Teacher's Resources

WHAT'S THEIR LINE?: Shoes That Work

Classroom Activities & Projects

Why do we wear shoes? Most often we wear shoes for very practical reasons: we want to be comfortable when walking, and we want to keep our feet warm and dry. Many of us wear shoes because they make us look fashionable and beautiful. Sometimes we even wear certain shoes because of what religion we belong to.

But there are also shoes that talk not so much about who we are, but about what we do. Many people the world over wear shoes for certain jobs or for very specific purposes - think of a firefighter's boot or soccer shoes. 'What's Their Line' explores the world of shoes with jobs, and the many particular features that make a pair suitable for just one purpose. The footwear in this exhibition shows how inventive people can be when it comes to turning something as everyday as a shoe into a very functional tool.

Elementary teachers discussing careers with their students will find the exhibition 'What's Their Line' and the activities below useful. The activities below invite students to think about the properties of the materials used to make shoes for a particular purpose. They introduce students to the fascinating world of shoes by learning more about traditional and modern professions the world over, and the role shoes play in doing jobs both strange and familiar.