Make Your Mark with Mockups

Lesson Plans with Sole

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It was an “aha!” moment when activist and artist Louie Gong invited kids to put pens to paper and use drawing as a way to explore the question of personal identity. Instead of struggling with how to convey their stories verbally, the students eloquently expressed themselves using design. Since then, Gong has repeatedly found that art provides a critical buffer to help kids express themselves when words fail, or are simply not available.

After designing shoes to explore his own mixed heritage, Gong realized the value of telling a story on this unusual 3-D canvas. That’s why he created Mockups — little shoes with big possibilities.

Targeted to 5th through 12th graders, the Make Your Mark with Mockups lesson plans help teachers guide their students through a creative process in which they can safely explore their own identity — plus those of historical figures, peers, and personal heroes. Activities focus on personal development, artistic expression, communication and collaboration, while addressing learning standards in social studies, history, and the arts.

Teachers like Mockups because they instantly engage students and offer unique opportunities for integrating art into history, social studies, and language arts. Kids like Mockups because they’re shoes they can design to be like no other pair — a powerful pathway to self-expression.

“Mockups provide kids with a blank canvas so they can develop and explore new ideas in a safe way. It takes guts to stand up in front of people and talk about your identity—here we offer art as a buffer to help people express themselves. Art is a gateway to engage kids in a discussion around important topics.”

—Louie Gong, Founder, Eighth Generation and Mockups


View the “Make Your Mark with Mockups” Lesson Plans

  1. Step Back in Time: Art meets history (History, Social Studies, Art)
  2. Who are you? (Social Studies, Art)
  3. Storytelling (Coming Soon)
  4. Flash Forward: Design Yourself (Coming Soon)
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