Little Nino’s Pizza

The key concepts in this lesson are entrepreneurship and the relationship between consumers and producers. It centers on a story of a young entrepreneur and his father who make decisions about starting and developing a pizzeria restaurant. The story contains identifiable examples of consumers and producers, and the lesson includes fun activities to emphasize those concepts.

(Adapted from Beth Vander Kolk’s lesson of this title © Powell Center for Economic Literacy and a lesson of this title from Kids Econ Books at this link:

Suggested Target Age: Grades 1-2

Topics Covered: entrepreneurship, consumer, producer (buyer, seller)

Time Required: Approximately 20 minutes

What Will the Students Learn?

  • They will be able to describe how people are both buyers and sellers of goods and services
  • What an entrepreneur is
  • That the quality and quantity of resources impacts living standards

State Content Standards Key
California: History/SS 1.6 (subpoints 1 and 2); Math grade 1- 2.1, 2.5, 2.6; grade 2- 5.2; English/LA grade 1- 2.2, grade 2- 1.3
Florida: SS.D.1.2 (subpoint 1), SS.D.2.2 (subpoint 2); MA.A.3.3
Indiana: Social Studies (Economics) 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.4, 1.4.6, 2.4.4, 4.4.8
Virginia: Economics 1.7; CE.9, CE.10, CE.11, CE.12

NOTE: This lesson does NOT require computers or access to the Internet

Materials Needed:

Lesson Plan:

Teacher Preparation: Acquire and read the book Little Nino’s Pizzeria so you are familiar with the story.

Set-Up: Gather students together in the classroom.

Introductory Activity: Ask the students who likes pizza. Ask them what sorts of ingredients they enjoy on their pizzas. Pass out the construction paper and scissors and tell students to create a pizza (white can be used for the dough, red for the sauce, yellow for the cheese, etc.)

1. When the students have completed their pizzas, tell them you are going to read them a book about a father and a son who make pizzas together as a business.

2. Read the story. Tell the students to mentally note all the different tasks that Tony and his father do in the pizza business. (e.g., knead the dough, grate the cheese, stir the sauce, bus the tables, etc).

3. At the end of the story, ask the students to list off as many tasks as they can remember that Tony and his father do in the pizza business. Write the students’ answers on the chalkboard/whiteboard.

4. Ask the students if they think Little Nino’s was a successful business (yes). How could you tell it was successful? (People came from all over town and waited in long lines.)

5. Now write the word “ENTREPRENEUR” on the board and ask if anybody knows what it means. Explain the definition: An entrepreneur is someone who takes the risk to develop a new product or start a new business. Explain that Nino is an entrepreneur. He owned the Little Nino’s Pizzeria business and so he had the power to make decisions about what to do with it – for example, how much to sell the pizzas for.

6. In the story, Nino makes a big decision. What is it? (to close down Little Nino’s and open a larger, fancier restaurant)

7. Why did Nino decide to open a new restaurant to replace Little Nino’s? (He wanted to make lots more money – more profit.)

8. Now write the words “buyer” and “seller” on the board and ask the students for definitions. Then explain that we all are both buyers and sellers, in different situations. A businessman like Nino who owns a pizzeria, for example, is a seller – he sells pizza, but he’s also a buyer, because he has to purchase the ingredients used for his pizzas, like cheese and pepperoni.

9. Pass out the two different colored construction paper strips and some glue/glue sticks. Tell the students that the one color represents buyers and the other color represents sellers. Have them think about the story, and examples from other situations in their own lives, where they know of buyers and sellers. Have them make a paper chain, connecting buyer-to-seller (multiple loops). Have them stand up and give their examples to the class, such as:

“This is my red-colored buyer. It is a hungry person. He goes to the blue-colored seller, which is Nino, and buys a pizza.” OR

“Nino (a buyer) uses the money he makes from selling the pizza to buy a present from the Toy Store (a seller).”