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Uncover the history behind modern shoes and the similarities between styles of the past and those of today. Students show off their sense of style by designing a shoe with Crayola® Model Magic®!
Ask students if they have a favorite pair of shoes? What do they like about them? When are they worn?
Why do people wear shoes? Shoes can be traced back to prehistoric times. Cave paintings show images of shoes in the most basic form, as bags, likely made from fur or animal hide, wrapped around people’s feet. That protective covering provided a shield against sharp rocks, hot sand, and other extreme terrain while hunting and performing daily activities.
As societies evolved, so did the style and functions of shoes. In ancient Egypt, shoes were status symbols. Even the color of shoes could be used to identify one’s class. Ancient Rome also used shoe color to define social lines. Similarly, in ancient Greece, shoes were an indicator of one’s profession. Greeks become highly skilled in shoemaking, and were known for the elaborately woven styles they created. Other countries focused on making shoes more durable and comfortable.
Students make a list of different shoe styles on the board as a class. How many can you think of? How do these styles differ from shoes created by ancient cultures? How are they the same? Students research to find examples of how shoes changed throughout history. What purpose did the styles serve in society during those times? What did they represent about the people wearing them? What do the shoes of today say about our society?
Students become shoemakers. What style of shoe would they create? What would be the function of those shoes? Why would people want to wear them? Students design a shoe using Crayola Model Magic! Use the research as an inspiration for the design. Consider the style, function, and symbolism of the shoe when molding it.
Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together. Be creative! Add colors and details to enhance the shoe. Explore swirling, rolling, and twisting the Model Magic for interesting effects! Jewels, buttons, and beads can be added using Crayola No-Run School Glue. Store the completed shoe in a safe area and allow it to dry completely over 1-3 days.
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