Melody Casey
Arts Education, English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Middle School
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Education Standards

    GEDB Take a Walk in My Shoes: A Realistic Drawing (Lesson 1 of 3)

    GEDB Take a Walk in My Shoes: A Realistic Drawing (Lesson 1 of 3)


    Students will create a realistic shoe drawing of their personal shoe including a background that visually explains where they have been, where they would like to go, or how they got to where they are now using the Elements and Principles of Art and Design (ex. line, shape, texture, space, form, emphasis). This lesson was developed by Laura Mitchell as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.            

    Lesson Plan


    Students will create a realistic shoe drawing of their personal shoe including a background that visually explains where they have been, where they would like to go, or how they got to where they are now using the Elements and Principles of Art and Design (ex. line, shape, texture, space, form, emphasis).



    Student Engagement/Motivation

    Choose 8 famous people from pop culture and project images of only their shoes.  Have the students number a sticky note 1-8 and guess whoes shoes are whoes. Include a photo of your own shoes or another staff member in the school for fun.  Ask the students to place a star next to the person who they would want to walk around in their shoes for a day and to share with the class why they would want to walk in the shoes.

    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    I can analyze how an author contrasts point of view of character in a text.

    I can generate responses to art using both personal and formal criteria.

    I can implement formative and summative evaluations of personal art.

    I can use art vocabluary to communicate effectively.

    I can use observation skills of the environment and personal experiences to create original imagery.

    I can create original art emphasizing selected elements and principles to express ideas or feelings.

    I will write who the author intended the different points of view to be in the Choosing Shoes poem and discuss and analyze with the class.

    I will write an Artist Statement assessing and analyzing my personal art using art vocabulary.

    I will discuss my art with my classmates and teacher during the art making process.

    I will self-assess my art using a rubric.

    I will use art vocabulary to communicate how I drew my shoe and background.

    I will use observation skills of looking at my shoe and my own personal experiences to draw a realistic shoe drawing.

    I will use line, shape, texture, form, and space to express my journey and path in life and visually represent where I have been and/or where I am going.


    laptop, projector, screen, sticky notes, pencils, 8 x 11.5 inch 80 lb white sulphite drawing paper, white vinyl erasers, smudge sticks, various shoes, copies of poem and/or digital access, 8 x 11.5 inch newsprint, fine tip permanent black markers, easel, posterboard,

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    Prior to Day 1: The teacher should choose 8 famous people from pop culture and be prepared to project images of the people's shoes on the board. Teacher should also prepare a posterboard on an easel that says "My Favorite Shoes" at the top. Teacher will need to set up an online digital portfolio for students.  If using teachers will need to get parent/guardian permission.  Another option is to have students take photos and create a folder with images on a laptop or tablet. If technology is not available, teacher may save artwork in a large folder for each student.


    Day 1:

    -Teacher will hand each student a sticky note as they walk into the classroom.  Students will number the sticky note 1-8 and guess whose shoes are whose that they see projected on the board. Teacher is encouraged to include a photo of their own shoes or another staff member in the school for fun. Teacher will ask the students to place a star next to the person who they would want to walk around in their shoes for a day and to share with the class why they would want to walk in the shoes.

    -Teacher will pass out a second sticky note to each student.  Students will answer the following on the sticky note:

    What is your favorite pair of shoes or pair of shoes you have always dreamed of owning?  Why do you love these shoes?  (ex. Do you love them because you like the looks?  Were they comfortable?  Did they take you interesting places?  Did you have good memories in them?  Where could they take you if you had ones you have dreamed of owning? Possible answers might be: I love my Converses because they are comfortable.  I wish I had the latest Air Jordans because I could jump higher.  I love my sparkly red glitter slippers from when I was 6 because I thought they were so pretty and they remind me of how happy I was before my parents got divorced.)

    -As the students finish they will get up and stick their sticky note on the board on the easel that says, "My Favorite Shoes".  The students do not have to put their name on the sticky note unless they want to.  The teacher will share the answers by reading them to the class.

    -Teacher will explain to the students that they are going to learn to draw realistically and that their inspiration is going to be shoes. Teacher will have students start the process by noticing the outer and inner contour lines of shoes. Teacher or student helper will pass out newsprint and a black permanent marker to each student. Teacher will demonstrate the drawing for the students by placing a shoe on the table and creating a continuous blind contour drawing.  Note: Continuous Blind Contour drawing is a drawing exercise where an artist draws the outer and inner edges of a subject without looking at the paper or lifting the pen.  Teacher will tell the students that this is only an exercise (much like a basketball player might practice lay ups over and over).  Teacher will ensure the students know that these drawings are only a tool to learn to see and to trust your hands to see what your eye sees and that the drawings will not be displayed.  Students should try to notice details of ridges, shapes, and textures.  Teacher will monitor the students by walking around the room and reminding them to just look at the shoe and to trust their hand.  Towards the end of class the teacher will write a "100" in the corner of the paper if the student was engaged and took the risk to try to the Continuous Blind Contour drawing.  Record the grade as Classwork.

    -At the end of class teacher will ask students to bring in or wear a shoe that you like to take your time on and draw the next day.  (It is important to have additional shoes for students to choose from that may be self-conscious or give them the option of bringing in a family member or friend's shoe.)

    Prior to Day 2:

    Teacher will need to print page 2 of Shoe Poem PDF and cut out the sets of questions for the students.


    Day 2:

    -Teacher will project the poem, Choosing Shoes by Frida Wolfe on the board and give each each student a handout of the poem along with a slip of paper with three questions to answer (See Shoe Poem PDF).  Teacher will read the poem through, ask the questions, then reread the poem.  Teacher may also ask a student to read the poem aloud to the class.

    -Teacher will lead a discussion with the class on the answers to the questions and ask them if they can relate to the author. Volunteers will tell their own stories about buying shoes. This is also a good opportunity for the teacher to tell a personal story about using hand me down shoes from an older sibling, borrowing shoes from a friend, buying shoes from a thrift store, and/or talking about not having the right shoes for a certain occassion so that all students in a diverse socio-economic school can relate.

    -Teacher will take up slips of paper to assess whether students have an understanding of point of view of a narrator in a text.

    -Students will take off their shoe (or choose a shoe from a box of classroom shoes) and place on the table.  Teacher will show students examples of realistic shoe drawings.  Examples can be found: 

    -Teacher will review the attached rubric (Take a Walk in My Shoes PDF) on the screen and talk about the first two subject headings under "Rubric" to focus on for the day: "Filling the Page" and "Shape and Proportion".  Teacher will demonstrate for the students by drawing their own shoe.  Teacher will explain how to make the shoe larger to fill the page and that by doing so will create emphasis for the drawing (with the shoe being the emphasis).  Teacher will remind students to draw lightly so they can erase as they begin to draw the shape of their shoe and the shapes within the shoe (the designs).  Teacher will demonstrate drawing for the class.

    -Secondly, teacher will demonstrate how to measure proportion (the size of something in relationship to the whole).  For example: use fingers to measure the height of the heel then use that measurement to figure the height of the overall shoe or measuring the width of the shoelace and comparing it to the width of the logo or lettering on the shoe.

    -Teacher or student helper will pass out white 80lb white sulphite drawing paper and students will write their first and last name in the bottom right corner.  This will ensure they do not write their name too big on the back of their paper in case they mess up and have to use the other side and to conserve materials.

    -Teacher will remind the students to draw lightly in case they need to erase. Erasers will be provided as needed.  Teacher will formatively assess student work by walking around the room and by allowing quiet talking among the students in order for peer assessment to take place.

    -Teacher will take up work and give students ample time to put their shoes back on.


    Day 3:

    -Teacher will review Take a Walk in My Shoes PDF and focus on the "Rubric".  Teacher will discuss "Shading to Create Form" and "Detail and Texture" with the students. Teacher will demonstrate how to squint ones eyes and look at the shoe to better see the lights and darks of the shoe. Teacher will ask for volunteers and point out to the class how a white shirt can actually look grey in the creases and bright white where the light is hitting it and then demonstrate how to take a photograph with a phone and laptop and edit a photo to black and white.  Teacher will demonstrate how to edit a photo or (if technology is not available) discuss how our eyes are like a filter. Teacher will project a drawing to the class so they can point out 5 different values or shades (from white to black). Teacher will demonstrate how to get smoother shades and grey tones by using the smudge stick.

    -Students will turn to their neighbor and point out 5 different values (or shades) on their own shoe.

    -Teacher will demonstrate how to draw detail and texture (weave of the laces, scratches in the leather, pattern of the design, etc)

    -Student will work independently on their art and assess as you walk around the room and give verbal feedback.


    Day 4:

    -Teacher will pass out the attachment: Take a Walk in My Shoes and go over with the students the final parts (reviewing the expectations from Days 2-3). Teacher will share the student examples of Artsonia again and read some of the Artist Statements to the students.  Explaining the four choices listed on the handout, teacher will explain that Option A for the background is drawing somewhere you want your shoes to take you in the future (ex. college), Option B is to draw somewhere your shoes have already taken you that has shaped how you are today (it could be a difficult memory or illustrate a big life event in the past), Option C is to draw where the student is the most happy (ex. beach or sleeping in their bed), and Option D gives students the opportunity to use words/text with imagery to create art.  If the students do choose this option then they do not have to write the Artist Statement in Day 5 can can work on an extension assignment. Teacher will remind the students of the point value of each category (on the rubric).

    -Students will continue working on the drawing and creating proportion, form, texture, detail, and space.

    -As teacher walks around the room he/she will conference with each student to discuss what the student will create for their background and to verbally assess their drawing.


    Day 5:

    Students complete art, rubric, and write an Artist Statement (on a laptop or on paper) explaining why they chose the shoe that they did to draw, what the meaning of their background is, what they did well and why, and what they wish they had done differently and why. See attached Artist Statement Checklist PDF. Students will upload a photograph of their drawing to a digital online portfolio that will be accompanied with their Artist Statement. Students art will be hung in the school with the Artist Statement and rubrics will be calculated for a major grade with meaningful feedback/comments specific to the student included.


    Note: The extended learning opportunites are extra assignments students may choose from if they finish the assignment early.  They are found at the bottom Take a Walk in My Shoes PDF and can count in place of a sketchbook assignment (if the teacher assigns sketchbook assignments).

    Technological Engagement

    Students will upload a photo of their drawing to a digital online portfolio and write an Artist Statement to accompany their artwork.

    Students may choose to take a photo of the shoe they are trying to draw and then edit the photo to black and white so they are able to see the contrast and array of darks to lights in order to create more form in their drawing.

    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    Teachers will collect rubrics, take photographs of student work, and continuously talk to their students throughout the process to ensure growth.  By keeping images of student artwork in an online portfolio or paper portfolio teachers and students can monitor growth.

    Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps

    It is important for students to create written reflections about their work (Artist Statment). This allows the student to realize what they have done well and excelled on, what they need improving on, and what needs to be worked on.

    Feedback/Instructional Adjustments

    When students do not want to draw their own shoes they are usually embarrassed by their shoes or they are nervous they have odorous feet.  Often I allow students to draw a friend's shoe and for select students I will print a copy of a shoe that they are highly motivated to draw.

    Extended Learning Opportunities

    1. Write a poem about shoes and illustrate it
    2. Research someone you would like to walk around in their shoes for a day.  Write a one page paper from their viewpoint and tell us about that day!
    3. Create a second shoe drawing from a different perspective.
    4. Research shoes of the Italian Renaissance and create a drawing of that shoe.  Color with colored pencils or watercolor.

    Teacher Reflection of Learning

    Students love shoes and this assignment engages them easily.  If they are taught the basics of drawing the students can all succeed at this assignment. Being about to draw what you see is difficult.  Giving students choices for their shoe as well as the background encouarges learning and sets the groundwork to then think outside themselves for the remainder of the unit.