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Literature Unit Ideas for Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola (31 Days of Literature Unit Ideas and Read Aloud Wednesday Link Up)

Leah Courtney
This post is part of the 31 Days of Literature Unit Ideas series. You can find all of the books in the series here. And if you'd like to use this book for a unit study, you can find a FREE printable guide below.

One of my very favorite children's authors is Tomie de Paola. I love all his books and have shared most of them with my kids. My favorite is Strega Nona.

Literature unit for Strega Nona; includes science, social studies, and hands-on activities

About the book...

Strega Nona is translated "Grandma Witch" and she's known in the town for her magic potions and spells. But she's especially famous for her magic pasta pot that can make pasta whenever she wishes. When Strega Nona goes down to the town she leaves her assistant Big Anthony with strict instructions not to mess with her pasta pot. But Big Anthony's curiosity gets the best of him, and he finds himself in big trouble when the pasta pot won't stop.

Although Strega Nona is considered a witch, she's definitely a good and helpful person in this story. She does do magic- most involved in helping other people. So if you don't like that sort of thing you may not choose Strega Nona. There is a very good moral to the story when Big Anthony learns the importance of obeying, even when he doesn't understand why, and of honesty.

Learning activities...

Other resources...

Other favorite Tomie de Paola books...

  • The Legend of the Poinsettia- This book tells the Mexican legend behind the well-known Christmas flower.
  • The Night of Los Posadas- Los Posadas is the Christmas tradition of a parade with a Mary and Joseph who go door to door asking for refuge on Christmas Eve. On this night, Sister Angie, the coordinator is home with the flu, and the couple playing Mary and Joseph are caught in a snowstorm. But two strangers show up to take their place, and the town witnesses a special Christmas.
  • The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush- Texas and Wyoming both have the beautifully colored flowers known as Indian Paintbrush. This book tells the Indian legend of how the flowers got their name.
  • The Clown of God- This is a beautiful retelling of a French legend about a juggler who came to see the Christ child at his birth and offered the only talent he had- his juggling.
  • 26 Fairmount Avenue- This is a part of Tomie's autobiography, written for children. My girls loved this glimpse into the life of an author we really enjoy.
  • There are so many, many Tomie de Paola books we love. You can find his author page on Amazon here.

Literature unit booklist...

If you'd like to use Strega Nona as a literature unit, you can download a free printable guide here.


Now it's your turn. Link up your reading related posts with Read Aloud Wednesdays using the linky below.

As We Walk Along the Road

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She’s graduated two teens- one who’s a legal adult now! And she’s still homeschooling two middle schoolers. She loves all things book related, and in her- very rare- free time you can find her listening to audiobooks and coloring.


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