readilearn: Engage learners with pizza-themed cross-curricular teaching and learning resources

  • Published on February 23, 2018

Pizza is a popular food in many countries around the world and is often a children’s favourite. Why not capitalize on children’s interests to make learning fun and meaningful?

This week I have uploaded six new pizza-themed resources with suggestions for learning across the curriculum; including literacy, mathematics, and science.

pizza themed lower primary teaching resources

The new interactive resource What’s on your pizza is a great stimulus for engaging children.  Children help Andy and Paige make their own pizza by choosing the toppings and working out the different combinations of toppings that are available. The resource can be used as a springboard for discussion, writing, mathematical investigations, science explorations and talking about healthy food choices.

In this post, I outline some ways pizza-themed learning can be incorporated across the curriculum. I anticipate the suggestions will inspire ideas of your own with relevance to your own group of children.

Literacy
Oral Language

Discussion is one of the best ways of developing children’s language. Starting with topics already familiar to and of interest to children facilities discussion into which new vocabulary and concepts can be added. Discussion could centre around; for example: who likes pizza, types of pizza, when children have pizza and their favourite pizzas.

Reading and spelling

Reading about fun and familiar topics provides a context to support children’s reading. In context, many children can recognise even long and seemingly “difficult” pizza topping words; such as capsicum and pepperoni.

A set of Pizza word cards is available to use as a reference for children’s writing. Supplement this with lists of words suggested by children; for example, favourite sauces, toppings, pizza shops and other related words, including ingredients if you intend to make your own pizza bases.

Note: Words such as capsicum and pepperoni are fun to break into syllables, and can be used  to show that using syllables with letter-sound knowledge helps when reading long words. Refer to Name games – teaching phonics, syllables and reading long words and  Let’s read, write and spell with Schuyler for ideas.

Writing:

The opportunities for writing are limited only by your imagination and that of your children.

Suggestions include:

How to make pizza

Invite children to write their own instructions for making pizza. It will be fun to see what children already know and how they think pizza is made. Collect all the instructions together into a class book.

Pizza Night

Write a story about Pizza Night. Discuss things such as:

  • Do you usually eat pizza at home or at a restaurant? If at home, do you cook it at home, pick it up from a store, or have it delivered? If at a restaurant – which one?
  • Do you share or have your own?
  • What toppings are everyone’s favourite?
  • How does your family traditionally have pizza; for example, if at home do you have pizza after swimming or going to the park, do you have pizza while watching television?
  • How do your pets react?
  • What funny things have happened, or could happen, when you are having pizza?
We like pizza

Invite children to write a caption book about the pizzas enjoyed by their family; for example:

  • Mum likes mushrooms and bacon.
  • Dad likes meat lovers.
  • Abi likes ham and pineapple.
  • But I love pepperoni.
  • We all love cheese on our pizza.

Alternatively, a book could include a page of each child’s favourite pizza.

Menu

Write a menu listing children’s favourite pizza toppings.

The Runaway Pizza

Collaboratively compose a class story about The Runaway Pizza, based on The Gingerbread Man. It can be fun to do orally with each child in turn adding the next bit to the story. Or it can be written to model the process of writing a story.

Printable covers for books of children’s writing on each of these topics is included in the resource Pizza – book covers for children’s writing.

Mathematics
Graphing

One of the most important things to help learning and develop understanding when graphing is the discussion: counting and comparing– more, less, how many more, how many fewer?

pizza themed lower primary teaching resources graphing

Do you like pizza?

A simple graph to begin with: a yes or no graph Do you like pizza?

Note: Refer to Yes or No class surveys for other suggestions.

If any children have not tried pizza, you could have a “don’t know” category.

Which sauce do you like on your pizza?

The choices of sauce in The Pizza Place in the interactive resource What’s on your Pizza? are tomato (sometimes called pizza sauce) and barbecue.

Create a graph to show which sauce is preferred by children in your class. You could make a living graph (children line up) or a picture graph.

What is your favourite pizza?

List, tally, then graph children’s favourite toppings.

Signs to print and use as headings for these graphs are available in the resource Pizza graphs. The resource also includes a small image of each of the fifteen pizzas from What’s on your pizza? These can be used as icons on the chart. Children could write their name alongside their favourite pizza or make a tally mark; for example:

Understanding Number
One to one correspondence and counting

Depending on where your children are with their understanding of number, there are many different types of questions that could be asked; for example:

  • If I cut a pizza into four slices, how many slices would I have?
  • How many children could have a piece each?
  • How many slices would we have if we cut each of two pizzas into four slices?
  • What about if we cut them into eight slices?
  • How many pizzas would we need for each child in our class to have one slice each? Would we have any slices left over? Note: Ask the children for ideas on how to work this out. You could print and cut out pizza slices from the resources Pizza slices.
Fractions

pizza-themed lower primary teaching resources fractions

Introduce the terms half, quarter and eights:

  • When the pizza is cut into two equal pieces, Paige and Andy can have half each.
  • If they offer Olivia and Jay some of their pizza, they can cut it into four equal pieces. They can all have a fourth or a quarter each.
  • If four more of their friends come along, they can cut the pizza into eight equal pieces and have one eighth of the pizza each.

The fraction chart showing pizza halves, quarters and eighths is included in the resource Pizza Slices.

  • How many pieces of pizza do you need to cut for two people to have a piece?
  • How many for four?
  • Which pieces are bigger – when you cut it into two, or four or eight? (halves, quarters or eighths?)
Sharing
  • If a pizza is cut into 8 pieces, how many pieces each can two children have? Are there any left over?
  • If a pizza is cut into 8 pieces, how many pieces each can three children have? Are there any left over?
  • If a pizza is cut into 8 pieces, how many pieces each can four children have? Are there any left over?

pizza-themed lower primary teaching resources fractions sharing

Use Pizza slices for sharing activities.

Kitchen science

If you make your own pizzas, encourage children to think about questions; such as,

  • What happens to the base, toppings and cheese when heat is added?
  • If making the dough: What happens when the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients? What is yeast? Why is yeast used?
Health

Discuss with children the place that pizza has in a healthy diet: Is it an everyday food or a sometimes food?

Celebrate with a pizza party

pizza instructions for lower primary cross-curricular pizza-themed teaching resources

Make healthy individual pizzas or small pizzas to share.

For easy bases use small rounds of flat bread, English muffins or even slices of bread; or make your own dough.

Provide a range of healthy toppings from which children can choose. Cook and enjoy!

All of these pizza-themed resources are available to subscribers. They can be accessed as stand-alone resources or from within the interactive resource What’s on your pizza?

pizza themed lower primary teaching resources

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Comments

    You had me at pizza! And yes, mum does like mushrooms and bacon as toppings. These resources are fun, engaging and in good taste. I might have to use pizza as a writing prompt…

    Thank you for your comment, Charli. The offer of pizza never fails to attract. It does make a great topic for writing.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Debby. The children always enjoy an opportunity to prepare food. Then eating is all the more fun. They do a lot of learning in the process.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Patricia. Yes, the way to learning is sometimes through the stomach! 🙂

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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