Monday, October 1, 2012

Pizza, Pizza Daddy-o

"Pizza, Pizza, Daddy-o" is always a favorite with our second graders, so we have enjoyed working on this song for the past couple of weeks. Not only is it fun, but this call and response song provides many opportunities for musical growth.

Let's Sing It

Janet and I both begin teaching the song to our classes a cappella. We model the song and have the children perform hand signals as they sing the choral response to the solo. They experience success because we start slowly and there are only two signs for this part: sol and mi.

Through the use of a document camera, we project the music on the screen for the children to follow. We track the music as the children sing, to ensure that children are focused on the right spot.  As students follow along, they gain skills in reading music notation. They begin to identify melodic direction, and they notice different types of notes and the locations of those notes (line vs space, step vs. skip, high vs low, etc.).

If you need the melody of this song, Beth has it posted on her blog at Beth's Music Notes.

Let's Move It

After learning the song, we listen to the stereo vocal track on the 2nd grade Silver Burdett Making Music CD (1:36). The students absolutely LOVE it! (This is an African American singing game that is found in other textbook series, as well.) We have them sit while they listen at first, so they can focus on the music. We encourage students to move while seated, because it is impossible to sit still while listening and it prepares them for the next step. During the interlude, we allow them to stand up and finish the song while improvising their own movements in place.
Next, we sit back down and teach the foot movement found in the textbook, which is basically a criss-cross while alternating the front foot during the "pizza, pizza, daddy-o." At first, we use hands to pat the foot pattern on the the floor. This helps students get the pattern before trying it with their feet. When they are ready, we stand and sing the song without the voices on the CD and perform the movements. Then we layer in the CD accompaniment.

We do not spend an entire class period learning or singing the song. Rather, we spend shorter increments of time on several occasions, so that the song is cemented in the children's minds before beginning our next activity, which is a collaborative project.

Let's Create It

Children work in groups of 4 (or 3-5) and create their own lyrics for the part of the song that says, "Let's rope it" (or swim, duck, or twist). Each child is responsible for creating one command. (For groups with fewer students, the group can fill in the remaining blanks. If a group has more than 4, two students can be partners to fill in a box.)

We discuss words that would work well and words that would not work well prior to moving into groups. We also talk about the importance of picking a word that gives a clear direction of a movement to do. "Make it" is not as specific as "Build it," and classmates may be confused about what to do. Therefore, they should choose more descriptive words for their lines of the song.

Before beginning the project, we give the following guidelines:
  • Each student is responsible for his/her box on the form. 
  • The group should discuss each member's choice, but peers should be supportive. If the word is an appropriate choice, then they use it. If it does not work for some reason (i.e. not an action verb), the students must respectfully explain why and let the child pick a new word. 
  • The group shares one pencil, and each child writes his/her own response. This maximizes group participation, rather than one child taking over the project.
  • It is a cooperative project, so students should be kind and work well together.
After the group completes the form, they create movements for each line and practice leading the song. Finally, each group stands in front of the class and leads the song using their created lyrics. It is a good idea to have a music stand for their forms, so they will be confident as they lead the class.

Let's Play It

From singing, moving, and creating lyrics, we will soon transition to playing instruments. After being told that sol is a G, students will explore the barred instrument to find mi. It may help to point to hand signals that are posted in order to demonstrate that mi is two steps down from sol.
Next, we will sing the song and play the sol-mi patterns of the chorus parts. When they are successful and ready for a new challenge, we will have them find la-sol-la and play that pattern whenever it occurs in the solo part. Finally, we will divide the instruments and have one group play the call and the other play the response.

Singing, moving, creating, and playing. "Pizza, Pizza, Daddy-o" has it all. 2nd grade is having a ball! Can you tell that I'm having a blast, too? :)


  1. my kids LOVED that song. We just got a new series and it's not in it but I may revisit it because it is so much fun!
    Thanks for the reminder/

  2. If you have the Macmillan Share the Music series, it is in that one as well. See p. 62 and cd 4:1 in that series.

  3. I'm so happy I found your site. Thank you.

  4. I know this is an old thread, but I use to play this game all the time! I did a new spin on it for the end of year craziness.... I made slides with different cartoon or movie characters (ex. Gumball, Ben 10, Avengers, Despicable Me, Teen Titans Go!, SpongeBob, Phineas & Ferb etc.. & then found 3 fun pics of the characters doing something! Ex. Phineas has a girlfriend (pic of Phineas & Isabella) Let's Robot, Let's Surf it, Let's Dance it! I did the Incredible Hulk Flex it, Stomp it Smash it... lol, I crack myself up! New spin on a classic favorite! & we all need to laugh the last few weeks or I turn into the teacher smash!! Grrrrr!!

    1. PS< I also should mention, that I had 3 pictures of Phineas, as a robot, on a surfboard, & jamming out just for fun! :)

  5. I'm curious as to why you would use a CD accompaniment. The origin is Afro-American and would not have been accompanied except, perhaps, for a hand clapping pattern. An accompaniment would not make it authentic.

    1. You certainly don't have to use the CD, and I don't always use it - especially when we sing the verses the students created. However, the track is so much fun that it makes this song one of the favorites with my students every year.

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