These lesson planning notes for teachers are for use with the text of the article entitled ‘Running Shoes in the Students’ Centre.
Activity 1 – before reading the article, ask the students:
What do you understand by the word ‘trainers’?
Do you wear them? When? Why? Do you ever wear them when you do sports?
Which companies do you know that manufacture trainers?
Which advertising campaigns can you remember for trainers?
Activity 2 – Read paragraph one and two of the article and then look at these multiple-choice options.
1. Young runners in England suffered because a) they didn’t like cross-country running b) the shoes had thin soles c) the shoes were light.
2. Henry Nelson McKinney used the name sneakers because a) he liked walking quietly b) he could creep up quietly on his customers c) people could walk almost silently.
3. The word sneakers was a) used by the Boston Journal to describe tennis shoes b) used by boys who played tennis c) the name some boys gave to tennis shoes.
Activity 3 – Skim the remaining text in no more than 60 seconds.
Outline the main theme of the article.
Activity 4 – Scan the text
Scan the text and quickly find the significance of these dates:
- 1900s – By the early 1900s, sneakers were being produced by small rubber companies who specialized in the production of bicycle tyres (tires).
- 1950s – The 1950s gave families more leisure time and as the baby boom started more American families chose to dress their youth in sneakers as school dress codes relaxed.
- 1970s – However, in the 1970s, as jogging quickly became popular, well-cushioned running shoes became a necessity.
- 1980s – By the 1980s, trainers were everywhere.
- 1990s – During the 1990s, shoe companies perfected their fashion and marketing skills.
Activity 5 – Read the text and highlight these words.
cushioning, patented, endorsed, humble, maximised, significant, sophisticated, initially.
Activity 6 – Complete these sentences using one of the words.
I came in simple clothes but she looked very sophisticated in her business suit and high heels.
Dyson transformed the humble vacuum cleaner from a household appliance into a fashion statement.
This is a comfortable chair because of the firm cushioning.
No-one could copy my design because I patented it.
Initially, we lived in London but later we moved to Edinburgh.
I endorsed his plan and so we set up a business together.
I like her very much. She is a very significant person in my life.
We maximised the space in our house by demolishing one wall.
Activity 7 � Put these sentences into logical order.
The correct sequens=ce is given below.
Charles Goodyear found a way to make rubber stronger and more hardwearing.
Some tyre manufacturers started producing light shoes with rubber soles.
After WW1 boys and girls in the US started to copy their favourite sportsmen and sportswomen.
Casually dressed film stars made jeans and trainers very popular with young people in the US.
Well-cushioned running shoes became very popular worldwide with the enormous interest in health and in jogging.
Nike produced limited releases of its Nike Air shoes which made them even more popular with young people.
The manufacture of running shoes has become more technical in order to avoid injury in runners and to help them to run faster.
Activity 8 � Find these words / expressions in the text and mark them. Explain their meaning in your own words.
- soared – rose to a very high level
- mind boggling – very surprising / amazing
- went through the roof – rose to unexpectedly high levels
- battled to buy — worked hard to buy
- mainstay – the most important thing / type / support.
Activity 9 � Complete this passage putting the verbs into the correct form.
For generations leather was used for shoes but at the end of the nineteenth century Charles Goodyear in the US discovered a way to make rubber strong and stable in form so that it could be used for rubber tyres (tires) and other similar products. Goodyear experimented for years before he discovered the right process. It cost him a large amount of money and perhaps even his health. Before long, shoes with rubber soles were being made all over the country and shoes for different sports were being produced. Later, some of these sports shoes were endorsed by famous athletes, which made them even more popular with young people. Early on, many shoes with rubber soles were made in the US but after 1945 Japan started to export sports shoes and many shoes which were sold around the world were made in Japan. Today, however, many shoes are now made in countries such as China, Thailand and Indonesia.
Activity 10 � Work in small groups. You have to design a new newspaper and magazine-based marketing campaign for a new running shoe. Decide how to do this. Report back.