Saturday, February 4, 2017

Learning About Italy!

We just finished a brief look at Italy! As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

Our FIAR book was Little Nino's Pizzeria by Karen Barbour and we also read:

  • The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philomen Sturges
  • La Gallinita Roja by Carol Ottolenghi
  • Gabriella's Song by Candace Fleming
  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy by Laurence Anholt
  • Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer

    Since Little Nino's Pizzeria was about pizza, we did a number of pizza activities! The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) is a cute rendition of the story, but so that my kids could appreciate the spinoff, we also read the original story, La Gallinita Roja.

    There is a Reading Rainbow episode for Little Nino's Pizzeria, which the kids really enjoyed:

    Our first activity was to make pizza out of paper plates, red paint, shredded tissue paper (for cheese) and construction paper pepperoni. The kids had a blast!

    They have been playing with their pizzas for days, even taking them outside and topping them with acorns and a crab leg!

    We continued with the pizza theme for co-op, where we made chef hats so the kids would be dressed appropriately for cooking pizzas, and the kids "made" (or topped, more accurately), six pizzas! Making pizzas dressed as chefs was a huge hit.

    My goal is for the kids to do an English and a Spanish narration for each topic. So they chose to do Little Nino's Pizzeria for their Spanish narration.

    Es un cuento de pizza y Tony ayuda con el queso. Cuando Papi llegó de Grande Nino, a su casa, no podría cocinar pizzas y estaba triste. Abre Pequeño Nino y el otro persona estaba el jefe de Grande Nino, pienso que estaba la police. El papi estaba el jefe de Pequeño Nino, pero cambió el nombre a Pequeño Tony’s porque su hijo estaba Tony y su gran ayudante.

    And Rosie's:
    Es un cuento de la pizzeria. Nino es el papi, una mami (like you’re a mami!), un bebé y Tony, el niño. Tienen un gato (we have a cat!) y un perro, blanco, yellow. El bebé llora. He cries. He sleeps. The papi, he wants to go bye-bye. Tony ayuda Nino.

    And I thought that we could fit in a bit of learning about Italy. We really loved the book Gabriella's Song, and since both it and Olivia Goes to Venice are set in Venice, we talked mostly about Venice.

    Gabriella's Song is a fun story about a girl's song traveling all throughout Venice! Not only did it give us a view of the city, but it also talked about orchestras and symphonies! We watched a bit of this symphony:

    Watching the symphony reminded me of listening to Peter and the Wolf when I was a kid. So I found a version on YouTube and the kids were mesmerized:

    Juanito also noticed the Italian words in Gabriella's Song, like "grazie" and "mio amore", which led to a conversation about Italian being spoken in Italy. The kids wanted to hear some Italian, so we watched some Little Pim in Italian on YouTube.

    We then designed our own Piazza San Marco in Venice (Juanito added a slide to the bell tower and Rosie wanted chairs in her "gondola"):

    Finally, the kids narrated Gabriella's Song and then decorated pigeons like we saw in the story!

    Gabriella's song is about love and then she gives it to the baker, then the Widow Santucci gets it and she gives it o the gondolier. Then she gives it to the composer. He didn't hear it, then he tried to do his work on the piano. He couldn't do it, he pushed the piano away and opened his window wide, and then he fell asleep and heard the sounds that she sang back to her [the mom]. Then they went to San Marco and they sat facing each other and they heard it and her mother told her to take a bow.

    And Rosie's:
    She's a niña. She went to see her food, eat her food. She bumped her head. She [Widow Santucci] goes in the water. He [Luigi] is cantando and el canción va. He [Del Pietro] sings. They [the orchestra] were singing. "Take a bow, mio amore," the mami said to the girl.

    We've had a great time learning about Italy! Next up, Thailand! It doesn't go along with our FIAR book, but I have some fun books we'll read.

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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