Indian Shoes is a collection of tales about Ray, a young Cherokee-Seminole boy, who lives in Chicago with his Grampa Halfmoon.
Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.
In "A Very Special Gift for Grandma," a little girl creates a special gift for her Grandma.
Read this text after the first story, “Indian Shoes,” to have students discuss characters’ relationships. In this story, Ray and Grampa Halfmoon go to a shop and see a pair of moccasins that remind Grampa of home. Have students discuss why Ray traded his hightop sneakers for the moccasins. Then, have students discuss why Lucy wanted to play “Happy Birthday” as a present for her grandma in “A Very Special Gift for Grandma.” Have students discuss the importance of the relationships in both texts. Ask, “What do Ray’s actions in this chapter tell you about his relationship with Grampa Halfmoon? How is Lucy’s relationship with her grandma in ‘A Very Special Gift for Grandma’ similar to Ray’s relationship with Grampa Halfmoon?” Students should give specific examples of the characters’ actions to support their thinking.
In Jocelyn Rish's short story "Seeking a Hidden Hive," a small boy and his grandfather are led to a beehive by a bird to collect honeycomb.
Read this text after the second story, “‘Don’t Forget the Pants!’” to have students discuss character traits. In this story, Ray is a ring bearer in his friend’s wedding. Have students discuss how Grampa Halfmoon helps Ray with his pants and the ring in this chapter. Then, have students discuss how Grandfather helps Guyo in “Seeking a Hidden Hive.” Have students compare Grampa Halfmoon and Grandfather from “Seeking a Hidden Hive.” Ask, “What characteristics do Grandfather from ‘Seeking a Hidden Hive’ and Grampa Halfmoon have in common? How are their relationships with their grandsons similar?” Students should provide examples of how both grandfathers are encouraging and help their grandsons solve problems.
In Joseph Bruchac's poem "Birdfoot's Grampa," a speaker describes driving down a road that is crowded with toads.
Read this poem after the third story, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” to have students discuss characters’ motivations. In this story, there is a blizzard on Christmas, and Ray and Grampa Halfmoon bring all the neighborhood pets to their home. Have students discuss why Ray and Grampa Halfmoon decide to collect all of the pets. Then, have students discuss why the old man saves the toads in “Birdfoot’s Grampa.” Have students compare the characters’ motivations. Ask, “How are the old man’s actions in ‘Birdfoot’s Grampa’ similar to Ray’s and Grampa Halfmoon’s? What do the characters’ choices reveal about them?” Students should explain the characters’ compassion and respect for animals.
In "The Draw-Anything Drawing," a little girl with a big imagination daydreams about what to draw for a special art display.
Read this text after the fourth story, “The Accident,” to have students analyze character development. In this story, Ray takes a ruined painting and turns it into a collage that represents one of Grampa Halfmoon’s moccasins. Have students discuss how Ray feels about his third place ribbon at the end of the story. Then, have students discuss how Marigold feels when she sees her artwork on display in “The Draw-Anything Drawing.” Have students compare the characters’ development as artists. Ask, “How did Ray’s feelings about his artwork change over the course of this story and why? How is his creative process similar to Marigold’s journey in ‘The Draw-Anything Drawing?’” Students should describe the meaning behind the artwork Ray and Marigold created and how making art made the characters feel.
In Caroline Pignat's "Poppy's Jalopy," a speaker describes the adventures in their grandfather's car with their Poppy.
Read this poem after the last story, “Night Fishing,” to have students analyze the theme of family. In this story, Ray and Grampa Halfmoon go fishing. Have students discuss how Ray and Grampa Halfmoon feel when they go fishing under the stars. Then, have students discuss how the speaker in “Poppy’s Jalopy” feels about the trips she takes with her grandfather in her imagination. Have students discuss the theme of family in both texts. Ask, “Why is Ray’s relationship with Grampa Halfmoon important? How is their relationship similar to the speaker’s relationship with her grandfather in ‘Poppy’s Jalopy?’” Students should provide evidence from both texts to support their thinking about the theme.