Who loved to play jokes on people, filled weird creatures made of soft wax with air, and then released them into a garden full of people, surprising and scaring them? Who invented a type of alarm clock by tying a string around the sleeping person's ankle while a bucket slowly filled with water, knowing that when the bucket got full and heavy, it'd jerk the sleeping person's leg high into the air and wake them up? Who was fascinated with birds and was determined to fly himself one day? Who had so many sketches of ideas, drawings, and inventions that they filled over 100 journals, yet rarely finished anything he built or drew? Well, it's Leonardo da Vinci.
Leo was born in 1452 in the small village of Vinci, Italy. In fact, he's called Leonardo "da Vinci" as that means "Leonardo, from Vinci." He rarely saw his father and mother, and he spent most of his growing up years with his father's brother, his Uncle Francesco. Francesco taught Leo a lot about nature, his farm, the wildlife nearby, about weather, and the outdoors. A Catholic priest taught Leo reading, writing, and math. All of these experiences gave Leonardo a desire to know even more.
You are about to begin your quest/your mission to determine what it was about this very special "Renaissance Man," but before you do, watch the introduction section of the video below on the Renaissance era. After you've watched it the first time, grab your pencil & journal, and watch it a second time; however, this time make sure you take notes in your journal, just like Leo did thousands of times. Sit back, and enjoy the show!