Grade School Lesson Plan: Indian in the Cupboard Activities and Learning Games

Grade School Lesson Plan: Indian in the Cupboard Activities and Learning Games
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Watch the Movie

For planning purposes, The Indian in the Cupboard movie is 98 minutes long. After your students have seen the movie, ask them to write at least ten things that are different between the movie and the book. This can be done by use of a Venn Diagram as well. Discuss the answers when writing is completed.

Here are some examples:

  1. The family in the movie does not live in England.
  2. Little Bear does not have a horse in the movie.
  3. Little Bear kills a miniature deer in the movie.
  4. In the movie, Omri puts several plastic figures (Star Wars characters, dinosaur, etc.) in the cabinet at once and the ruckus they cause makes him quickly turn them back to plastic.
  5. The Indian speaks better English in the movie.
  6. Omri kicks the rat, which is in a plastic exercise ball, down the stairs in the movie.
  7. A bully in the movie steals Omri’s money.
  8. Boone, the cowboy, swears in the movie.
  9. In the movie, the Patrick showed the teacher the figures but the Indian and the cowboy acted stiff like plastic.
  10. In the movie, Little Bear chose not to have a wife.

It’s Game Time! Reading Comprehension That Is

Materials and Preparation:

Collect the papers written by the students in the above activity. Use the papers to assemble statements for a team game.

For example:

1. The family lived in England.

2. Little Bear did not have a wife.

3. The cowboy cried a lot.

4. Omri was reading Stuart Little

Answers: 1.) Book 2.) Movie 3.) Both 4.) Movie

Divide the class into two teams. Flip a coin to see which team starts the comprehension game. Read a statement about The Indian in the Cupboard to the first player on the starting team. That player must answer whether it is from the movie or the book or both. Keep score to see which team has the most correct answers.

Write a Postcard to Send Back Home



4x6 file card or tag board card cut to size (white)

Imagine the differences that Little Bear and Boone see in Omri’s world compared to their own. Instruct the students to choose either Boone or Little Bear to do this activity. Remember that Boone came from a western town in 1889 and Little Bear lived in New England/Northern New York area around 1761. Students should make a short list of the most dramatic differences that their chosen character would find in Omri’s world. We did not see cell phones or video games at Omri’s house but they were watching movies on television. Focus on what the miniature men saw at Omri’s, not in the student’s home.

Then students should use one side of the card to write a postcard, in the voice of their character, to send back home. Draw a stamp and add an address like a postcard would have. Students should draw/decorate the front side with a picture of one or several items from Omri’s world.

These activities will help to enhance the students' learning of the unit. More lessons in the related articles in this series.


  • Teaching experience.

This post is part of the series: Indian in the Cupboard Novel Study

Take some humor, some drama, a regular sized boy and a miniature indian and you have the makings of a classic novel. Indian in the Cupboard novel study articles will help you set objectives such as acquisition of vocabulary, compare and contrast book and movie, creative writing and more.

  1. Grades 3-5 English Class: Creating a Unit for The Indian in the Cupboard
  2. Interactive Indian in the Cupboard Activities
  3. Indian in the Cupboard Lessons: Research and Projects