Those Shoes Activities and Graphic Organizers
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts promotes generous and kind attitudes. It also supports the understanding of the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.
In Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts, Jeremy has to make an important choice between what he wants and what he needs. The book gives you the opportunity to promote:
- Appreciation for what you have
- How appearance can influence opinions
- Poverty and socio-economic inequality
- The difference between needs and wants
You can also use the book to teach
- Inference and prediction
- Theme and main idea
- Character traits
- First-person narrative
- Making connections
- Point of view
Scroll down for Those Shoes activities, discussion questions and videos.
Those Shoes Summary
Jeremy really wants a pair of the new, trendy black shoes. It’s not fair that all his classmates have a pair, and he doesn’t. When he tells his grandmother he wants these shoes, her no-nonsense response leaves him wishing he had what his friends have. “There’s no room for ‘want’ around here – just ‘need’. And what you need are new boots for winter.”
When his old shoes fall apart at school, the guidance counselor gives him an unstylish replacement pair from the lost and found. He is embarrassed when he returns to his class and everyone laughs. Except for his friend Antonio.
Jeremy and his Grandma go shoe shopping and visit a thrift store. In the window, Jeremy sees “those shoes”! Excited, he tries them on, but there is just one problem. They are too small. His grandmother refuses to buy them, so Jeremy buys them with his own money, even though they hurt his feet.
Back at school, Jeremy sees Antonio’s shoes are wrapped in tape. After some thought, he gives the sneakers to Antonio, who Jeremy realizes needs more than him. Soon after, the weather changes to snow and Jeremy puts on his new winter boats from his grandma.
Thrift Store – charity shop
Guidance counselor – deputy head
Antonio – Tony
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
Illustrator: Noah Z. Jones
Publisher: Candlewick (2009)
Take a look inside
Maribeth Boelts Official Website
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Those Shoes Activities & Resources
I have created literacy graphic organizers for Those Shoes. You can find them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. There are many activities for each literacy area to differentiate depending on your student’s ability/age. They include activities for:
- Author’s Purpose
- Cause & Effect
- Character Traits and Analysis
- Comprehension Questions and Writing Prompts
- Inferring and Predicting
- Main Idea and Theme
- Making Connections
- Point of View
- Problem and Solution
- Retelling, Sequencing and Summarizing
*Click on these links to discover book recommendations on these topics.
External Those Shoes Activities & Links
- Candlewick Press: Teachers’ Guide
- Embracing Our Differences: Reading into Character: Those Shoes
- Learning to Give: Those Shoes Literature Guide
- Library Sparks: Activities for Those Shoes
- Money as You Grow Book Club: Parent reading guide for “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts
- The Prindle Institute for Ethics: Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion
FREE Those Shoes Graphic Organisers
Would you like free graphic organisers for Those Shoes?
I have a freebie that is part of a larger resource so you can try it out before buying anything!
Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack. Click on the image to see the full pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Those Shoes Read-Aloud Questions
Read aloud sessions are a wonderful way for children to understand the connection between written text and spoken language. You can model reading habits and strategies, reading fluency, tone and eye contact. You can also introduce different genres, authors and illustrators.
- Why did Jeremy want the same shoes as everyone else? Have you ever felt like this about something your friends have?
- Have you ever saved money as Grandma did for Jeremy’s new boots? How did it feel to buy the thing you saved up for?
- Why does Jeremy want them so badly? How is he feeling?
- Grandma says there is no room for “want,” there is only room for “need.” What do you think she means?
- Why does Grandma let Jeremy make his own decision about buying the shoes?
- What do you think of Jeremy’s decision to buy the shoes? What would you have done?
- Why was it so difficult for Jeremy to give his shoes to Antonio?
- Have you ever given something to someone that they needed but didn't ask for? How did that feel?
- How should Jeremy’s classmates have reacted to his Velcro shoes? What would you have said to make Jeremy feel better?
- Do you think Jeremy and Antonio will stay friends? Explain your answer.
You can find a full set of discussion cards in the Those Shoes Literacy Bundle or as a separate pack.
Those Shoes Book Videos
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