Little Nino’s Pizzeria

download (4)


“Nino and his son Tony discover that bigger is not always better.”

Social Studies:

We placed our story disk over the United States.  The book doesn’t specify the location, but we got the impression it was somewhere in the US.


We discussed the relationship between the father and son in this story and the importance of good communication.

We also briefly discussed homeless people.  Little Nino and Tony served pizzas to the “hungry people in the alley who had no homes.”  We talked about the various reasons why individuals or families might become homeless and ways that we could show compassion for them.


It seemed fitting when talking about pizzas that we should do a little work with fractions.  I spent entirely too much time creating these little pizza fractions one day…


I made two sets of each fraction size: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/5.


Then I had the boys cut out “toppings” for the pizzas, using tissue paper.


Conner cut out the yellow cheese, although he kept insisting he was doing yellow peppers.


Logan cut out the green peppers.


And I cut out the pepperonis.

We realized rather quickly that the toppings, regardless of how small we tried to make them, were just too big and poofy for the little pizzas.


It didn’t take them long to pick up on the concepts of the fractions, and then they started horsing around.


And then they cleaned up their mess.



Poor Barrett just wanted a turn with the broom.  (crocodile tears)


We made our own food pyramid!  I honestly don’t even remember what the “real” food pyramid guidelines are, but we have different ideas about healthy eating around here, so I stuck with my ideals as a guideline.

A friend brought over some cooking magazines for us one morning and we got to work that afternoon, cutting out pictures of food.  I had to remind Conner and Logan that our food pyramid would only have a small section for desserts, so they’d better start looking for some healthy food items to add to it!



I cut a triangle out of a large black piece of poster paper that I had on hand, and divided it up into five sections.  Fruits and vegetables on bottom, followed by protein, then healthy grains and other bread products, then dairy and healthy fats, and finally…sugars.  I honestly struggled with whether to put the dairy and fats into a bigger section than the grains, but we had more pictures of grains, so that’s why they went into the bigger section.  We believe that healthy fats (such as real butter) are actually really good for us.

They got to work, pasting away…



And here is our final product…


They really did get a lot out of this, I think.  We talk about the different food groups often now and they remember that the sugars and desserts go in that tiny little section at the top, to be eaten sparingly.  And that HUGE section at the bottom with fruits and veggies is what we want to eat the most of!



Of course we had to make and eat real pizzas!

I originally had the idea of making four different types of pizzas.  A traditional cheese pizza, a veggie pizza, a fruit pizza, and then a dessert pizza.  But only got around to doing two different varieties.

The traditional pizza…


And the veggie pizza…



The illustrations in Little Nino’s Pizzeria are reminiscent of some of the work of the French artist Henri Matisse.  We pulled out our Usborne book, Art Treasury, and found the section on Henri Matisse.


When matisse became too ill to stand up at an easel and paint, he instead began to create scenes with shapes cut out of paper.  He called this “drawing with scissors”, but it is usually known as collage.  After a page about the artist and a picture of one of his real works, there is a follow up page with an idea for kids to create their own versions of his collages.


The boys looked at the example and then began cutting and pasting their own pieces of paper.


Logan slapped his entire project together in about 15 minutes.


Conner meticulously measured and cut each piece, spending nearly an hour finishing his project!


He even tried to make sure his instrument pieces were the same sizes as the ones in the book.  🙂



Lots of hands-on work and cutting/pasting  for this unit study!  In all honesty, this wasn’t a favorite “row” for any of us, so it was a struggle to finish it within a couple of weeks.  I’m looking forward to moving on to the next one.   Some of these stories just really grab our attention and others are good stories that we only feel lukewarm about.   🙂

Leave a Reply