Lesson Plan - La Vita è Bella


Lesson Plan - La Vita è Bella
La Vita è Bella!
Bring alive the sights, sounds, aromas and tastes of Italy for your pupils with this easyto-follow series of interactive lessons! They all link together to culminate in a fantastic
feast for all the family. Ah yes, the Italians know that it’s the simple things that really
make life beautiful – like sharing a tasty, healthy, home-cooked meal!
The La Vita è Bella project has seven lessons all about Italian food – its history, its healthy
ingredients, how to cook it and the pleasure of sharing it. You can use these lessons over a
whole term or as a shorter block linking into literacy, numeracy, ICT and many of the KS2 study
programmes for foundation subjects. They’re flexible enough for you to dip in and out of if you
want to enhance other learning... or even to create an Italian-themed feast day to enhance
community links or raise global awareness.
We’ve provided all the resources you need
Every lesson plan has a starter activity, a main session and plenary plus extension and
homework activity ideas where suitable. As always, we’ve provided lots of supporting materials
for you, including an introductory PowerPoint presentation you can show in assembly,
interactive whiteboard files to use in lessons, easy Italian recipes, design templates and a little
bit of basic Italian vocab to help everyone get into the spirit of the project!
Tuck in to this educational buffet!
You can run La Vita è Bella from start to finish if you wish... or, if you feel you’ve got a little too
much on your plate right now, you can just pick and choose lessons that take your fancy. Like
any good Italian spread, you can always come back for more later!
What’s on the menu, lesson-wise?
In the first two sessions, we’ll be taking you back nearly 2000 years to Roman
Britain. The children will be learning about how the Romans lived and, of course,
what kinds of things they ate.
Then we’ll be coming back to the present day to find out when and why Italians
get together to eat – from family celebrations to famous festivals like the
Venice carnival, with traditional recipes for your pupils to try as they go along.
The Italians are renowned for their love of fresh, healthy ingredients like
tomatoes, olives, fruit and vegetables, but what else do they eat? And where
does it come from?
Finally, and this is totally optional, the children will be putting together everything
they’ve learned to create a wonderful spread that everyone can share in. You can
hold an in-school Italian feast event that children can invite family and friends to,
or you can set them the challenge of becoming head chef at home to reproduce
everything they’ve learned in school for their families to enjoy!
And that’s it for the overview;
now it’s time for the first lesson. Andiamo!
La vita È Bella lesson: The Romans
are coming!
The lesson’s aims:
o help them understand the influence the Romans had on Britain.
To introduce the children to the concept of the Italian feast.
Learning outcomes:
ll your pupils know that the Romans invaded Britain and influenced
our society in many ways.
Main curriculum link: History, Literacy, PSHE (see curriculum links overview table for others).
Interactive whiteboard: Roman memory game (use in plenary).
Map of Rome.
Explain to the children that they’re going to be starting a fun, new project today. It’s all
about Italy, its history, its people and its food – from healthy ingredients to dinnertime
traditions – and, at the end of the project, they’ll be creating an Italian feast to share with
their families. Yummy! But don’t worry, you can dip in and out of whatever you want, you
don’t have to do them all.
Then go on to say that today we’ll be delving deep into Italian history… back to the time
of the ancient Romans…
What do we know about the Romans? Well, we know that they invaded Britain almost 2000
years ago. But who were they? And why did they invade us? What was it like to be a Roman in
Britain hundreds of miles from home? What did their families do, wear and eat? What did their
homes look like and how were they decorated?
From there, move on to look at the lasting influence the Romans had on how we live, work and
eat today.
Ask the children what, if anything, they already know about the Romans. Create a working wall
and add what they know already plus a list of things they don’t know but would like to find out.
Did they know that some things from Roman life still play a part in our society today? (These
include laws, roads, festivals, calendars, language, alphabet, etc).
SUGGESTED Activities:
1. alk about the Roman invasion. Ask the children how they’d feel if their classroom was
taken over by another class or year group. This is how the people living in Britain would
have felt when the Romans invaded! If you’ve time try this out by having another class
move into your room while you are out.
2. here did the Romans come from? Look at Rome on a map. Talk about how far they
came. How would they have travelled?
3. Split the class into five groups. Get each group to research one of the following aspects
of Roman life using books or the internet:
• The Roman army
• Gods and festivals
• Family life
• Roman children
• Leisure and games
Get them to share between 5 and 10 pieces of information with the rest of the class as
a presentation in their groups or by asking questions in a hot-seat activity.
La vita È Bella lesson (continued):
The Romans
are coming!
1. aunch the interactive whiteboard game, get children to take the challenge and read the
Roman facts.
2. hrough research find out more about the Roman gods and which days their festivals
were celebrated on.
3. xplain to the children that, over the years, we in the UK have adopted many Italian
customs or combined them with those from our own culture – like their love of and
interest in food, drink, fashion, cars, football and phrases. Give the children some
examples of these.
4. he most integrated one of these is food. Most families eat Italian food on a regular basis.
Have a quick class survey. Who has eaten pasta or pizza this week?
Find out about famous landmarks in Italy that date back to Roman times.
The floors of Roman buildings were often richly decorated with mosaics (they were a statement
of wealth and importance). The mosaic pictures or patterns were made up of tiny coloured
stones called tesserae. (Think of tessellating in maths!) They pictured scenes of history and
everyday Roman life and were stuck to the floor with mortar, a type of cement. Each mosaic
used thousands of pieces to make a pattern.
Challenge the children to design their own mosaic. Give each pupil a squared grid on which to
design their mosaic. The squares can either be a single colour (the easy option) or they can be
two colours (by splitting each square in half, either straight across or on the diagonal). What will
their mosaic portray? A Roman feast? Something they’ve learned about Roman life?
Parliamo Italiano! – Italian phrases
Buongiorno! Hello and good morning
Arrivederci! Goodbye
Ciao! Hello and goodbye
Buonasera! Good afternoon and good evening
Buonanotte! Good night
Mi chiamo… My name is…
Come sta? How are you?
Bene, grazie Fine, thank you
lesson 1 Notes: The Romans
are coming!
The Roman invasions in a nutshell
The Romans first invaded Britain in 55BC and 54BC as part of Julius Caesar’s plan to
extend the Roman Empire (he had already conquered Gaul, or France as we know it
today). Unfortunately for Caesar, these invasions were not as successful as he’d have
liked. Many of his ships were destroyed and the people who were already living in
Britain, the Celts, put up a good fight!
Later, in 43AD, the Emperor Claudius thought he’d have a go at invading Britain. This time, four
legions of soldiers managed to conquer the southern half of the country.
The Romans were fair rulers. They developed Britain by building good roads, setting out towns
and making sensible laws. They also introduced many other things – central heating, baths,
aqueducts, concrete, place names, drains, Latin – all of which have had an influence on our
lives today!
Roman religion:
The Romans brought their religion with them too. Not only did they believe that their
emperor would become a god when he died, they also believed in many other gods.
When they conquered more lands, they sometimes adopted some of their gods too!
Essentially, they believed that a different god looked after a different part of life,
for example:
Jupiter - King of the gods
Juno - Jupiter’s wife, goddess of women
Mars - the god of war
Minerva - the goddess of wisdom
Neptune - the god of the sea
Diana - the goddess of the moon and hunting
Mercury - the messenger of the gods
Venus - the goddess of love and beauty
Mithras - the sun god
Cupid - the god of love
The Romans let local people carry on worshipping their own gods... just as long as they also
worshipped the Roman ones! If people refused to do this they would be punished.
lesson 1 Notes (continuted): The Romans
are coming!
Roman mosaics
Archaeologists have discovered beautiful mosaic work in the remains of many Roman
buildings. They picture scenes of everything from everyday life to special occasions like
feasts and festivals to gods and even ferocious dogs to guard the home.
Even back in the Roman days it seems that you could buy mosaic designs ‘off the shelf’ or, if
you were wealthy, you could have custom mosaics designed especially for you. The little mosaic
tiles were called tesserae. They were square and used natural colours.
Using little squares to create pictures is a technique still used today... in digital photography, in
the pixellated pictures in many art galleries (e.g. some works by Dali)... they’re even used in TV
advertising and in sport, when people hold different-coloured cards above their heads to create
words and pictures. The Royal Mail issued a set of stamps with designs influenced by mosaics too.
A useful website for mosaic information: www.tunisiaonline.com/mosaics
Schemes of work - KS2
Al fresco 1 & 2
Lit. all 12 strands of National Literacy Strategy can be covered
a a
understanding shape mosaics, masks, pizza/pasta
handling data preferences/surveys
measuring used when cooking
using and applying numbers used when cooking
a a
a a
calculating preferences/surveys/cooking
3A – text and graphics
3C – introduction to databases preferences/surveys
4B – developing images using repeating patterns
4D – collecting and presenting information
5D – introduction to spreadsheets preferences/surveys
Science a
Romans 1 & 2
6A – multimedia presentation
a a
a a
a a
3B – helping plants grow well/where food comes from
a a
a a
a a
5D – changing state a
5A – keeping healthy balanced diet/fresh foods
6D – reversible and irreversible changes a
Healthy lifestyles
Respect and tolerance
a a
a a
a a a
Cit. 5 – living in a diverse world
6A – worship and community
Art & design
3B – investigating pattern mosaics, masks,
pizza/pasta, decorations
5B – containers 6B – what a performance roman feast, carnival
a a
a a
a a
a a
3B – sandwich snacks
5B – bread
Hist. 6A – a Roman case study
24 – passport to the world a

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