We read Little Nino’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbour over a month ago as part of our Five in a Row studies. I apparently failed to take photos of most of our activities, but I jotted down the lessons that we learned and the activities that we did. Here goes!
Little Nino’s Pizzeria is about a young boy named Tony who helps his father, Nino, in his popular pizza restaurant. Father and son enjoy cooking, serving, and cleaning up together. Everything changes one day when a businessman offers Tony’s father to close his pizzeria and run a fancier restaurant. Tony cannot help in the new place, and his father becomes miserable being in the business side of things rather than in the kitchen. Nino decides to return to what he loves best and re-opens his pizzeria, this time naming it Little Tony’s.
Five in a Row points out that the bright art work in Little Nino’s Pizzeria is “reminiscent of some of the work of the French artist Henri Matisse.” We used the internet to look at and talk about Matisse’s paintings. This was the book that interested us in paintings of the masters and led us to spend a week with Vincent Van Gogh.
Though he is still young and small, Tony is a great help around his father’s pizzeria. Using We Choose Virtues, we reinforced the idea of being helpful with the catchphrase “I am helpful. I find things that need to be done and I do them.” Though Little T may hesitate sometimes, reminding her in this very gentle manner reminds and nudges her to move and help.
In the story, Tony helps his father knead the dough. Five in a Row suggests to talk about homonyms, words that sound the same but are spelled differently, like knead and need. Since Little T is really into language arts, we spent quite some time playing with homonym cards from Kids Learning Is Fun. We challenged ourselves to use homonyms in a sentence too. Some of our memorable sentences were: He ate at eight o’clock. The bear is bare. I want to eat a pair of pears. Don’t stare at the stairs.
Pizza and Fractions
Little Nino’s Pizzeria is all about pizza and its ingredients. We read another of our favorite pizza books, Pete’s A Pizza, and kneaded, rolled, and tickled Little Sir like a pizza. I invited my kids’ cousins too during the week (it was still the summer break) and had a pizza party with wheat tortilla, pizza sauce, corn, sausages, and lots of cheese! Yum! Figuring out fractions is a natural part of any pizza party I think, so we also practiced while eating. If I eat one slice out of four slices, can you tell me the fraction of what I ate?
The drawings on Little Nino’s Pizzeria contain a lot of pizza ingredients: onions, bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, dough. We talked about food groups and the food pyramid using materials I downloaded from Montessori For Everyone. It gave us a leg up on talking about which food group a common food belongs to, like rice in grains, and milk in dairy.