3 Ideas Inspired by "New Old Shoes"

If you want a book perfect for sharing the idea of reusing items, this is the book for you.  This mentor text can help readers of all ages understand why reusing items is important and exciting.
I found this INCREDIBLE book at a thrift store for 99¢.

You know from previous posts I love teaching writing to emergent learners, cvc words, 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 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 this book?

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 the story or can't find the book quickly, check out this Vimeo.  The story is read by the author.

So, now you see why I love this story.
What...comes...next?
Just like the book said, what now?

Reuse.

If you want a book perfect for sharing the idea of reusing items, this is the book for you.  This mentor text can help readers of all ages understand why reusing items is important and exciting.This book 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 sweetest garden on your fence? 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?

Donate.

If you want a book perfect for sharing the idea of reusing items, this is the book for you.  This mentor text can help readers of all ages understand why reusing items is important and exciting.Why not help the students organize 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. 

Aside from the "standards" to be taught, wouldn't a great side note of this book be teaching empathy or sustainability or compassion?

Perspective.

If you want a book perfect for sharing the idea of reusing items, this is the book for you.  This mentor text can help readers of all ages understand why reusing items is important and exciting.As I stated before, this book is written from the shoes perspective.  I think Ruth Culham would approve of this for 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.

I made a 3-page FREEBIE with writing papers 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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