Skills Building: Those Shoes (PK - 5)

Unit 11 Book - Those Shoes

Written by Maribeth Boelts and Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

TEKS: ELA and Reading K.5(C); 1.6(E); 3.6(E); 4.6(E); 5.7(F)

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. How might one of your friends feel if you asked them to climb a tall tree with you? How might they feel differently than your parents or teacher?
  2. Imagine if a group of students left a huge mess in the cafeteria. How might the cafeteria staff and custodians feel? 
  3. How might the cafeteria staff or custodians feel if a group of students volunteered to clean up a mess they did not make?
  4. Imagine that you are a new student at a school and you don’t know anyone. How would you feel if a classmate welcomed you and invited you to play with them at recess?

Post- Reading Questions

  1. How do you think the main character, Jeremy, felt when his classmates laughed at the shoes he received from Mr. Alfey? How would you feel if your class laughed at you? How do you think others would feel?
  2. Why do you think Jeremy gave the shoes to Antonio? 
  3. Did Jeremy know how Antonio would feel when he gave him the shoes? What clues in the book led you to believe that?
  4. How would it feel to give someone something they really wanted? How might they feel?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Shoes of Service (PK - 5)


In These Shoes, Jeremy realized the importance of spreading kindness and helping others in need. In this activity, students will explore different ways that they can serve others and spread kindness to those around them.


  • Converse handout (1 per student)
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Hold punch 
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Markers (optional)

Duration30 Minutes

  • 5 minutes – Explain the activity
  • 20 minutes – Create Shoes of Service
  • 5 minutes – Reflect on the activity


  1. Before the activity, print Converse handout for each student and create a sample for kids to see. 
  2. Explain the importance of serving those around us by spreading kindness. In this activity, the teacher will choose a cause to share with the students. They will create Shoes of Service with kind notes and drawings on them for others. They can tailor them for veterans, teachers, children in hospitals, residents at senior living centers, etc. It is important that students understand that there are others in this world who need encouragement and love. 
  3. Give an overview of the people that have been chosen to receive these Shoes of Service (e.g. If you are writing to veterans, spend time explaining to students who veterans are and what they do for us.). 
  4. Have the students brainstorm encouraging words they can write to the recipients. 
  5. Once students have seen a sample and understand the selected cause, they will create their Shoes of Service. 
  6. First, they will write a note of encouragement tailored to the people who will be receiving the  Shoes of Service. For younger students, they can draw an inspirational picture and copy short text dictated by the teacher. 
  7. Start by using pencils. Students may trace words with markers once they are done writing. 
  8. Next, students will use colored pencils to decorate their shoes. Remind them to fill the entire shoe with color so that there are no white spaces. Encourage them to use multiple colors, patterns and designs. 
  9. Once they are fully colored, cut out the shoe. Younger students who are not proficient with scissors may require assistance. 
  10. Glue the shoe on colored construction paper. 
  11. Cut out the shoe again, leaving a half-inch border of the colored construction paper which will serve as a frame. 
  12. Using a hole punch, punch holes in the shoes for the laces. 
  13. Give a foot of decorative ribbon to each student and allow them to “lace-up” the shoes for a finishing touch. 
  14. Have students sign their name on the back of the shoe.

Reflection Questions

  • How does it feel to do something nice for others? 
  • Why is it important that we serve those who need help? 
  • Can you think of a time when you needed help and someone you didn’t know well helped you? 
  • What are some ways that we can serve others at our school? 
  • What are some ways that we can serve others in our community? 
  • How do you think people feel when they are in need but no one will help them? 
  • How can we make the world a better place?