(the following activities before
reading the first chapter, are meant to raise awareness of the subject and
activate what the learners already know. But if the learners canít wait for
beginning reading donít make them wait too long! Click and go directly to
This is obviously where to
start! Look at it and describe it: WHO can you see? WHAT is she doing? WHAT can
you see in the background? Are there the symbols of any famous city? Make
predictions about the contents based on the cover and the title.
accompany the text are also extremely interesting. They have been drawn by the
Look at the
illustrations on page 9, 15, 51, 67, 73, 85, 125, 133. What can you see?
Which places are illustrated? Can you sequence them in the order you think
they will occur in the text and explain yor reason?
through the book, choose your favourite picture and describe it to the other
people in your group, or write a short description of it in your exercise
Find the picture
which shows Ursulaís family.
Find the pictures
that describe landscapes: which are American landscapes? Which are Italian?
Are there other any landscapes described? How important will these
landscapes be in the book?
The book is devided in 4
chapters, each with additional subdivisions: 1. My childhood; 2. Moving east; 3.
Italy; 4. Proverbs, songs and recipies.
predictions can you make about the contents of each chapter?
you curious about the headings of the additional chapter subdivisions? For
page 29 "Ice cream on a rainy day" why the author underlines the fact that
itís a rainy day? Canít one have an ice cream on rainy days?
Page 75 "Cooking with socks": why one should combine cooking and socks?
Page 79 "Sugo finto": what is it going to be about, in your opinion?
Page 119 "A thousand little hats". Who is going to eat all that pasta?
headings of the additional chapter subdivisions in three groups:
home, places and family:
cooking and food:
do these groups help you predict some big themes of the book? What could
This is a climax scene in the story:
"I was paired up with a rather nice looking guy, with dark features, who I
started meeting with regularly. His name was Matteo and he wasnít that great
with English but for some reason we were able to communicate. Our first meeting
was in a little Cafť on via Ginori and we talked about where we came from. when
he said he was from Parma, I blurted out, "Then you are Parmigian!" thinking I
had called him a piece of cheesem, I burst out laughing. Little did I know that
the people in Parma do call themselves Parmigiani."
Can you make any
predictions on what come before this and after this in the story?
What do you know about the
You probably havenít had
the chance to meet her yet, even though she has already written various books
for children that she personally illustrates. She is American and she lives in
Pisa with her husband and her two sons. Besides illustrating books she paints
oil canvas. If you want to know more about her, visit her site
There you can find
information about her published works, her projects and also some interesting
links to the Art schools and Colleges she has attended in America and in Italy.
If your dream is that of becoming an artist you should find all this extremely