Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Reread your favorite chapter from Indian Shoes, then write a short story about a special time you shared with a grandparent or other adult. Like the author, be sure you give each of your characters a chance to speak for themselves. This is called dialogue, and it makes a story seem more real for the reader. It feels like you’re walking along with them, listening in. Try it!
Fill in the chart on the provided page. In the first row, explain what the main idea of that chapter was. Then, in the corresponding character blocks fill in what part that person played in the event. An example is done for you.
Visual/ Spatial (This project would make a terrific bulletin board when complete)
In The Accident, Ray’s picture gets ruined because of Bandit. Paint a picture of your home, just like he did, and instead of on accident, pour a Dixie cup full of water over it on purpose. Then, after it dries, cut it into the shape of a shoe that best represents you or your family (ex: ballet slippers, moccasins, baseball cleats, cowboy boots, in-line skates, ice skates, etc.)
A chapter is made of small events called scenes. Usually a scene will switch so the story can move along. Here are the main scenes from the first chapter in Indian Shoes:
in the antique store
at the Cub’s game
back at the antique store
outside the antique store
Now, go through each chapter and list the scenes. Then, as a class, assign a scene to small groups to act them out. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the book, but it should stick to the flavor of it. Practice for a couple days, and then put on a play of the whole book!
In several instances the author describes the sound Ray and Grandpa Halfmoon hear. For example, in chapter one “rat-a-tat-a- clang” is the sound of a trash can band, and “ka-smack” for the sound of a homerun hit. This is called ONOMATOPOEIA. It is when you try to make the sounds match the letters of the alphabet. Throughout your day, try to write ten onomatopoeia words that represent sounds you hear. Be sure to write down what it is!
Ray and Grandpa Halfmoon always consider each other’s feelings before they decide how to act. For example, when Grandpa is clearly feeling homesick, Ray decides that he would feel better if he had the moccasins. This is called empathy, when you can get inside the heart (sometimes people say shoes) of someone else and know how they feel.
List at least three other examples of this in the book. Then, explain what a kid could do in these situations:
Your sister is worried Your dad is extra tired after work.
about starting kindergarten.
Your Mom misses her
sister who lives far away.
Your neighbor, an elderly man,
never has any visitors.
Ray finds a special spot of his own in Night Fishing where he can see “the lake blue sky stretched to the horizon. The water below glittered beneath the sun. It was quiet too. No rattling trains or trash-can bands. Ray could hear the squirrels play tag from limb to limb and he settled in to listen.” Where do you go when you want to think? What does it look like? sound like? Draw a picture of it to keep in your notebook. Then, right before a test or something else stressful, you can look at it, then close your eyes and pretend you’re there.
Pre Reading/ Prediction guide for Indian Shoes
Just by looking at the cover, what can you guess about the book? How much do you know about modern Native American tribes, if anything? Can you guess what you might learn?
1. What would Grandpa Halfmoon say if he saw the card the librarian placed by Ray’s shoes?
2. Will having them ease his homesickness? Will he get to go home soon too? What clues does the author give you that they will?
3. After the events of the wedding, what do you think they’ll both do the next time they’re asked to be in a wedding? why?
4. What will the owners of all the pets say to Grandpa and Ray?
5. Will Ray create more pictures using collage? What makes you thinks so?
6. In Team Colors, do you think that at the next game other boys will come sporting team colors?
7. Will Ray get up to go night fishing again? Why?
Comprehension/ Quiz Questions for Indian Shoes
1. Locate the passages that make it clear that Grandpa Halfmoon is homesick. Have you ever been homesick? If so, what were you homesick for?
2. List at least three ways that Grandpa and Ray show they care about each other.
1. Describe in your own words what happened at the wedding.
2. Retell the events of The Accident.
1. What can you learn from Ray and Grandpa Halfmoon about helping one another? Use examples from the text.
2. Can you think of other safe solutions for the pets in Coming To Dinner?
1. Compare yourself to Ray. How are you like him? In what ways, if any, are you different?
2. How would this story be different if it were written through the eyes of Grandpa Halfmoon? Would it still be a children’s book? Why?
1. What would you have done at the wedding? What do you think they did at the reception?
2. Of all the stories told in this book, which do you think that Ray would look back on as an adult with the best memories? What makes you think so?
1. In The Accident, Grandpa Halfmoon doesn’t lecture Ray about his decision not to be in the contest. What does he do instead? Do you think this is more effective? Why or why not?
2. Choose your favorite chapter and answer these questions: Why is this part your favorite? How does it demonstrate how Grandpa and Ray feel about each other? What is the best description? What is something you’ll remember about it long after you have closed the book?