Asking questions after reading each chapter of a book can help kids get the most out of the reading experience. These questions for The Indian in the Cupboard will measure comprehension as well as help kids note details in the story that they might have otherwise missed.
Chapter One: Birthday Presents
- Omri was disappointed with the gift Patrick gave him. Why do you think Omri felt this way?
- What would you do if one of your toys came to life?
- Why do you think Omri kept the Indian, even after it injured him?
Chapter Two: The Door Is Shut
- Why didn't Omri tell his friend Patrick about the Indian coming to life?
- Would you tell anyone about something this unbelievable? If so, who? If not, why not?
- Were you surprised Little Bear lived in a longhouse? Why?
Chapter Three: Thirty Scalps
- Were you surprised to discover the English and Iroquois fought together against the Algonquin Tribe?
- Why does Omri bring a horse to life for Little Bear, even though he told Omri the Iroquois prefer to walk?
- Would you be able to keep the secret Omri is keeping?
Chapter Four: The Great Outdoors
- Was it a good idea to take Little Bear outside?
- Do you think bringing the horse to life was a mistake?
- Did Omri make the right choice in bringing the World War I medic (Tommy) to life?
Chapter Five: Tommy
- How does Omri deal with difficulties between Tommy and Little Bear?
- Why do you think the toys have names?
- Omri was kind and patient with most of the figures he brought to life. Why do you think he wasn't so careful with the knight?
Chapter Six: The Chief is Dead...
- Why does Omri become interested in activities like reading and sewing?
- Why does Omri bring the Iroquois chief to life?
- Why is Little Bear so demanding with Omri?
Chapter Seven: Uninvited Brothers
- Why does Patrick buy a plastic cowboy for Omri?
- What makes Omri show Little Bear to Patrick?
- What stops Patrick and Omri from bringing all their figures to life?
Chapter Eight: Cowboy!
- Would you be angry at Patrick for conjuring the cowboy and horse figurines? Why?
- Why is Omri more concerned about the cowboy and horse than Patrick?
- Why do you think Omri agrees to take the cowboy to school for Patrick?
Chapter Nine: Shooting Match
- What would you do differently to make sure Little Bear and the cowboy wouldn't fight during the night?
- Little Bear and the Cowboy don't know each other, but they want to kill each other. Why do you think they feel this way?
- Why does Little Bear want to go to school?
Chapter Ten: Breakfast Truce
- How does Omri bring about a truce between Boone and Little Bear? Was it a good plan?
- Why does Omri let Little Bear and Boone fight without weapons?
- Would you have taken both of the live figures to school? Why or why not?
Chapter Eleven: School
- Why do you think Boone doesn't want to get cleaned up?
- How does being in separate pockets help Little Bear and Boone?
- Why do Little Bear and Boone want to share the same pocket?
Chapter Twelve: Trouble With Authority
- Why do you think the author titled this chapter "Trouble With Authority?"
- Would you try to stop Patrick from telling the headmaster about the live figures?
- How does Omri and Patrick's friendship change at this point in the story?
Chapter Thirteen: Art and Accusation
- Why does the headmaster claim to be sick? Did you expect this response?
- Why is Omri hesitant to get a wife for Little Bear?
- Was Omri careless by having some fun in art class? Why or why not?
Chapter Fourteen: The Missing Key
- Were there signs Omri's brothers were going to cause trouble earlier in the book?
- Why would the boys choose to watch a western movie?
- Why does Little Bear agree to help save Boone?
Chapter Fifteen: Underfloor Adventure
- Do you see any similarities in the relationship between Boone and Little Bear and Patrick and Omri?
- Why are Omri and Patrick worried about the rat being loose in the house?
- Do you think becoming blood brothers will stop the fighting between Little Bear and Boone?
Chapter Sixteen: Brothers
- Why do the boys decide to turn the figurines back to plastic?
- What kind of life do you imagine Little Bear and Boone have in their worlds?
- Is this a story about friendship?
Adults can encourage children to become active readers by using chapter questions to deepen the reading experience. Taking a moment to reflect on each chapter will help kids see the underlying themes and messages present in the text. To further your students' understanding, try some activities to help tie all the themes together after finishing the book.