Salt in His Shoes- A Reading and Writing Activity and a FrEeBiE!

This has been a SUPER busy week for me!
My Smarties have been going through some Progress Monitoring this week, so I wanted to do some ELA activities that were fun and easy for my struggling readers. I have a lot of boys this year who are REALLY into sports, so I'm always looking for picture books to teach minilessons that have that element.
I found this book:  Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan.  It is a story about Michael Jordan when he was a young boy, and how he learned that practice, determination, and perseverance help him to reach his goals.

This book is written on a third grade level, and even though I teach sixth grade, it was perfect for my lower readers to do in a guided reading group, and I could leave the materials as an independent group activity for on-level readers.
We have been practicing citing text based evidence with both fiction and nonficiton material, so my students are getting much better about giving SOLID evidence.

Next, we took the evidence in the book and discussed key words we could use as character traits.  We came up with PRACTICE, DETERMINATION, and PERSEVERANCE.  I immediately applied this to my classroom and made a quick anchor chart for it.

My students applied those words to their own goals, and wrote text to self connections.   Finally, they wrote reflective pieces using quotes about motivation and dreams to put on our work wall.

Next week, I'll be reading a story about Martin Luther King, Jr. called Drum Major for Justice, which is MUCH more of a sixth or even seventh grade piece, but I think this Jordan piece is a perfect stepping stone for my lower level readers to make the connections to King using the class words we came up with.  I can't wait to see that scaffolding happen!

Anyhow.. if you are interested in a lesson using this book as a companion to Martin Luther King, Jr., 
or Black History Month, (or heck basketball is big for MARCH MADNESS) you can find the lesson plans and activity sheets here.
If you download the PREVIEW you can get this graphic organizer for use with the book FREE.

Be sure to stop back and let me know how your class enjoyed the book!


  1. I've never heard of that book! Thanks for sharing it! Neat!! It sounds like your students will be ready for their on grade level text next week!!

    Collaboration Cuties

    1. It's a neat book. Like I had said, any connection I can make with sports makes it easier.
      Starting my MLK story unit today.

  2. So my comment has absolutely nothing to do with this post...well except I love MJ23...
    EVERYDAY last week I got up at 5am and walked at a 3.7 mph pace,,for 3 miles..... what did you do?

    e-mail me!


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