Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Making Pizza

Image of ready-to-bake pizza

Making pizza can be a functional and meaningful way to incorporate literacy skills.    In her activity Setting up a Class-Run Pizza Parlor, Cindy O'Connell offers suggestions for using literacy skills, as well as math, social skills, and cognitive concepts. Using pizza-themed lessons will be a big motivator to many students, and provides a fun way to reinforce practical literacy skills for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities or deafblindness.

This activity provides guidelines for setting up a weekly "ready to cook" pizza service, and the variations are endless!  Use your imaginations to adapt it for your students and setting.  Incorporate skills in the following areas:

  • communication (making choices, working with others, share ideas)
  • reading (follow recipe in braille, print, pictures, objects, tactile symbols, auditory input)
  • writing (create a shopping list, make a menu, poster or flyer to advertise the business, write an experience story afterwards)
  • auditory strategies (listen to others, follow oral directions)
  • matching, sequencing (match ingredients or cooking equipment, sequence the steps in the recipe)



  • Prepackaged pizza crust
  • Pizza sauce
  • Toppings (mushrooms, peppers, scallions, pepperoni, broccoli, olives, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, etc.)
  • Prepackaged shredded cheese
  • Pizza boxes (optional)
  • Assorted trays, plates, bowls, utensils, Baggies
  • Latex gloves
  • Moneybox (or money pouch) and money for change


  • Create pizza-themed ELA lessons.
  • Add pizza-related vocabulary to your monthly vocabulary words.
  • Read stories about pizza.
  • Create a poem, a rote script, or a catchy jingle to recite for offices, clinical staff and teachers (composition, communication).
  • Follow up the activity with experience stories, using personal communication devices, switches and language support strategies as needed (e.g., open-ended sentences or phonemic cueing).
  • Braille, type, or print up labels from a list of regular customer's names to label boxes.
  • For fun, create pizza-related Mad-Lib stories to work on generating language.
  • Research the history of pizza.
  • Learn about where ingredients come from and how they get to the market. Study how cheese is made.
  • Make tomato sauce and pizza crust (following directions).

Attached File(s): 


There are endless variations, both in what type of food can be prepared, as well as how to make the pizza.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Have an ice cream sundae party for fun or to earn money!  Students can write posters and menus, follow written directions (using print, braille, pictures, symbols)
  • Incorporate the shopping into the activity, so that students can practice composing a shopping list and following the list in print, braille, photos, symbols
Common Core and Braille Standards

Speaking and Listening: 

SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
SL.K.5  Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
SL.K.6  Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.


L.K.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.K.1d Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
L.K.1f Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.


ideas to incorporate cause and effect switch users

Posted by Faye Gonzalez

Posted on January 16, 2013
Updated on: September 9, 2020

Previous comments for Making Pizza

Faye Gonzalez commented on January 16, 2013

For students working on cause-and-effect skills and switch use, they can help make the pizza by using a switch to shred the cheese and slice toppings. How to do this: get a salad shooter (you can sometimes find them at Goodwill), an Environmental Control Unit (there is one in the Sensory Learning Kit from APH), and a switch. Plug the salad shooter into the Environmental Control Unit (ECU), set the ECU to Timed - Seconds, then plug the switch into the jack in the ECU. You as the teacher will need to set the salad shooter to ON - possibly holding it on if it won't stay ON by itself. Then have the student press their switch, and voila! They can also have a job in the pizza parlor.