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Books Alive

As an early childhood educator, I have had the pleasure of creating and making presentations at a number of child care conferences.

One of my favourite (and most popular) sessions was “Books Alive”… bringing books to life throughout your early childhood curriculum.

I have recently started exploring books this way with my daughter, and I thought I would take some time to share a sample of “Books Alive” with you.

**Note: This post contains affiliate links for some of my favourite products. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. I call that a win-win.**

Books Alive!

Language Arts

Read the book: Pete’s A Pizza by William Steig

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Discuss various new vocabulary words from the book


Write and chart our favourite pizza toppings.

Look at flyers of pizzas. Count the toppings on each pizza in the picture. How many pepperoni? How many tomatoes?

Eat pizza. When cutting the pizza, the idea of fractions can be shared by first cutting the pizza in half (two pieces), then cut it in half again (there’s now four pieces)… and so on.

Social studies

Take a field trip to a neighbourhood pizza parlor. If possible, “interview” someone who works at the pizza parlor. Discuss the different jobs at the pizza parlor. Draw a map of the walk/drive to the pizza parlor.

A follow up activity can be to play pizzeria. Set up a pizza parlour. Use pizza flyers, make menus and money, gather toy food, aprons, dishes and a small table to set up a small pizza parlour in your home.


Bake a pizza together. Baking is a great way to introduce science concepts to children (i.e. watching the dough rise, the cheese melt, witnessing the transformation from raw to cooked, etc.).


Sculpt pizzas out of play dough!

Draw and design a pizza sign, flyer, or poster.


Sing along to “I am a Pizza” off of the album 10 Carrot Diamond by Charlotte Diamond.

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Physical Education

Dancing to “I am a Pizza”

Play pizza tag. Someone is the baker and everyone else is the pizza toppings.


Discuss the four food groups. How can we make sure that the pizza we eat is healthy? What else would we need to add to a meal of pizza to make the meal healthier?

Additional Activities

Felt board fun. Make pizza items out of felt material. Get some new, unused pizza boxes and children can have fun assembling their own felt pizzas!

A memory game can be made easily by collecting pictures of pizzas and pizza items. Mount the pictures on durable index cards and there you go… a memory game!

Make a book about your exploration of pizzas. Take pictures of all your activities and “write” the “story” about your activities. Laminate the pages to make your book more durable.

I could go on and on… as you can see, the possibilities are endless! Are you craving pizza yet? I know I am!

I’m working on bringing Little Cloud by Eric Carle “alive” with a variety of activities. I can’t wait! It’s amazing how something as ordinary as reading a book, can easily be made into something so extraordinary!


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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care. 

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6 thoughts on “Books Alive

  • Sofia's Ideas

    OMGosh! I love it! This is precisely how I do my lesson planning! I try to incorporate as many different things as I can but I never thought of it as making the books come alive. To tell you the truth, I always feel inadequate when it comes to homeschooling the kids. Because I don’t have a background in education, I feel like I’m not doing “enough”. But this post, because its coming from you, gives me a little boost of confidence.

    I already have a post in the works about our current unit. I was actually going to post it for this week, but I was hesitant because I was so self-conscious. I was even thinking I should probably research how REAL teachers plan their lessons so I don’t look completely incompetent!

    Because of how my mother raised us, I never had to learn about the early childhood stuff. My mother is wildly creative and resourceful, and so weaving learning into the fun of the everyday things was second nature to me by the time I had my first child. People would ask me “how did you teach your child to do that?” and I would stare blankly at them and say “what do you mean teach?” I had no idea I was doing anything right! Ignorance on fire! lol

    I was so blessed by this post today. You have no idea, Jennifer!
    I can’t wait for your Little Cloud post. I bet you’re making cloud dough! ;0