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Lesson Plan

Whose Shoes? Using Artifacts to Teach Reading and Rhyming Patterns

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Grades 1 – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30- to 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Rose Jackson

Albany, New York


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



A good way to engage students in active learning is to have them analyze artifacts related to current units of study. In this lesson, first- and second-grade students analyze an artifact (a shoe), respond to questions about the artifact, read and listen to related literature, and use appropriate social skills to discuss what they learn. The class reads several rhyming texts about the artifact topic, and students practice making rhyming words. Throughout the lesson, questioning is used to engage, teach, and assess students.

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  • Shoe Shoe Baby by Bernard Lodge (Random House, 2000)

  • Shoes by Elizabeth Winthrop (HarperTrophy, 1986)

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Taylor, B.M., Peterson, D.S., Pearson, P.D., & Rodriguez, M.C. (2002). Looking inside classrooms: Reflecting on the "how" as well as the "what" in effective reading instruction. The Reading Teacher, 56(3), 270–279.

This article reports on studies in reading that looked at effective instructional practices in various grades and circumstances. Among their findings was the observation that teaching practices such as "higher level questioning, style of interacting, and encouraging active pupil involvement, may be warranted."


Allington, R. (2002). What I've learned about effective reading instruction from a decade of studying exemplary elementary classroom teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, 83, 740–747.

Allington identifies six key elements of effective reading instruction (time, texts, teaching, talk, tasks, and testing) and explains the importance of each in helping students become fluent readers.


Juel, C., & Deffes, R. (2004). Making words stick. Educational Leadership, 61, 30–34.

Juel and Deffes discuss the importance of helping students develop rich vocabularies. A study of shoes provides a wonderful opportunity to help students overcome "word poverty."


Roskos, K., Christie, J., & Richgels, D. (2003). The essentials of early literacy instruction. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Roskos, Christie, and Richgels describe eight strategies essential for early literacy instruction and report on the growing body of research to support the development of literacy skills in young children. It is their conclusion that attention to literacy development in young children forms a basis for later successful reading achievement.

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