Our school-age class learned about ITALY today.  We found Italy on a map and talked about how it is easy to find because it is in the shape of a boot.


Our class started with a few non-fiction books about Italy.  We discussed the Colosseum, Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, food (pasta, pizza, gelato), and the Italian language.  We then learned a few words in Italian:

  • Hello – Ciao
  • Goodbye – Ciao
  • Thank You – Grazie
  • You’re Welcome – Prego
  • Friend – Amico/ Amica

Italy by Walter Simmons

Strega Nona by Tommie de Paola
A retelling of an ancient tale that appeals to all ages.  Strega nona, or “Grandma Witch,” has a magic pot that makes never-ending pasta.  Big Anthony discovers her secret, and one day when Strega Nona goes over the mountain for a visit, Big Anthony decides to use the magic pot.  But he quickly discovers that doesn’t know how to tell the pot to stop making pasta, which is potentially disastrous for the town.


We played two different traditional Italian games (I modified the rules a bit to avoid any running in the library!)

Lupo Delle Ore
This game requires learning how to count in Italian (a little bit.)  Before we began, I went over the numbers 1-10 in Italian with the group. has a web page where you can hear how to correctly pronounce the numbers 1-20 in Italian.

  • uno
  • due
  • tre
  • quattro
  • cinque
  • sie
  • sette
  • otto
  • nove
  • dice

To begin the game, one player is the “lupo” (wolf) and stands at the opposite end of the room from the other players, who form a line.  The players call out “Lupo che ore sono?” (Wolf, what time is it?), and the wolf answers with a number in Italian (for example: “tre.”)  The players must then take that many steps (3 steps in our example) toward the Lupo.  After everyone has taken their steps, the Lupo tells the players in English the correct number of steps (“three.”)  If the players took the correct number of steps they can stay where they are; if they took the wrong number of steps, they must return to the line.  The first person to cross the room to where the Lupo is standing, wins.

Strega Comanda Color
One player is the “Strega” (Witch), who calls out a color (in English!)  The others must touch an object of that color, whether it be an article of clothing or something in the surrounding environment before the “Strega” can count to five (in Italian!): “Uno – Due – Tre – Quattro – Cinque!”  The players that aren’t touching something of the chosen color on “cinque” are out.  After a couple of rounds, make it more challenging by only counting to 3: “Uno – Due – Tre!”

Before beginning this game, make sure to go over a few basic rules: Be respectful to others, No running, No pushing, shoving etc.


After discussing the Alps and finding the mountain range in northern Italy on a map, we made mountain climbers, climbing the Alps.  Instructions and templates can be found on Busy Bee Kids Crafts


We put some Italian music on during the craft.  I played some songs from Mob Hits.   A few favorites:

  • Oh Marie by Louis Prima
  • Mambo Italiano by Rosemary Clooney
  • Lazy Mary
  • Eh, Cumpari by Julius LaRosa

Viva Italia! Festive Italian Classics is another good CD.


Pizza was a little too messy, so we ate Totino’s Pizza Rolls!

3 thoughts on “Italy

  1. Pingback: Storytime Themes | Dandelions & Roses

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