Healthy eating – Pizza challenge

Additional Info

  • Name: Healthy eating – Pizza challenge

  • Linguistic dimension

  • CEFR Level: A1
  • Linguistic dimension - Skill(s): Reading Listening/Viewing Writing Speaking
  • Duration: 4 x 60 minutes but variable dependent on individual circumstances
  • Target language: Any
  • ICT dimension

  • ICT resources:

    DVD playback, projector, camcorder or similar, PC for poster presentations e.g. Powerpoint

  • ICT competences: Camcorder filming but not necessarily editing, internet browsing, PC use.
  • Detailed description of the task

  • Situation / theme(s): The Language department, working in collaboration with the Home Economics department embark collaboratively on the theme of ‘The Mediterranean Diet’ and its relationship to the theme of Healthy Eating.
  • Product requirements or prerequisites: Students should already be familiar with the vocabulary related to food and drink. In this task they will study specific recipes: ingredients and techniques. The Imperative forms for the recipe instructions will already be familiar to the students.
  • I can...:
    • read and understand simple language relating to the theme of food and drink using texts and recipes

    • view and understand basic language in a short video clip

    • create a pizza recipe, naming it appropriately

    • create a poster using Powerpoint

    • answer questions about the name of the pizza and its ingredients

  • Product: Creation of each student’s own pizza recipe and poster presentation of same.
  • Product requirements or prerequisites:

    Students should already be familiar with the vocabulary related to food and drink. In this task they will study specific recipes: ingredients and techniques. The Imperative forms for the recipe instructions will already be familiar to the students.

  • Process:

    As an example of healthy, basic but nutritious ingredients a typical Italian style pizza, the ‘margherita’ is considered.

    • In the language classroom students read a text providing the historical context for the naming of the pizza margherita i.e. the queen of Italy and the patriotic colours from the tricolour flag represented by the key ingredients: tomato, mozzarella and basil. Reading for understanding.

    • working in pairs and using dictionaries (online if possible) students identify new language from a set of pizza recipes.

    • Students view a clip from a Jamie Oliver live show in which he prepares and cooks a pizza.

    • Students view a clip from BBC Learning zone in which 2 young girls visit an Italian pizzeria and are shown how to make a pizza.

    • Each pair then has to decide on their own pizza recipe, listing the ingredients in the language and inventing an appropriate name for the pizza.

    • Posters are produced for display in the language department corridor. These are created using Powerpoint and should include appropriate images and graphics

    • in the Home Economics department the actual pizzas are produced in class time.

    • Peers vote on the two ‘best’ pizzas which will be included in a year group pizza challenge across all the classes in that year. This is normally done at the end of the school day.

    • Teachers from the Language Department attend the challenge, act as judges and circulate among the students asking about the name of the pizza and the ingredients.

    • A winning pizza is selected.

  • Division of roles (optional): Pairs are assigned at the outset by mutual agreement or by the teacher as deemed appropriate Roles within the pairs are negotiated by the pair.
  • Consolidating activities suggested or follow up plan:

    Pairs watch and listen to peers explaining their choices and decisions. Students are encouraged to vote ‘responsibly’. Teachers can facilitate this by asking students to say why they like or dislike something.

  • Success factors or evaluation criteria:

    Students will have succeeded if they achieve the following:

    • understand text and video clip information relating to food and recipes.

    • invent’ a pizza recipe

    • negotiate roles fairly within a partner

    • complete a Powerpoint poster

    • present in a coherent and fluent manner as required

    • produce a pizza in the Home Economics classroom

    • assist in establishing the two ‘best’ pizzas in the class

    • answer questions about the pizza


  • Authors: John De Cecco
  • Didactic added value of the task and other information

  • Practical hints for teachers:

    Close collaboration and forward planning with the two departments are essential. Materials such as the DVD may have to be shared and this requires planning. Teachers should try to encourage students to be inventive and to maintain the principles of a healthy product. The task is highly motivating and can generate real excitement. This will require careful classroom management. Health and safety are vital considerations in the interdisciplinary planning of the task.

  • Additional methodological or didactic comments:

    Demonstration of the production process which mirrors the video/DVD instructions helps to consolidate technique. 

  • Reasons why this task is a model of best practices:

    Interdisciplinary learning, incorporating ICT and contexts relevant to society.

  • Impact that it is expected to have on the teaching practices and attitudes:

    The ICT skills are key competences for educational, social and work-related use.

    The task requires interdisciplinary working and helps to motivate students by seeing the value of language learning in relation to other areas of the curriculum.

  • Reasons why this task travels well:

    The task incorporates many significant features of language competences across national curricula, development of ICT skills and collaborative working. 

    The specific situation however can be modified, adapted, or expanded where necessary, to suit curricular constraints while still maintaining the essence of the task’s products and skills set. Any such modifications might require adjustments to the CEFR levels.  Indeed, the original CEFR levels, as stated for this task, should not in themselves impose restrictions on the range of abilities for which the task is appropriate.  Teachers will use their professional expertise to determine what modifications are necessary.

  • Rationale and/or theoretical underpinnings of the task: TBLT using CEFR common reference levels

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