Thursday, December 4, 2014


Pizza Project (Paragraph Writing)

I am all about playing with words and enjoying a pun, so when I began my unit on Julius Caesar, I immediately wanted to implement this pizza project using Little Caesar boxes.

What is the Pizza Project? I've seem them done a few different ways. With my high school students, I use them as a way to practice finding concrete details (or specific examples) from texts.

Essentially, students were each given a Little Caesar's pizza box. I think technically these cost $.45 cents each (plus tax), but if you politely explain that this is for a school project, then you may get your boxes for free.

"Project Pizza," as a call it, is composed of three distinct parts:The Pizza Box, the Pizza Slices and the Pizza Presentation.

The Pizza Box is the part with the simplest directions. Students decorate the pizza box ti reflect the themes and characters they choose to discuss on their pizza slices. 

Since, these boxes are from Little Caesar's and we were reading Julius Caesar, most students chose to keep at least some of the box visible.

Clearly, if your topic was unrelated to the name of your pizza chain you would have them cover all of it, but you can get creative. Pizza Hut could be used for The Painted House, The House on Mango Street. Da' Boys for The Body, or any other book about a group of boys.

The next part is more complicated. The Pizza Slices of course can vary based on your preferences and the level of your students.In this case, Each group received eight slices. They had to create individual slices of pizza. Each slice has a crust (the topic) and toppings (quotes, pictures, and other general facts).

As for topics. I have students choose from themes, characters, motifs, conflicts, the setting, and anything else that interests them. In the case of Julius Caesar this could be anachronisms, fashion, battles mentioned, historical inaccuracies, or anything else in the story that intrigues them.

I don't grade my students on artistic skill, but I do let them know that they will be graded on effort and appearance.

Finally, my students had a Pizza Presentation. For this students chose three of their slices of pizza and shared the information with the rest of the class. The topics were pre-approved to avoid listening to the same concept over and over again.

This acted as a great review and a way for my students to practice presentations.

You can make this more specific by having students replicate paragraphs more closely.

Hopefully you're inspired to have your students make their own pizzas!

If you want to see exactly what I did, I'll be sure to upload some worksheets later, but for now, here's a  Pizza Graphic Organizer: Only $.80

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