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Indian Shoes
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Check out the Teacher Guide
and Readers Theater

Rain Is Not My Indian Name
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Tour Hannesburg, Kansas;
the fictional town in RAIN
Check out the Teacher Guide

Jingle Dancer
by Cynthia Leitich Smith,
illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
Check out the Teacher Guide


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Site: Treasure Hunt, Lesson Plans, Teacher Guide
Page Updated September 5, 2002

Supplemental Questions for Discussion

(see link below for full multiple intelligence curriculum plan)

summary | curriculum | links

1) What is a powwow? (see author's note)

2) What is a tradition? Do you have traditions in your families? What are they?

(Non-Indian readers: please remember that you may not always know if a Native child is in your discussion group. Be sensitive to their perspective. If you do know of one, please don't put her on the spot as a "cultural expert." Attribution: Oyate.)

3) Read THE GREAT BALL GAME: A MUSKOGEE STORY retold by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Susan L. Roth. In JINGLE DANCER, who tells Jenna the Story of Bat? What is the theme of the story? What does Jenna have in common with Bat?

4) How did Mrs. Scott, Grandma Wolfe, Great-aunt Sis and Cousin Elizabeth help Jenna make her dress?

5) How did Jenna show her respect for these women?

6) Did JINGLE DANCER take place today or a long time ago?

7) Discuss the meaning of "four" in Native tradition (see author's note). In JINGLE DANCER, how is the number four represented? (Four directions, four women, four rows of jingles, four dancers at the powwow . . . can you find more?).

8) What does regalia mean? (see author's note). Emphasize that regalia is not a costume. Talk about other people who wear special clothes on meaningful occasions like priests or brides in their wedding dresses. Please note that it is disrespectful when non-Indians "dress up" to "play Indian" or wear fake "Indian-inspired" clothes on Halloween.

9) Jenna lives in a small town in Oklahoma. Find Oklahoma on a map.

10) Jenna is a contemporary girl. The homes that she lives in and visits contain objects that may also be found in the homes of young readers. What objects in the small-town Oklahoma houses may be found in other children's homes? (Television, books, chairs, pitcher, sink, carpet, etc.)

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith: Multiple Intelligence Projects, Pre-Reading/Prediction Guide, and Comprehension/Quiz Questions from Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, for use as classroom material and internet resources. Features include MI activities related to the following areas: Verbal/Linguistic; Logical/Mathematical; Visual/Spatial; Body/Kinesthetic; Musical/Rhythmic; Interpersonal; Intrapersonal.

First Americans: Native American Studies for Grade Schoolers: Dine, Muscogee (Creek), Tlingit, Lakota, Haudenosaunee by K. Martin (Creek). Features online activities; information on stereotypes; a gallery, histories; the individual tribes; links, and more.

Dancing and Powwows: Music, Video, Teaching Guides, Web Sites

Indian House Records: "Located in Taos, New Mexico, USA, Indian House is a 30-year old record company specializing in traditional American Indian music. Featured on our recordings are some of the most highly-respected Indian musicians in the United States and Canada." Indian House carries powwow, specifically jingle dance songs, as well as tapes of Creek songs and more.

Jingle Dancing: by TPT (related to production of Wacipi powwow documentary). Photo with one of the traditional stories and discussion of dance style.

The New Dawn of Tradition: A Wisconsin Powwow: includes video program, teacher guide, "share your culture," an interactive map, links and more! 

"Native American Men's & Women's Dance Styles" vol. 1: Features video of Women's Jingle Dress (including the side step) and eight other styles of powwow dance) "taped at Southern Plains powwows and celebrations."

Index of Native American Teaching Resources on the Internet from Karen Strom. Pretty much the best, screened-for-authenticity list of related teaching materials web wide. A great starting place.

"Into the Circle": an hour-long video introduction to the powwow and dance styles, featuring interviews with elders, dancers, and singers. Includes photographs and "eyewitness accounts" to offer historical perspective.

Powwow Calendar from Four Winds Trading Company. Find out about real-life powwows in your area.

Southern Powwows: Arena & Staff, Drums & Songs, Resources & Calendar, Monthly Craft Section, Etiquette, Terminology, Dance Styles, Starting Out.

Wacipi Powwow Teacher’s Guide from the Minnesota Centuries Video and Teacher's Guide Series. 

Culture and Advocacy: 

Sites & Teacher Info

Native American Rights Fund: a non-profit legal organization that represents Indian people. Organization includes many Native attorneys. It's listed here because in my picture book, Jenna's cousin Elizabeth (right) is a lawyer.

Fry Bread Recipe: I recommend serving with honey, the way Jenna likes it. Teachers may want to make fry bread with their students. Just make sure that the teacher, like Mrs. Scott, does the actual cooking part so that no one Jenna's age gets burned during the frying process. 

Oyate: a non-profit organization focussed on children's books related to Native peoples. They evaluate books, conduct workshops for teachers and librarians, host a resource center and library of their own, and distribute work that they recommend. Oyate is also one of the outlets selling copies of JINGLE DANCER.

Teaching Respect for Native Peoples by Oyate hosted by Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's Literature Resources.

Represented Native Nations: Web Sites
Ojibway (Ojibwe, Anishinabe, or Chippewa)
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians: official articles on Soo history, events, government, housing, education, community and family services, health, law, fisheries, and tribal enterprises.
Muscogee (Creek)
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Web Page: official tribal page with information on government, education, community, services, and citizenship requirements. Highlights include article on clans, a brief biography of Principal Chief R. Perry Beaver, and information on Creek Nation Bingo.

Native Media Resource Center: by Peggy Berryhill (tribal member) includes family history with focus on relocation and allotment and features a map of Creek lands in 1748.

Native American Indians in Children's Books
Children's Books with Native American Indian History, Themes, and Characters from Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's Literature Resources. Includes bibliographies of children's and young adult books with Native American Indian themes (contemporary, historical, by Native Authors and Illustrators) as well as teacher and librarian reasources.

summary | curriculum | links

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Cynthia Leitich Smith Children's Literature Resources are authored by Children's Book Author Cynthia Leitich Smith ( and Children's Book Author Greg Leitich Smith ( The Crescent Moon Daisy Logo is a trade and/or service mark of Children's Author Cynthia Leitich Smith. This web site and all images are Copyright 1998-2003 by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith, except where noted. All rights reserved. Lovely sun graphics are from Chantessy's Graphics Emporium. Main site graphics are courtesy of FullMoon Graphics.