Teaching Keys - K-12 Agriculture Literacy Program | Pizz-A-Thon

Teaching Keys

Insert picture herePizz-A-Thon Strategy Inspires Kids

Having learners enjoy what they're learning increases the probability they will learn. The same could be said of challenge, stimulation, entertainment or fun. A technique which can encompass all of these is "experienced-based" learning.

The Pizz-A-Thon engages kids in a direct interactive, "real world" hands-on experience:

Inquiry: Use a questioning strategy to actively engage the kids and teams. Ask: As you begin your new business, who is your target audience in creating a new pizza...your grandparents or kids your age?

Gimmicks and Drawing on Senses: Use of gimmick to surprise, keeps the attention of the teams. Ask blindfolded kids identify types of pizza by taste and smell.

Teachable Moments: Listen for a child's question or a current event to respond in expanding student generated interest in the "mock pizza" business.. Have a pizzeria sponsor judge your team's "prize pizzas" and ask them to give you an honest answer as to whether it would be a popular pizza in their restaurant.

Simulation: Reproduce a real-life situation or experiment without real-life consequences. (See "Learn From Geese" as example) Have teams sponsor a "family night" and get parents and friends reaction to your team's accomplishments compared to a real local pizzeria.

Drama: Can be integrated into activities to provide a first person perspective on an activity. Ask teams to develop a skit, jingle, poem video or song as a part of their marketing report. 

Case Studies: Learning through " real world case studies" are great team exercises for kids involved in the Pizz-A-Thon. This learning activity gets students personally involved in analysis, insight and decision making. (See "Learning From Geese".)

When kids are asked what they like about the Pizz-A-Thon they say:

  • Creating something new
  • Tasting what we create and it is our "favorite food"
  • Working with our friends as a team
  • Receiving recognition and awards for our accomplishments
  • Makes school subjects meaningfule
  • Can work with little help from the teacher (teachers like this too).

The Pizz-A-Thon's "real world" experience generates excitement, enhances learning and inspires kids, allowing the teacher more individual time with students.

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