RESOURCES

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and Noah Z. Jones

PICTURE BOOK LESSON PLAN

GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES K+

BOOK

Those Shoes written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

LESSON PLAN CREATION

Arturo Estrella

LESSON PLAN EDITING

Zapoura Newton-Calvert

INTRODUCTION

This lesson is structured for the picture book Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. This book tells the story of Jeremy and his efforts to fit into the newest fad in school, the latest cool pair of shoes. It explores the effects of consumer culture, and the power of generosity and kindness to others. The lesson was written by Arturo Estrella as part of Social Justice in K12 education course at Portland State University.


THEMES

  • Fads

  • Kindness and Generosity

  • Sacrifice

  • Economic Identity

  • Consumerism

WATCH THE READ ALOUD


SUMMARY + PERSONAL NOTE

This picture book follows a boy named Jeremy who really wants a certain pair of shoes after seeing other kids at school who all have that pair. In an effort to fit in, Jeremy asks his grandmother to buy the shoes for him but is disappointed after his grandmother can’t afford to buy him the shoes. Jeremy gets lucky when he finds the shoes at a secondhand store; although they are too small for his feet, he is able to buy the shoes with his own money. Later, he notices his classmate Antonio. Antonio is in dire need of new shoes, and although Jeremy is conflicted about giving up his shoes, he decides to give his shoes to Antonio.


I relate to this book because I grew up in a working-class family, and my family could only afford what was necessary at the time. It was difficult not to notice the difference between myself and my peers and the things they had that I could not. I can only imagine how kids feel today with the rise of social media and pressure to fit in and keep up with the newest fad. This book does a great job of talking to children about issues of consumerism, fads, kindness, and a willingness to help others in need, even if it might cost you something.


OBJECTIVES

This guided reading lesson is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist teaching and learning for the student and the facilitator. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial equity and social justice in our communities. We hold the belief that being anti-racist is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time. The Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.


TEACHING TOLERANCE STANDARDS REFERENCED IN THIS LESSON

The Teaching Tolerance Standards and Domains referenced during discussion question development in this lesson are for Grades K-3 This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Here are the domains used to create the discussion questions.

  • Identity Domain, Standard # 4: I can feel good about myself without being mean or making other people feel bad.

  • Diversity Domain, Standard # 7: I can describe some ways that I am similar to and different from people who share my identities and those who have other identities.

  • Justice Domain, Standard # 11: I know my friends have many identities, but they are always still just themselves.

  • Action Domain, Standard # 20: I will speak up or do something if people are being unfair, even if my friends do not.

READ & DISCUSS QUESTIONS

  • Why did Jeremy’s grandmother not get him the shoes? What did Jeremy really need? should a person feel bad if they can’t afford something they want/need? Identity #4

  • Do you think that the kids that made fun of Jeremy’s Velcro shoes are being kind? How do you think they should have reacted to Jeremy’s shoes? What would you have said to Jeremy to make him feel better? Diversity #7

  • Do you think Jeremy and Antonio will stay friends after this story? What do Jeremy and Antonio have in common? Justice #11

  • Do you think that Jeremy did the right thing, even though it was hard for him to do? What ways can you help others like Jeremy helped Antonio? Action # 2

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE FROM ARTURO

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE VIDEO

  • How can you tell the difference between a need and a want?

  • What causes people to not be able to meet their wants and needs?

  • How does it feel to have more or less than somebody else?

  • How do companies/commercials make us feel about what we do and do not have?

  • How can we celebrate what we all do have?

  • How can we help our community work together to meet its needs and wants?

  • What can we do to meet the needs of our community and other communities?

  • How have people help meet the needs of their community in the past?


ADDITIONAL RESOURCE FROM ZAPOURA


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