Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Indian in the Cupboard

How could this book not have won the Newbery Medal? I'll have to research what it was up against that particular year.  

Indian in the Cupboard tells the story of Omri, the youngest of three brothers, who receives a cupboard for his birthday. He wishes that the cupboard become magical. With the special key his mother gives him from his great-grandmother, the cupboard does become a magical place where plastic toys become real. The toy-Indian which his friend, Patrick, gives him for his birthday is the first toy to come to life. Omri befriends Little Bear, an Iroquois chief. Mesmerized by the minute details of his elaborate costume, Omri learns about the Iroquois and begins to see that what he's learned about Indians from the movies isn't necessarily accurate. Omri cares deeply for Little Bear and treats him, not as a toy, but as a person with feelings and needs. When Omri eventually shares his secret with Patrick, more plastic toys come to life, and they must work together to keep their secret.

Gregory DEVOURED the story. He has gone on to two of the sequels, but something about The Magic in the Cupboard was confusing, and he stopped there. That might be a good choice to read aloud to him once I've caught up with the sequels. For now, I have a 16-item worksheet which covers chapters 1-8 up on TpT for free.

Students practice adverbials of time and sequence in the context of this entertaining read.

(just) as
(just) after
as soon as
by the time

Here is an example. Students must reorder the bold and underlined words to form the adverbial clause. They have to pick out the adverbial, capitalize it, and use both their understanding of the story and parts of speech to put the clause together correctly.

was girl when mother little Omri’s a, her grandmother gave her the key to a red leather jewel box.

Although my expertise truly lies in grammar, my experience with the fourth-graders in Literature Circles inspired me to work on a "finding evidence" worksheet. I think this type of exercise can be a first step in helping students figure out how to use the text to support their writing. I've come up with the following statements requiring textual support. At a higher-level, students could work in pairs to complete such an exercise, but to see where students are at individually, a match-up exercise with actual quotes from the book could work well. It would be important to add an extra quote for a truer assessment.
Omri thinks of the Indian as a toy even though he’s alive.

The Indian is afraid when he finds himself in the cupboard.
Omri admires the Indian.
Little Bear teaches Omri new things.

Omri is curious about the Indian and where he comes from.
Patrick is confused by Omri’s “strange” behavior.      
Omri is protective of this magical cupboard and its contents.
Omri has a sense of humor.   






No comments:

Post a Comment