Will Wonders Never Cease: Pineapple on a Pizza

article by Mina , photo by Alamy

Focus question:

How do situations shape characters behaviours and dialogue in stories?


Learning Intention:


I am learning to connect differing character perspectives with the dialogue and body language they might use so that I can compose a short narrative.


Success Criteria:

  • I can express my own perspectives in a group setting.
  • I can explain the reasons why different people have different perspectives.
  • I can understand how dialogue and character behaviours work in different ways to convey emotions.
  • I can write a short narrative.


Essential knowledge:

View the English Textual concepts Perspective video.


Oral language and communication:

Prior to reading the article, ask students to do the following:

  • Raise your hand if you like pizza.
  • Raise your hand if you like pineapple on a pizza (Count the number of students who raised their hand)
  • Raise your hand if you do not like pineapple on a pizza (count the number of students who raised their hand)


In small groups, ask students to talk to their peers about the reason why they do or do not like pineapple on a pizza. At the end of the small group discussion time, come back together as a whole class and ask each group to report back on the different reasons given for liking/disliking pineapple on a pizza.


Ask the class the following question and discuss the different ideas offered by students:

  • Why do different people like different pizza toppings?


Understanding text:

Read the article as a class, or if you have a digital subscription, listen to the audio.

After reading, have students complete the following table in which they record the different reasons why people do and do not like pineapple on a pizza.

Reasons for enjoying pineapple on pizza Reasons for disliking pineapple on pizza


(Suggested answers for column 1: People enjoy the taste; suggested answer for column 2: Italian people prefer traditional style pizza; people dislike the taste.)


Creating text:

Have students imagine that a small group of 3-4 people are out having dinner at a pizza restaurant. One of the people orders a Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple). The other people in the group have varied opinions about pineapple on pizza, at least one of the diners strongly believes that pineapple on pizza is a terrible thing.


Engage students in a hot seating activity in which three students are seated at the front of the room, as the diners in the scenario described above. Students are given the following roles:

Student 1: A person with Italian heritage who is horrified by pineapple on pizza.

Student 2: A pizza lover who adores Hawaiian pizza.

Student 3: Someone who doesn’t think it is worth fighting about.


First ask the hot seated students to tell the class about their feelings related to pineapple on pizza.

Then ask the hot seated students to describe the emotion they are feeling when they are discussing pineapple on pizza. (Angry, confused, disappointed, bewildered)

Finally, ask the hot seated students to act out some body language/ a behaviour that shows how they feel and how the issue of pineapple on pizza is affecting them in this restaurant. (Fist slamming onto table, shoulders slumped, head in hands, shaking head.)


Engage the whole class in a conversation around the following questions:

  • How did the words said about each person’s opinion help you understand their perspective?
  • Which words used by the hot seated students were persuasive? (If none were used then rephrase the question to ‘How could this person have made their dialogue more persuasive?’)
  • What is more effective, naming an emotion a character is feeling or showing the emotion through their body language and behaviors?


Ask students to compose a short story in which they tell the story of this dinner. In their writing students are to:

  • Write in 3rd person narrative.
  • Use dialogue to show the different perspectives of the diners in the restaurant.
  • Describe the emotions of characters by showing their behaviours.


Assessment for/as learning:

Have students share their narrative with a partner. Students are to read their partner’s story and then complete the following peer feedback form by ticking the items that apply to their partner’s narrative.

  • My partner wrote in third person narrative.
  • My partner showed character’s perspectives through dialogue.
  • My partner described the body language of the characters.
  • I was able to understand the perspective of each character.
  • I was able to identify the emotions of each character.