Friday, January 06, 2012

Little Nino's Pizzeria

I am dreadfully behind in posting and am working to get caught up.  So here's the next Five in a Row book we did-- Little Nino's Pizzeria by Karen Barbour.  It is a colorful, simple book with a good message about how having the right priorities is more important than making lots of money.  After our previous row, Little Nino was a considerably more laid-back study, but with good learning nevertheless.

We started by comparing Little Nino to a previous FIAR story, Night of the Moonjellies.  Both books are about family businesses and it was interesting to compare the similarities and differences between the two stories. 

Then we talked about homonyms/homographs/homophones.  (Who decides the differences and what they're called, anyway?)  How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear? was a good go-along that we enjoyed from the library.  That night at dinner when K told Daddy The Word Man what she'd learned that day, he immediately chimed in with lots more examples of homonyms and the rest of dinner was filled with words that sound the same but are spelled differently, etc., being bantered back and forth.

The illustrations to Pizzeria  are very colorful and done in a style similar to the artist Matisse.  I set up a simple still life and K and I each made a drawing of it.  Then we painted our drawings with watercolors.  We were careful to let the different sections dry before adding the next color so the colors wouldn't bleed together and stay bright.  While we waited, we played the homonym matching game from Homeschool Share.

It is interesting to follow the expressions of the pet cat and dog through the story.  Their faces and body language help express the various emotions that are part of the narrative.  They also show personification which we had discussed in Katy and the Big Snow.  K helped me make up a story about the flower pot we had used in our still life earlier in the week and K illustrated the story.  She did a good job--the expressive flower pot made the story kind of hilarious.

The next day K sorted some pictures of food into the food groups and we talked about the USDA food plate that shows the recommended portions.  Then we pretended K was in charge of meal preparation, and using the food pictures, she made up some meal choices with all the food groups included.  She really enjoyed this and for several weeks after asked me pointedly where the ___ food group was if she couldn't find it in our meal (or if it really wasn't there--how's that accountability!).

We finished this unit with a Pizza Day.  K did a little creative writing about a pizza she would like if she could invent her own and she did some practice addition with pizza cutouts.  (Matching problems to correct sums.)

Later in the day we made pizza for dinner!  From scratch!  The kids loved helping with measuring the ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling out the dough and putting the toppings on.  This is the pizza before it was baked.

Then when it was all ready, we had our very own pizzeria.  We ate in the room where K normally does her school work.  I set some candles up around the room, we moved the table to the middle so there would be room for potted plants around it.  I even found an online radio station that plays Italian folk music.  Then we dimmed the lights and the mood was set.  It was great fun.  The kids loved it.  I liked watching their eyes large, looking around the room transformed by candlelight as they munched their pizza.  They wanted to know when we could have another pizzeria dinner.  My only regret is that I forgot I had a red checked tablecloth that would have been perfect as well.  Oh well, gives us a reason to do this again sometime.

Another great row!


joelle said...

yea! another post! We've been 'stalking' your blog :) Sounds like a great book! The pizza looks very yummy and the pizzaria meal sounds like fun!
Here's my word knowledge - might be wrong: homonym = same name; homophone = same sound; not sure about homograph - is that same writing?? or same looking?

Did I tell you that a friend in IF found the second FIAR manual at a homeschool thing for $2 and bought it for me? Yahoo!

Looking forward to your next post!

Michelle said...

Joelle, my husband and I were talking about words one night and homophone/homonym came up. We got the Oxford English Dictionary out and *seemed* to discover that they actually mean the same. We kinda decided that it didn't really affect us in any way, put the dictionary away and tried to think no more about it. Now, if homograph had come up, we'd have had hours more exciting debate...!