SAN MARCOS — Lunch and geography collided as the 30 students of Cami Burk’s fourth-grade social studies class made a slew of California pizzas, pizzas shaped and topped to represent the Golden State, in a fun and educational outdoor event at Paloma Elementary on Oct. 3.
Each pizza was made by a small group of children gently directed by a parent volunteer who then took the pies home to bake. All of the pizzas started out as a sock-shaped mass of dough, but they quickly became individual works of artistic expression. If a group liked rivers, they heaped their pizza with blue-dyed mozzarella. Another group created a giant desert of bacon in the southern reaches of their pie. There was even an all-vegetarian pizza with broccoli standing in for the sequoias east of the Central Valley.
Burk said her inspiration for the event was her passion for social studies and food.
“The class that I have this year, they’re mature enough that they can handle a totally outlandish project like this,” she said. “They’re having fun as they’re creating a relief map of California, and then they get to eat it. Sometimes school kids should have fun. We’ve done a lot of learning, it’s time to have fun. I think that hands-on is so much more meaningful than paper and pencil.”