You will find literacy, math, fine motor, art, blocks, sensory, and dramatic play center ideas below! When I do a theme in my classroom, I take integrate it into each and every center in y classroom!
Environmental print is the first thing students can "read" and the benefits of incorporating it are enormous for our little learners. I went to Goggle images and searched for pizza restaurant logos in our area that students would recognize. I coped them into a PowerPoint document, hit print, cut each one out, and taped them to a unit block. It was a fun and meaningful way to integrate literacy into my block center. Students were building pizza restaurants, reading the environmental print, and some even made their own signs!
Pizza letter match puzzles built students knowledge about uppercase and lowercase letters. We also hid the puzzles in a sensory tub with beans. Students had to find the puzzle pieces then match the letters. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it.
My pre-k students were working on beginning sounds. I made this silly pizza game for students to practice isolating the beginning sound and identifying it.
Build a sign word is a favorite game in my classroom. Students pick a sight word and build it with the pizza letters. For my three year old students, we used our class name cards and built our friend's names with the pizza letters.
Something I always add to my writing shelf for each theme is them writing paper and vocabulary cards. I LOVE open ended activities so students can create something with it that is important to them. Students drew random pictures on the paper, copied the pizza words, drew pictures of the pizza vocabulary words, wrote letters to their friends and family, and just cut them apart into a million pieces.
Writing recipes is always an fun writing activity with my little preschoolers. From my Pizza Centers packet, I copied and cut out all the pictures of things they could use in their recipe. I showed an example of what a recipe was and then they can made their pizza recipe. It is interesting to see what they think the steps are to make a pizza. As you can see in the picture, I have students at varied levels working together on the same activity. Some students are mock writing and some are writing just the initial sound to represent the whole word.
During the second week of the theme, we read the book The Little Red Hen FOUR times for different purposes. Reading books multiple times builds fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, concepts of print, and much more. I added the character cards, setting card, and event cards to my library center so students could retell the book with their peers. Watching students retell a book, loving reading is one of my favorite things!
Pizza and playdoh yes please! I created these pizza build the number ten frames for students to practice counting and identifying numbers. I have one friend in my class who is not a fan of playdoh so he did the same activity using counters instead. My pre-k students had mats with two ten frames and my three year olds had a mat with a single ten frame.
Pizza Shapes is a fun game students can play to learn their shapes and talk about the attributes of shapes. The students who knew the name the shape had to also describe the shape before they covered it on the pizza. For extra fun, we used bingo counters to cover the board and a magnet wand to clear it.
Pizza topping tally graph was one of their favorite games because they could spin the spinner. Each student had their own recording page to tally the results of the spins. They loved announcing the winner at the end of the game and it was a great way to practice more and less!
In the art center to build fine motor students created collage Pizzas! First they traced a large circle stencil I made from a piece of cardboard onto brown paper and cut it out for the crust. Then they painted on the sauce (aka red paint). Now for the cheese! Students cut the 1 inch wide, yellow strips to make their cheese. The last step was the toppings. Students could crumble up black tissue paper for sausage, cut pieces of green string for green peppers, and punch with a circle punch or cut red pieces of paper for pepperoni. Do you see all the fine motor I squeezed into this art activity? To strengthen their fine motor, they were tracing, cutting, painting, squeezing a glue bottle, crumbling up paper, and squeezing paper punches.
Pizza cutter art! Students painted using pizza cutters instead of paint brushes. These pizza cutters are for playdoh and they worked perfectly.
For our pizza theme, I put flour in the sensory table. Yes it was messy but totally worth it! Students could measure with measuring cups and measuring spoons, spread and mix the flour with spatulas, and make a flour pizza on the pizza pan. You can't see from the picture but there is oregano in the flour to make it smell like real pizza. Each week I added a new tool to the table to keep students excited and interested. Other tools I added were a mixing bowl, a sifter, and empty containers of various sizes. If you can't have flour in your sensory table, try playdoh with no food coloring added or real pizza dough.
I don't know about you but I LOVE using paper plates for art and I don't have to cut out a million circles. Students drew their pizzas using markers. Super simple activity and the vocabulary students built talking to one another about their pizzas was amazing!
Take the pizza theme into your dramatic play center too by changing it into a Pizza Restaurant. The waitress can take the order, the chef makes the pizza, and the customer eats it. Don't you just love the deliver truck!
Make a pizza oven by covering a box with foil! You can grab pizza pans at the Dollar Tree. This year I used paper to create the crust and sauce. In the past we used playdoh and I have seen my other teacher friends have use felt too.
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Grab my Pizza Math and Literacy Centers from my store and you can just print all your math and literacy centers and go!
If you would like all my tips tricks, classroom photographs, props, signs, labels, orders, menus, parent letter, and more go check out my Pizza Restaurant Dramatic Play from my store by clicking HERE.
The Little Red Hen pack include a five day lesson plan, the retelling cards pictured, and writing/journal paper.