Let’s Visit Italy

After reading, talk to your kids about the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Ask them how it pertains to the way Pippo was perceived by the townspeople. 

For 1-3, Lexile Level 770
After enjoying, Pippo the Fool, let’s visit Italy. What a great activity for older kids when we are all staying home these days. I read this great historic and true story out loud on my You Tube channel, Creating Smart Readers (link on the right).  After listening to the story, there are lots of activities you can do to educate and delight your children. The free, downloadable Read-Aloud guide here Pippo the Fool Guide will break the book down into sections that include Reading Skills, Tricky Words and Word Work, Discussion Questions, and After-Reading Activities.

Where I live on Long Island, we are into week three of self-isolation with the schools still closed.  So I’ve included a few videos here about the dome in our story.  You can also search and view many virtual tours of parts of Italy and watch them with your children according to your interests. Since the read-aloud story is a bit long for very young kiddos, the first video below is an easier depiction of how Pippo designed and built the dome. You can adjust the after-reading activities so kids of all ages can enjoy them together.


Visit Italy with a Virtual Tour

This link retells our story and shows drawings of how Pippo designed the dome..

Here is a link to how the dome was built.

Here are pictures and information about the dome in Florence, Italy.


More facts about Italy, the country.

Italy facts: check out this beautiful country!

After-Reading Activities

After reading, talk to your kids about the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Ask them how it pertains to the way Pippo was perceived by the townspeople.  Also, have some fun with building with blocks or Legos.  Encourage your children to design and draw a building.  How about an invention that would make their lives better.  Perhaps they can present it to the family after dinner.  The Read-Aloud Guide (downloadable above) gives many ideas.

Know Your Child’s Reading Level

If you have the book, please note that the Lexile level (reading level) on amazon.com is 770. That is the suggested reading level for an average reader near the end of Grade 5.  This is why I always suggest that you use a Read-Aloud Guide to read, discuss, and analyze a book first with your children before allowing them to go off and read alone.  The level of background knowledge, word knowledge, and ability to find hidden meaning of a 5th grader is quite higher than that of the recommended grade 1-3 grader for this book.  Please, please, please, know your child’s reading level and help guide them to be smarter readers by reading aloud to them. Picture books are so very tricky that way – they are targeted to the very young when, in fact, some stories are much more difficulty to understand.  We can help them by using Read-Aloud Guides.

Please stay inside and stay safe.  Thanks to the Internet, we can enjoy the world safely from our homes.  I would love to hear from you about what your children built, drew, or invented after hearing this great story. “Happy Reading!”

Author: Susan

Retired NYS certified Reading Specialist, Picture Book Aficionado, Crocheter, Author, Blogger, and Westie Dog lover!

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