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Silly Socks

After enjoying the book “Smelly Socks” by R. Munsch with the class, discuss the biographical information that can be gathered from the story. Have the students make a fun pair of silly socks with this light-hearted take on words that serve as a self-portrait too!

  • Grade 3
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Read the book “Smelly Socks” by Robert Munsch. In discussion with the students afterwards, make a list of the initial roadblocks Tina faced in getting a new pair of socks. Expand the discussion to include the fact that the entire shopping trip was dedicated to buying one pair of socks. Then ask students to compare and contrast their lives with a Native American living on a reservation.
    2. Identify the colors Tina loved so much. How do these compare to favorite colors of the class? Discuss other favorite things and how grouping several items could ‘put together’ the ‘picture’ of a personality. These are the types of things students can use to decorate their pairs of socks.
    3. Instruct students to cover their work area with recycled newspaper and to fold a piece of extra paper a few times and set inside each sock. Have the students briefly plan where they will draw items on their list. Demonstrate special nuances needed to draw on fabric: The fabric of the sock will move so to make lines or areas darker, they may need to press slowly in dot-like form to allow the ink to set in. Supervise students using Crayola® Fabric Markers.
    4. When done, have students write their names on index cards and safety pin the cards and their socks together. A parent volunteer can set the marker drawings by placing the sock pairs in a dryer for 30 minutes on the hottest setting; do not have anything else in the dryer with the socks.
    5. During the next class period, students place index cards inside one of their socks. Put all of the pairs on display and have students ‘vote’ to see who can guess which socks belong to whom.
    6. Stain Advisement: Fabric markers are permanent on clothing and contain colorants that may stain household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface. Recap markers as soon as possible and store in a horizontal position. Do not shake markers.
  • Standards

    LA: Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Interpret, use, and distinguish various representations of the earth, such as maps, globes, and photographs.

    VA: Create personally satisfying artwork using a variety of artistic processes and materials.

    VA: Elaborate visual information by adding details in an artwork to enhance emerging meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Have students create a family portrait by making a pair of socks for each member of their household.

    Students anonymously display their socks and see if classmates can figure out who’s are whose.

    Organize a family gathering event to display the sock pairs or make as a gift to parents.

    When exploring mathematical expression through charts, have the students take a poll and record different favorite colors of their friends and families. If time permits, students can graph the data.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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