Weekly Tribes – Stand/Walk in My Shoes

Thanks to Brad from Wisconsin, (Step in my shoes) and Rebecca from Canada (Walk in my shoes) for these great strategies.  The same idea, but a different delivery, I think you will find both very effective!


Walk in my Shoes

Step into my Shoes

Energizer/active learning strategy


  • To energize students by mixing randomly causing new, undiscovered interactions within the group
  • To facilitate trust building
  • To promote inclusion
  • To facilitate perspective


  • Remind students of the community agreements and clarify that the environment if a safe place express ideas and share of yourself
  • Form a community circle and clarify the right side and left side of the circle
  • Instruct students on the right side of the circle to take off their right shoe and toss it into the center of the circle.
  • Instruct students seated on the left side of the circle to pick a shoe and pair off with the owner of that shoe.  Use the following Q’s to facilitate discussion (person from the left is asking:

Q1 What do you like about this shoe?

Q2 Tell me three places that you have walked in this shoe.

Q3 If this shoe could travel anywhere in the world, where would it go?  Why?

  • Return the right shoe to the owner
  • Repeat with the students from the left side of the room taking off their left shoe and tossing into the center.
  • Return the left shoe to owner

Suggested Reflection Questions (full group)

  • How did you feel without any shoes on?  What did it remind you of?
  • What is one new thing that you learned about your “shoe partner”?
  • Adults often say “step into their shoes” when trying to explain peoples’ different perspectives or points of view.  What does the phrase mean to you?
  • Were you able to understand your “shoe partner’s” point of view?
  • How does understanding others’ point of view relate to our role of Peer Helpers in our school?


–       Remind “shoe partners” to thank each other for sharing


–       Students could be divided/mixed by picking shoes and finding their “pair”