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


ideas to incorporate cause and effect switch users

Posted by Faye Gonzalez

Posted on January 16, 2013
Updated on: February 7, 2018

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.