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The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969

Whose Shoe?

Choice Card: Whose Shoe?
Target:
yours, mine
Age:
kindergarten aged and up
Duration:
depends on class size
Class Size:
any
Energy Level:
moderate
Type:
claiming activity
Equipment:
shoes and a basket to put them in
humour
feet
guessing
pronouns

This rather silly activity has a serious language purpose - to encourage understanding of possesive pronouns. It is very simple. One person, usually the teacher gathers one shoe from each person present. The shoes are put in a basket and taken out one at a time and returned to their rightful owners. That's it!

Typical dialogue might be:

Teacher: Your shoe?

Student A: No!

Teacher: Your shoe?

Student B: Yes!

Usually I've done this activity in places where students remove their outdoor shoes before entering the room. I always include one of my own shoes. I like to see if anyone can work out the reply "Your shoe!" when I try to give away my own shoe.

When I do this activity I focus on the concept of possession rather than trying to elicit full sentences. I think that producing full sentences without full understanding is more or less meaningless. I feel that children especially, gain nothing from being forced to use full sentences. I think it can lead to confusion.

It's best to avoid this game on inclement days. Where muddy shoes hold sway

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