topic-based learning

The Da Vinci Curriculum

I mentioned briefly at the end of my last post that Alex and I had just started reading The Da Vinci Code together. I chose it originally because I thought Alex might tolerate a bit of maths, if I snuck it in at the appropriate points in the story, but it’s actually given us so much more than that. We’re nearly a third of the way through the book currently (Langdon and Sophie have just discovered they can’t get into the American Embassy) and here are some of the things we’ve covered so far: We did do the maths (hurrah!) – we learned about the Fibonacci sequence, and looked at some examples of where it’s found in the natural world. We learned about ratios, and about phi, and measured different parts of our bodies to see how close to perfect they are. In the book, the Fibonacci sequence first appears as an anagram, so we did a bit of that too, just for fun. We then wandered down a bit of a tangent into codes and cryptography (seeing as that’s Sophie’s job) and learned about various types of cyphers. I had quite a lot of fun writing coded messages for Alex to decipher in order to find their Easter eggs, and it kept them entertained for quite a lot of Easter Sunday too! The brilliant thing about all of this is that Alex doesn’t even realise they are doing maths – problem solving, pattern recognition, and we’ve even just started

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