Those Shoes

The bag o’shoes was a perfect fit yesterday.  And they were definitely worth the aggravation suffered by Mr. T that morning.  Here’s how it went:

The lesson began with a read aloud of “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts.  It’s a lovely, many layered story about longing, jealousy and sacrifice, told in a way that second graders completely understand.  I use it over the course of year to illustrate a variety of points.  But today, it was really about shoes. 

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Or, more accurately, the importance of the perfect fit.  In the story, the boy finally finds an affordable pairs of those shoes, only to discover that they are too small.  He buys them anyway, but cannot wear them.  When we discussed this, one sweet little girl said, “If they don’t fit, they’re useless.”  And they were useless to him….until he decided to give them to someone that could wear them.

And that brought us to the point of the lesson.  Choosing shoes that fit is important; so is choosing BOOKS that fit.

That’s when the bag o’shoes made its appearance.  And so did my in-need-of-a-pedicure foot.  Because to illustrate the point, I needed to try on the shoes.  Some fit.  Some didn’t.  Just like some books.  

We talked about the purpose behind the shoes in the bag.  Some are for exercise, and some are for the beach.  Choosing books with a purpose in mind is important too – are you looking for information or would you like to be entertained?

We noticed that the bag o’shoes did not contain basketball high tops or baseball cleats.

(SIDE NOTE:  As I was typing this, I had to confirm with Mr. T that the sport of baseball does, in fact, require cleats.  “Why do you need to know that?”   “It has to do with the bag o’shoes.”  His response?  An indescribable look of “why did I even ask my crazy teacher wife?”  END SIDE NOTE)

The bag did not hold any type of sports shoes because I am not interested in sports (understatement of the year!)  That brought us to the next point – when choosing a book, think about whether it might be of interest to you.

All in all, a very effective lesson illustrating the importance of choosing a just right book.  The bulk of it comes from a teacher’s resource entitled “The Daily Five.”  While our school doesn’t follow the program per se, I have borrowed some of the lessons.  This is a particularly good one.  

Today, we’ll do a follow up, choosing books that seem to fit us in terms of readability, interest and purpose.  But the bag o’shoes will not reappear.  I had to put them back in the closet.

For me, there is really only one pair of “those shoes.”  And if you knew me well, you’d know what they were without an illustration.  But here’s one anyway:

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I’d wear those shoes even if they didn’t fit.  

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