Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Whose Shoes? Using Artifacts to Teach Reading and Rhyming Patterns

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

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


Materials and Technology






  • Computers with Internet access

  • LCD projector (optional)

  • Burner covers or other metal trays

  • Chart paper

  • Magnetic letters

  • Whiteboard easel and markers

  • A shoe or boot

back to top



back to top



back to top



1. Choose an artifact for students to analyze. It is most effective to use an actual object, although replicas and miniatures can achieve the same results. If an artifact is not available, then a photograph or drawing can be used. This lesson is developed using a shoe because shoes reflect a variety of things about a given culture. Shoes can help students understand the climate of a place, whether the wearer was rich or poor, and sometimes the kind of job the wearer did. Students can also learn that shoes are sometimes worn for protection and sometimes as decoration. Shoes are also readily available. Additional Shoe Resources for Teachers provides books and websites that have images of shoes and information about their history.

The shoe or boot you choose should relate to a current unit of study or be an interesting shoe in some way (e.g., because of its style, how it is made, or its use). For example, in many schools the primary grade social studies curriculum includes a study of community workers. As students learn about the services these workers perform for their community, it would extend their learning to have them analyze a specialized shoe worn by one of these workers.

2. Print out and familiarize yourself with the Artifact Analysis Questions. You may want to print these on a transparency or chart paper to share with students during Session 1. Make copies of the questions for each student in your class.

3. Break students into groups for guided reading (see Session 2). Guided reading groups should

  • Be small (three to six students)

  • Be temporary

  • Be designed to accommodate the different learning needs and styles of students

  • Allow you to support individuals

  • Provide group support

  • Sustain a reading community
Homogeneous groups work well for this lesson because they will allow you to be attentive to the needs of English-language learner (ELL), struggling, and other special-needs students. For example, ELL students may need additional time developing the concept of rhyming words by hearing you pronounce the words and provide additional examples. By carefully observing students and analyzing assessment, you can form groups with similar instructional needs.

4. Obtain and familiarize yourself with Shoe Shoe Baby by Bernard Lodge. This text will be used as a read-aloud during Session 1.

5. Obtain and familiarize yourself with Shoes by Elizabeth Winthrop. You will need copies for each student in the guided reading group. If you are using a different artifact, you will want to find a rhyming text that addresses the topic directly or indirectly.

6. Read "Ode to Pablo's Tennis Shoes" by Gary Soto. This poem can also be found in the book Neighborhood Odes (Harcourt, 1992). You may want to copy the poem on chart paper or a transparency for use during Session 3 (Step 2).

7. Have a whiteboard easel and marker ready to use with the guided reading group. Each student in the group should have a metal burner cover or other tray and a set of magnetic letters (use lower-case letters). You should have letters to spell out all of the rhyming words in the text you use in Session 2. The book used in this lesson contains the following rhyming pairs:

tie/high bows/snows
sliding/riding fall/all
tight/night racing/lacing
wishing/squishing blister/sister

Provide additional letters that will allow students to create a third rhyming word for each pair (e.g., tight/night/bite or sliding/riding/hiding). Focus on the rhyming sounds not the spelling patterns unless students are more advanced. For struggling and ELL students, provide only letters that will work. For others, additional letters will make the activity more challenging.

8. Gather a collection of books related to the artifact you have chosen. You may want multiple copies of some of the books so that students can read them in groups while you work with the guided reading group. Additional Shoe Resources for Students lists a number of books having to do with shoes.

9. Make a K-W-L chart on chart paper or a transparency titled How People Make Sneakers for Session 3. The chart should have three columns, titled What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned.

10. If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, arrange one 20-minute session in your school's computer lab (see Session 3). Visit Mister Rogers: How People Make Sneakers and make sure you can view and listen to the video on the computers students will be using. Alternatively, you might use an LCD projector to show the video to students.

back to top