Researching Countries Helped by the Shoeman Project
Mark Twain Elementary School

Our school decided to participate in the Shoeman Project. For this project, we collected shoes to donate. Students sold these shoes by the pound or donated to those who needed them. Then the money was used to buy well-digging rigs for countries where clean water is scarce. Specifically, the Shoeman Project supports people in Kenya and Haiti. This lesson taught students about these countries and compared them to the United States.

The students will research counties supported by the Shoeman Project. The students will compare the countries and make connections between countries supported by the Shoeman Project and the United States.
Copies of the Research Template for all students
Smart Board and computer with internet access
Shoeman Project Smart Notebook File
Map of the world
Books: Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary Chamberlin (2006, Barefoot Books) – a Kenyan story; Please, Malese! A Trickster Tale from Haiti by Amy MacDonald (2002, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) – a Haitian story
Use the Shoeman Project Smart Notebook file to guide the lesson and discussion.
Begin by asking students what they already know about the service project. Clarify details of the Shoeman Project by visiting the website, linked from the Smart Notebook file.
Find Haiti and Kenya on the world map.
Ask students why people in those countries and others might not be able to just turn on their faucet to get clean water.
Pass out the research templates. Use the template and National Geographic for Kids websites linked from the Smart Notebook file to find the relevant information.
Discuss the similarities and differences between each country.
Listen to music from Kenya and Haiti, linked from the Smart Notebook file.
Read and compare the stories (specifically the places, things, and ways of life noticed).
The teacher can assess the research template for accuracy and can informally assess student understanding of the similarities and differences between the countries during group discussions.