4 Ideas Inspired by "New Old Shoes"

21 April 2016
Hello, this is Cathy from Cathy Collier's The W.I.S.E. Owl.  You know from previous posts I love teaching writing to emergent learners, cvc words, and read alouds.  What you may not know is I also love thrift stores.  I'm a cheapie at heart.  I'm always checking out the local thrift stores for 3 things:  binders (they are so much cheaper), word cards (aka topic cards) and books.  Last week I found the book "New Old Shoes" by Charlotte Blessing.  I had never heard this story, but trust me it's amazing.
I'm sure you can understand how the red sneakers caught me eye.  The book was a discard from the public library, I don't understand why.  It's in great shape...no tears, no markings, and it's hardback.  It was just 99¢!
Familiar with the book New Old Shoes? Check out the four ideas Cathy from The WISE Owl shares on Virginia is for Teachers.

What's so great about this book?

What isn't great about it?  First, it is written from the shoes perspective.  What a great way to teach perspective to your students.  The opening sentence grabs your attention, "Int he window between the golden sandals and fancy clogs, we wait for the perfect pair of feet to walk away with us."  Isn't that fun?  Secondly, it's a great story recycling.  The shoes are donated and then used again at the end in a new way.  Thirdly, the author ends the story with a question to the reader.  "What...comes...next?"

If you don't know the story or can't find the book quickly, check out this Vimeo.  The story is read by the author.


So, now you see why I love this story.

What...comes...next?

Just like the book said, what now?
This book is the perfect opportunity to teach about recycling and reusing old objects.  What a fun project to combine planting with reusing.  If you do a quick google search for "reusing shoes as planters," you'll find many many ideas for using shoes and boots as planters.  
Why not help the students organize a shoe drive?  I think this could be a great PBL.  They could decide when, where, and how a shoe drive would work.  They could create "advertisements" and "flyers" for the community.  They could research where to donate the shoes.  They could keep a record of how many shoes are donated...how many math lessons could be brought into this activity.  
As I stated before, this book is written from the shoes perspective.  Why not change the perspective?  Can the boy who gets the "new old shoes" write a thank you note for the shoes?  Wouldn't that be a great real-life connection for a letter writing lesson.
The author calls the reader to action.  "What...comes...next?"  Shouldn't we listen to her?

As you can tell, I love this book.  It's a wonderful way to share so many great life lessons for our students.

I made 3 writing papers for students, if you'd like a small FREEBIE, CLICK HERE.  

I hope you love the book as much as I do.


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