Design a Sneaker Lesson Plan

The children at Shissler Rec Center were given blank sneaker shapes to create their own shoe! Starting with a blank slate is hard, but these kids really nailed it. It was amazing to see how different and creative each child was. Many kids looks at their own feet and tried to draw the shoe they had on, but one girl took it a step further and placed her shoe on the table to draw from! Kristin and I were very impressed with this child’s sense of realism and ability to draw from life. Other children saw that a shoe was on the table, so they followed suit!

Project Title: Sneaker Design
Description: Students will draw and design their own sneaker.
Author: Dayna Ensminger
Grade level or Target Age Range: 3rd and up

Historical Art Examples or References: Images of sneakers, discussion/images/examples on fashion art and artists – Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Alexander McQueen, Betsey Johnson, Coco Chanel, Donatella Versace, images of logos and brands
Vocabulary: Design, designer, color, shape, form, pattern, overlap, repeat, value, material (canvas, leather, plastic, fabric), style, logo, still life, consumerism
Materials: Pre-cut shoe shape on white paper (or stencil of shoe shape for children to trace onto white paper), pencils, erasers, crayons, colored pencils, markers

1. Discussion on shoes and sneakers. What makes a brand familiar? Why do we recognize certain logos and not others? Why do we think certain brands or companies are better than others? Why are some brands more expensive?
2. What is a logo? Why are they important? (To familiarize ourselves with a product. Seeing logos over and over again help make that company more familiar and consumers are more likely to purchase things they are familiar with)
3. Look around and see what logos or brands are on our shoes. Are some the same? Different? How do we recognize certain shoes? (i.e. the Nike swoosh)
4. Show examples of different artists and fashion designers. Andy Warhol drew shoes for ads in a magazine before becoming the pop artist as we know him today. Explain Fashion Design as a career.
5. Have students take off a shoe and look at it closely. What material is it made out of? What colors do they see? What’s on the bottom? Do shoes have the same imprint on the bottom or do some people’s shoes have different imprints?
6. Students can either design their own shoe with their own logo, pattern, colors – or they can draw the shoe that’s in front of them, which is considered a “still life.” Students should still use their shoe for reference (i.e. what direction the laces go, how thick the sole of the shoe is, etc)
7. Students should add color with their chosen material.

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