Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Small Shoemaker

The Small Shoemaker

by Mark Warner
0 comment
Ages: 7-11
Sam Collins

On the streets of Paris stands Mr. Botte’s shoemaker shop. Mr Botte’s life making beautiful shoes is disturbed when a most peculiar street vendor pulls up outside his shop.

Watch this video with your children, and then try some of our teaching and activity ideas below.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Why do Mr. Botte’s shoes and boots appear to come to life?
  • Do you know any other films or stories where inanimate objects come to life?
  • Stop the film at 1:41. Describe how each of the three characters is feeling.
  • Use persuasive language to write adverts for the shop and the stall. What would their selling points be?
  • Write a letter of complaint to the Council of Paris about the stall.
  • Write character profiles of the woman, Monsieur Botte and Monsieur Ripout Ventout (the street vendor).
  • Write dialogue at different points of the film, for example, from 1:18 – 1:44.
  • Write a sequel. How will Mr. Botte deal with the new street vendor?
  • Write your own story where a new stall sets up opposite an existing shop.
  • Make a news report about the new stall setting up.
  • Write subtitles for the film.


  • Measure the feet of children in the class and work out what the length measurements are for each shoe size.
  • Work out some problems involving stocking a shoe shop. For example, If you have x number of shoe styles and make them in y number of sizes, how many will you have in stock? If you need ½ a metre of leather to make one shoe, how many pairs can you make from 6 metres?
  • Watch the film from 02:35 to 02:55. The shoemaker keeps reducing the price of his shoes. If a pair of shoes costs £20 to begin with, how much will it cost after each reduction?
  • Try some other maths looking at reductions and special offers like this great activity from nrich.


  • Test which materials would be best to make shoes. Watch this BBC Bitesize video for ideas.


  • Make an animation of a moving shoe, like the ones in Mr. Botte’s shop.
  • Design a poster for the film using a graphics package.

Design Technology

  • Design your own shoes. What materials would you use?
  • Find out how shoes are made.
  • Design a stall like the one in the film.
  • Which do you think is better, a mass-produced item or a handcrafted one? What might the advantages and disadvantages of each one be?


  • Go out in your local town and sketch the shop fronts.
  • Make some 3d shops from boxes.
  • Design a comic strip of the story.


  • How does the music help to tell the story? Watch the film with the sound turned off. How is it different?
  • Use everyday items and percussion instruments to make a new soundtrack for the film.


  • Why do we need shops? What kinds of shops are near your school? Why do you use different types of shops? (For example, when would you drive to the supermarket? When would you pop round to the local shop?)
  • Research and make a fact file about Paris.


  • Look at some old pictures of the shops in your local town. How do they compare to the shops now?

Physical education

  • What makes a good PE shoe? What are the important features? What about good footwear for winter sports like skiing?
  • List the specific types of footwear you need for different activities.


  • Find out the vocabulary for words relating to shoes in the language you are studying.
  • Find out the names of different types of shops in the language you are studying.
  • Research the currency in different countries. This film uses Francs, which was the currency in France before the Euro.


  • Do you think that Mr. Botte did the right thing when he gave Mr. Ripout Ventout the enchanted shoes?
  • Watch the credits for the film. How many people worked on it? How do you think it is possible for so many people to work together to make it? How do you think they divided the work up? When have you had to work in a team?

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