Story Time: Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes

Nothing fazes Pete the Cat with his rocking red high top tennis shoes. Pete takes the first day of school in stride as he discovers new places such as the library, the cafeteria, and the playground. The text is made up of the lyrics to the song he sings throughout the school day as he reads, eats, plays, paints, adds and writes in his school shoes. Children can easily pick up the repetitive pattern and rhythm of the text and sing along in no time. Pete the Cat is a reassuring character as he adapts to his school environment with confidence and ownership. Does he worry? Goodness, no!

Book: Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

Story Time: Pete the Cat, Rocking in My School Shoes

Before Reading:

Display the book cover and read the title, pointing to each word. Lead a brief discussion that allows children to make some preliminary predictions about what will happen in the story.

  • What do you see on the cover? (a cat, a guitar, musical notes, shoes, a lunch box)
  • What do you notice about the cat? (It is playing guitar; It is wearing red shoes; It is wearing a backpack; It’s name is Pete etc.)
  • Why do you think the cat is playing a guitar? (Take several responses)
  • Where do you think the cat is going? Why? (To school, because he has a lunch box and backpack)

Write the following lyrics from the book/song on sentence strips:

  • I’m rocking in my school shoes.
  • I’m reading in my school shoes.
  • I’m eating in my school shoes.
  • I’m playing in my school shoes.
  • I’m singing in my school shoes.
  • I’m painting in my school shoes.
  • I’m adding in my school shoes.
  • I’m writing in my school shoes.

Place each strip in the pocket chart. Read through the sentences with children, pointing to each word as it is said. Explain that children will chant/sing these lines with you when they hear them read in the story.

During Reading:

As you read, encourage children to chant/sing the repetitive lyrics displayed in the pocket chart. In addition, have children interact with the text in these additional ways:

  • Have children call out “Goodness no!” each time you ask the question: “Was Pete worried?”
  • Let children offer answers to the question “Where is Pete?” before turning the corresponding pages.
  • Have children discuss vocabulary words that are central to the story.

Pete the Cat: Rockin’ in My School Shoes Vocabulary Words

  • school: a place people go to learn new things
  • cat: an animal with fur, whiskers, claws, and a long tai that makes a “meow” sound
  • rocking: moving the body back and forth or side to side to a rhythm or beat
  • pet: an animal that a person takes care of in his/her home
  • guitar: a stringed instrument used to make music
  • shoe: a piece of clothing that protects the foot
  • lunchroom: a place where people go to buy prepared food and/or eat lunch
  • library: a place where people go to read, listen to stories, and/or borrow books
  • playground: a place where people go to play games and use exercise equipment
  • lunch: a meal eaten in the middle of the day

After Reading:

Lead a discussion about new experiences and going to new places for the first time. Talk about how children feel when they go to new places. Then, discuss how Pete handles each new area he encounters at school.

Review each of the places at school that Pete visits (library, lunchroom, play ground) and discuss additional places at school where children might go (gym, art room, music room, office etc.).

Follow up the sitting and listening time with an activity that gets children walking, playing, and/or rocking in their school shoes.

Pete the Cat activities and crafts available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library:

Pete the Cat: Rockin’ in My School Shoes Story Pictures

Let children re-tell the story with the a Pete the Cat puppet and the story pictures available inside our KidsSoup member site.

Preschool Activities: 

“We’re Not Worried!” School Tour

Take children on a walking tour of your school. Explain that at each stop, you will call out, “Are we worried?” and children will call back “Goodness, no.” During the tour, highlight specific characteristics of each place (i.e., books in the library, trays in the lunch room, copiers in the office etc.) and introduce children to the people who work in those places (i.e., the librarian, the secretary, the principal, the art teacher etc.)

Pete the Cat HeadBand Craft

Preschool Activities: 

Make this cute Pete the Cat headband. Craft description available inside our KidsSoup member site.

“Pete the Cat: Rockin’ in My School Shoes” Song and Movement Activity

Introduce children to the song version of the book, which is available by free download from Have children spread out in the classroom. During the singing parts of the story/song, let children dance and pantomime each of Pete’s actions: rocking, reading, eating, playing, singing, painting, adding, writing, and rocking again. Have them freeze in place during the talking parts of the story/song.

More Pete the Cat Activities and Song from

More Back to School with Pete the Cat preschool and kindergarten crafts and activities


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