Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Northampton Museums

This resource is designed to support a classroom based, cross-curricular project on shoes with a focus on Design Technology and History.   This resource provides images of shoes, along with detailed background information on each shoe.


Curriculum Links

KS1 & 2 History:  In Your Shoes will support the study of different periods in time including Victorian, Roman and World War 2. The resources and activities will help pupils to understand what life was like for people living at those times.

KS1 & 2 Design Technology: Design, make and evaluate

KS1  Science: Everyday Materials and their properties

This resource also provides opportunities to explore the design and manufacture of shoes. The activities will enable pupils to explore the process of making shoes, looking at purpose and and suitability, materials and their properties, production and marketing.  


Discussion Ideas

These questions can be used as a starting point to aid class discussion of any of the shoes within this learning resource, or in fact any other shoe.  This is also available as a download.

  • Encourage pupils to describe the shape, size and colours.
  • How have the shoes been decorated?
  • How do they fasten?
  • What shape are the heel and the toe?
  • Can you describe the sole of these shoes?
  • Do they have any special features?
  • What sound would these shoes make when being worn?
  • Do you think they are heavy or light?

Help pupils to think about the person who wore the shoes

  • Have these shoes been worn? How can you tell?
  • Who would wear/wore these shoes?
  • When would they wear the shoes?
  • How would the wearer move in these shoes?
  • Do you think they were comfortable in these shoes? Why/Why not?
  • Would their feet be warm or cool in these shoes?
  • How would their feet be protected in these shoes?
  • What else do the shoes tell us about the person who wore them?
  • Do you think they were expensive to buy? What do they tell us about the time and place in which they were worn?

Encourage pupils to consider the shoemaker

  • When do you think they were made?
  • How do you think they were made, by hand or machine?
  • Where were they made?
  • Do you think many of these shoes were made? Why/Why not?
  • Do you think they were expensive to make? Why were these shoes made?
  • What type of weather were these shoes made for?
  • Do you think he/she enjoyed making these shoes?
  • What did the shoemaker need to consider when making them?
  • What do they tell us about the person who made them?

Allow pupils to express their own opinions

  • Do you like these shoes? Why/Why not?
  • Do you think these shoes are fit for their purpose?
  • Do you think the right materials have been used?
  • How could they have been designed differently? How would you make these shoes?


Activity Ideas


Shoe Project Activities