"Be True to Your Shoes" art project in NH school
|Notes from Doug|
In the past two weeks I’ve visited two schools that have been working with True Shoes: on April 23 I was in E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va., where the ninth graders are reading the new book, and on April 18 I visited Litchfield, NH, Middle Schoolers, where the seventh graders have been reading Shoes (all the LMS students have read The Revealers).
These have been my first chances to talk with large groups of young adults who have read the new book — and their responses have been really uplifting. Lots of questions, lots of very strong connection between real kids and my realistic story.
To build those connections, the Litchfield school developed an art project with Shoes that was posted in a hallway when I arrived. It caught my eye! I’m always looking for creative ways that teachers and others devise for engaging young readers with books, and this is a fine example.
The project is titled Be True to Your School — and the assignment was to choose a character in the novel that you connect with, then create on paper the shoe you think he or she would wear. Inside that shoe, give the character’s name, and write some words that, to you, describe who that person really is. What is this character really like? What’s going on inside him or her?
What the students created shows, I think, how well this worked to bring them inside the story and a character in it. Here is one of the hallway displays of the Litchfield project, and a closeup of one student’s “character shoe.”