insatiable curiosity of the primary school child.

A small focus group of students with special needs take part in “Young Leonardos After School,” for a six-week enrichment class. Families are invited to take part in four family learning nights with Leonardo activities.

Photos and essays of the project are shared with the board of education members, and during professional learning community meetings. The student work is on display in the main hallway of the school.

As the project’s culminating activity, a personalized school-wide assembly is presented by a science organization that will encourage integrated thinking.

Teacher assessment of the project and creation of a scrapbook, inclusive of lesson plans, photos, etc., is shared with other teachers.

For further information, contact:

Rita R. Williams
School - (609) 758-6800