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A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Last updated Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Author: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrator: James Stevenson
Date of Publication: 1996
ISBN: 0688132359
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2015

Synopsis: Jack Prelutsky is widely acknowledged as the poet laureate of the younger generation. (And many people would happily see him crowned with no age qualification.) The New Kid on the Block and Something Big Has Been Here are household words wherever there are kids.

Here is another wondrously rich, varied, clever - and always funny - collection. Meet Miss Misinformation, Swami Gourami, and Gladiola Gloppe (and her Soup Shoppe), and delight in a backwards poem, a poem that ever ends, and scores of others that will be changed, read, and loved by readers of every age. The Prelutsky-Stevenson duo is irresistible. Whether you begin at the beginning or just open the book at random, you won't stop smiling.

Note to readers:
•  Choose a few poems to read aloud. The title poem is the first one, pg. 7.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Jack Prelutsky was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate in 2006. Have you ever read any of his poems?
•  Do you like poetry? Why, or why not?

•  laureate - a person honored for achievement in an art or science; especially: poet laureate
•  massive - very large and heavy
•  resplendent - so bright as to seem to glow
•  delectable - delicious
•  augur - to predict something that might happen in the future
•  phony - not real or genuine
•  irreverently - showing lack of respect
•  predicament - a difficult, puzzling, or trying situation
•  gaudy - overly or tastelessly ornamented; flashy

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Which poem was your favorite, and why?
•  Can the lyrics to a song be considered poetry? Can a poem be made into a song?
•  What is the poet’s purpose in writing these poems?
•  Fun fact: According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world's largest pizza ever baked was about 122 feet wide and weighed over 12 tons! (A cow weighs nearly a ton.) If you could bake a pizza that massive, what toppings would you put on it?

Craft ideas:
•  Make bookmarks out of construction paper. Students can write their very own poem on the bookmark, or draw a picture to illustrate one of the poems you read.
•  Decorate your own pizza using the following template for the crust: http://www.archjrc.com/childsplace/images/pizza.gif.
•  St. Patrick's Day crafts: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/49728/st-patricks-day-crafts-activities-add/.


Special activities:
•  Listen to the poet perform "A Pizza the Size of the Sun" and "Eyeballs for Sale!": http://files.harpercollins.com/AudioFile/9780061359453.mp3. Encourage students to sing along!
•  Challenge the students to put the words of a poem to a tune and sing along.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!