New Old Shoes is such a great book about recycling and reusing. It’s the perfect book for teaching students about real-world ways to care for the earth. I found this INCREDIBLE book at a thrift store for 99¢ and it’s a perfect Mentor Text.
You know from previous posts I love teaching writing and mentor texts.
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 mentor texts (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¢!
What’s so great about new old shoes?
What isn’t great about it? First, it is written from the shoes perspective. What a great way to teach “In the 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 and conservation. The shoes are worn, donated, worn again 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?”
perspective to your students. The opening sentence grabs your attention.
If you don’t know New Old Shoes or can’t find the book quickly, check out this read aloud.
So, now you see why I love this story. What…comes…next?
Just like the book said, what now?
New Old Shoes 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.
But wouldn’t these boots make the cutest planter? BUT, we don’t just reuse shoes.
We reuse old jars for pennies or old cans for pencils or old tire for a tire swing.
We reuse many things in many new ways. What comes next?
Why not help the students organize a clothes drive or 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. Graphing. Sorting. Patterns. Addition. Subtraction. Counting Doubles. Multiplication Arrays.
Another great project could be collecting bottle tops.
How many ways can we use bottle tops?
Can we write letters on them to use as letter tiles?
Can we write word families to build onset and rime?
Can we put end marks on the tops and use them for a fun editing activity by adding periods, question marks, and exclamation marks.
How many other ways can we use them in word work.
And how can we use them in math? Graphing. Sorting. Patterns. Addition. Subtraction. Counting Doubles. Multiplication Arrays.
Change the Perspective.
As I stated before, this book is written from the shoes perspective. What a great mentor text on voice. I think we could have interesting interactions with students when we ask them to BE the shoes and tell a story. Why not change the perspective? Change the author. Can it be from the boy in the US? or the boy in Africa? or the girl in Africa who had the ability to go to school because she had shoes? Can you read another familiar book and change the perspective. Or does the perspective change the writing assignment all together. Can we write a thank you note from the boy to the agency who provided the donated shoes?
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.
Aside from the “standards” to be taught, wouldn’t a great side note of this book be teaching empathy or sustainability or compassion?
If you are teaching a recycling unit…check out my product All About Recycling Centers and Activities.
I made a 2-page FREEBIE with a writing paper and a Reuse Bridge Map.
Click the link or a picture in the blog, if you’d like the New Old Shoes FREEBIE.
I hope you love the book as much as I do.
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