The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks

A Fifth Grade Web Quest designed by:

Rebecca Herr, Mary Lanphear and Melanie Young: Messiah College



Hello and welcome to the world of Little Bear and Cowboy Boone from Lynne Reid Banks' award winning novel, The Indian in the Cupboard. Let your imagination run wild with the possibility of a cupboard that makes plastic toy figures come alive and takes you to another time. Explore the option of making your own long house, Little Bear style, or get a taste for the Native American food that he craved. All story based activities can be viewed by clicking on the task options.


Pre-reading: Unlock Your Imagination

While you read: My House, Your House, Everybody Wants a Longhouse

After you read:Let's Eat!

Unlock your imagination

Pre-reading activity

If you had a magical cupboard that could bring anything to life, what object or toy would you choose? Write a story, explaining the adventures and challenges your character would face, as well as some ideas of how to solve possible problems. Let your imagination run wild, but be sure that your final piece of writing is well written and error-free (spelling, grammar, punctuation) so that your article is ready to print in case a local newspaper office hears about the magic you have created. The writing should be at least 10 sentences and may be accompanied by an illustration.

Visit this website for tips on writing skills and creativity for your story. Check out "Bright Ideas for Writing," "Grammar Blast," and "Evaluation Station".

Look around at this site to select a great toy to write about.

My house, your house, everybody wants a Longhouse

While You Read

For this project, you will be making a model of the type of shelter in which Little Bear's tribe, the Iroquois, lived. As you read pages 25-27 and 54-57, pay close attention to the picture on page 56 to see the hard work of Little Bear. He was not satisfied with a mere teepee, so he built his own longhouse. Extended families of the Native Americans lived together in these homes. Search the following web sites to find out what the Iroquois longhouses were made from and study the pictures to get an idea of the structure for your own model.

There are many materials that can be used to make the longhouse look authentic. You could use: sticks, bark, wood, painted straws, painted popsicle sticks, and your imagination!

Remember, you'll be graded on neatness, authenticity (accurate model), and completeness. Go for it and have fun!

Let's EAT!

After you read

Pretend you are making a menu for Little Bear's tribe. Re-read pages 18-20. After reviewing the following web sites, choose three Iroquois foods. Make a menu that displays at least three types of these foods. Your menu must include the name of the food or meal along with the main ingredients and a picture or drawing of the dish. Be creative in your design!


Excellent (100-90) Good (80-70) Needs Improvement (60 or less) 
Organization Project is logical, has order and sequence. Follows directions. Project is understandable but lacks order and sequence. Most directions are followed. Confusing, hard to follow, lacks logic. Does not follow directions.
Accuracy and Authenticity

(does not apply for story)

Correct facts and accurate content display of Native Americans. Most of the information is correct, two or less errors. More than two errors, does not have actual facts.
Creativity  Shows thought and original design. Little effort and lacks uniqueness. No display of own ideas or effort.
Neatness Exceptional clarity and appearance. Readable and recognizable. Messy and unpresentable.
Writing Mechanics

(does not apply to longhouse)

No mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation. Five or less mistakes. More than five mistakes.




You have completed this Web Quest and taken a closer look into the life of an Iroquois Native American. If you liked The Indian in the Cupboard, check out these other great books by Lynne Reid Banks: