FIAR: Papa Piccolo & Italy

Before Christmas we did the book Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley.  

It’s the story of a Venetian alley cat who somewhat reluctantly adopts, or is adopted by, two orphaned kittens. He rises to the challenge of their mischief to become an excellent Papa.  The boys enjoyed reading this book.  Since the book is set in Italy, we did Amanda Bennett's Passport Italy Unit Study. 

Of course when studying Italy, the food is fun!  Lucas, however, doesn't like much Italian food.  Our first Italian meal was homemade pizza.  They really do like to cook and help prepare meals.
In our study of Italy, we watched this youtube video about how to eat spaghetti with a fork and spoon.  This is Logan trying it out...
Lane tried some noodles too. 
We went one evening to Mama Rosa's in Cookeville for even more Italian food.  It's one of my favorites!  We had some Stromboli, baked ziti, lasagna, and manicotti.
Lane liked the bread.
For dessert, we tried a cannoli.  The boys loved it!
We made gnocci one evening with baked ziti.  This was much easier than I thought it would be to make.  Here is the recipe I used.
 And for the main course, one of my faves, baked ziti.
We put together this 3D puzzle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
    We learned about an Italian game called bocce ball.  I got a set and it will be a new family favorite.  One thing I know though, I will never beat Landon.  He beats me every time. 
 We also learned about several famous people from Italy including:
Leonardo di Vinci
Christopher Columbus
Marco Polo
Landon found a telescope on a mega sale and he got it since we were studying about Galileo since he made advancements on the telescope and confirmed earlier theories to support Copernicus. 

We also learned about Antonio Vivaldi.  In our unit study there was a link to a performance by children.  I was reluctant to watch because beginner strings sound like dying cats to me.  My strings class in college could make your ears bleed.  I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it.  It's worth a watch...

I, of course, love music.  I want my kids to appreciate music even though I know they will probably not ever be intersted in it as I am.  I made them watch and listen to one of Vivaldi's most famous Four Seasons.  We listened to each movement...all forty-two minutes. 
You would have thought they were dying.  They were entertained by some of the musicians who were really expressive as they played.  They did some imitations that I wish I had recorded.

Lucas made his own cello with a ninja training sword and another weapon.  (Please note that he dresses himself).
I wanted them to hear me sing in Italian so I located a recording of my senior recital that had me singing an Italian aria.  Below is a video of the places we learned about with me singing Voi, che sapete from The Marriage of Figaro by W.A. Mozart.  You will need to turn off the sound at the bottom of the blog in order to hear the video.

This study inspired a design for a Valentine card for my etsy shop:


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