Dancing in Cadillac Light Teachers Guide
Make a Prediction
Examine the cover. Who do you think the two girls are and why is one of them dancing in the headlights of a car?
BEFORE READING EACH CHAPTER:
Make a Prediction
Each chapter has been given a title. Before reading the chapter write or discuss orally what story the chapter will tell
CHAPTER ONE-Driving My Troubles Away
Jaynell loved sneaking over to Mr. Bailey's Automobile Salvage and Parts Yard. She would sit behind a broken down steering wheel and take a wonderful adventure to parts unknown. Give each of your students a small plastic car to sit on their desk each day when they read this story. Have them write about where the car takes them. Inspire them to use their imaginations just like Jaynell did.
Locate Marshall, Texas on a road map. Check out Highway 80 to see what destinations can be reached by traveling up or down that highway.
CHAPTER TWO-Howling At the Moon
Jaynell's Grandpap is coming to live with her family for awhile. That means that Jaynell will have to move out of her room and share a room with her little sister, Racine. Have you ever had to share a bedroom with a younger or older brother or sister? How did that make you feel? Did the two of you get along?
CHAPTER THREE-Moving Day
Racine is a Girl Scout and is always eager to earn a new badge. What are some things you could do to earn a Scout badge?
Make a list of ideas that would help make Grandpap feel welcome in your home.
Everyone is worried that Grandpap might do some crazy things. What kind of crazy things do you think Grandpap might do now that he is living with Jaynell's family?
CHAPTER FOUR-Graveyard Shift
Jaynell's daddy told her to keep an eye on Grandpap. She was slightly curious when Grandpap headed for the graveyard on his first morning outing. He seems to have a story to tell about everyone that is buried in that graveyard. Interview a grandparent or older person, and record some of the stories they tell about people in their past. Share these stories with the class.
CHAPTER FIVE-A Lesson in Eating
Jaynell does not want Grandpap to live in an old folks' home, but she is getting tired of sharing Racine's room. If you were Jaynell, what would you do to work out this dilemma?
The Pickens family is considered to be "white-trash". Jaynell's momma gets very upset when Racine and Sweet Adeline take cookies offered by Mrs. Pickens. Have you ever experienced anything like this,? If so, how did you handle it? Why was it not a good idea to eat cookies at the Pickens' house?
On the trip to the Pickens' house there was a Betty Jean Kizer sighting. She quickly ran back into the woods before everyone could see her. What do you think is the problem with Betty Jean and why did she run away when Jaynell saw her?
CHAPTER SIX-Return to Caddo Lake
Grandpap and Jaynell take a boat ride on Caddo Lake. Locate Caddo Lake on a map and make a list of towns nearby.
The trip on the lake almost turns out to be a disaster. Have you ever been lost? What would you do to try to get yourself back to where you belong?
Jaynell saves the day by getting the boat back to the dock. If you were Jaynell, would you tell your parents about what happened on the lake? Why or why not?
Write a story about your first fishing adventure, real or make-believe.
CHAPTER SEVEN-Snipe Hunt
Going hunting for a snipe sounds like a very dangerous thing to do on Halloween. Illustrate what you think a snipe looks like and write a story about meeting one in person.
The Halloween traditions in Moon, Texas may be different than yours. Make a list of your favorite activities to do on Halloween.
Jaynell's daddy is going for an interview for the Superintendent's job. Write five questions that you might ask someone who is applying for this job.
Jaynell is quite embarrassed to be caught by a snipe and being laughed at. Describe your most embarrassing moment and how it made you feel.
It takes a tongue twister to scare off the snipes. How many tongue twisters can you name? Can you write an original tongue twister?
CHAPTER EIGHT-Making the Rounds
Rooster Reuben seems to have a remedy to cure any ailment. If you could develop one remedy to cure one illness, what would it be and why?
CHAPTER NINE-Cadillac Style
Grandpap buys an emerald green 1962 Cadillac. He bargains with the salesman until the price comes down to $2700. Research to find out how much a 2001 Cadillac would cost.
Grandpap describes the moon as "a fingernail clipping lost in a dark pool filled with stars". How would you describe it?
CHAPTER TEN-Uncle Floyd's Fishing Cabin
Uncle Floyd's fishing cabin is located in Uncertain, Texas. There are several explanations for naming a city Uncertain. What would be your explanation for such an unusual name?
Everyone, except Jaynell, thinks that Grandpap is crazy. Do you agree with them? Explain your answer.
CHAPTER ELEVEN-Cruising for a Bruising
Seems as if Grandpap has gotten Jaynell into a situation where she might be "cruising for a bruising". Have you ever heard an adult say this about you? What kind of mischief had you gotten yourself in?
Grandpap enjoys his days visiting with the folks he used to deliver mail to. Do you ever visit your neighbors just to say hello? If not, why don't you give it a try and share the experience with the class.
What do you think will happen to Jaynell if her daddy catches her driving Grandpap's Cadillac?
CHAPTER TWELVE-A Pretty Little House
Grandpap has a gentle heart especially when it comes to the Pickens family. What lesson can be learned from Grandpap's tender and gentle ways?
The homeplace where Grandpap and Grandma used to live sounds like a beautiful place. Illustrate your version of the pretty little house.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN-Rattling Bones
The Pickens family is always thankful for the littlest things. Make a list of the little things you can be thankful for.
Grandpap says, "A house loses its soul with no one to rattle its bones." In your own words, describe what he meant by that.
Grandpap does a wonderful thing for the Pickens. Write him a thank-you note as if you are a member of the Pickens family.
Grandpap's time on earth is over. What changes do you think will take place in Moon, Texas now that he is gone?
Have you ever lost someone who was close to you? Write a note of sympathy to Jaynell on the loss of her dearly loved Grandpap.
Now that Grandpap is gone Jaynell is dealing with the "secrets" all alone. Do you believe she should tell someone what she knows about Grandpap?
Seems as if everyone thinks they were Grandpap's favorite. Whom do you think was his favorite and why?
CHAPTER SIXTEEN-Go Tell It On the Mountain
Jaynell is concerned about the Pickens living in the homeplace. Now that Grandpap is gone, do you think the Pickens should be forced to move out?
Jaynell's daddy thinks the Cadillac needs to be sold. Can you think of some other uses for the Cadillac that might bring in much needed money to the family?
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN-A Christmas Drive
Jaynell's daddy is constantly calling her "boy". If that were you, how would it make you feel and what would you do about it?
All of a sudden daddy seems to want to keep the Cadillac. Why do you think he has changed his tune?
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN-A Golden Chariot
Momma thinks the Cadillac should be sold to help pay for new shoes. Jaynell would rather go barefoot. Have you ever been attached to something that you would never want to give up?
CHAPTER NINETEEN-Daddy is the Boss of This House
There seems to be some controversy as to whom is the boss of Jaynell's house. Who is the boss of your house and why do you think that to be true?
Momma sells the Cadillac without even telling daddy. Have you ever been as angry as daddy is going to be about selling the Cadillac?
CHAPTER TWENTY-Love Potion
Jaynell thought one of Rooster Reuben's potions would help her momma and daddy stop fighting. What are some things you can do to help calm down fighting family members in your house?
Do you think Jaynell's cure for her momma and daddy's fighting will work?
Jaynell is horrified that she has Lily Belle Pickens has her science project partner. Will it be possible for Lily Belle to help on the "Journey to the Moon" project?
Jaynell is faced with an opportunity to take up for her little sister, Racine. Have you ever had to take up for a brother, sister, or a friend? Would you handle it like Jaynell did, or would you do it differently?
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO-Going Once, Going Twice, Sold
Big Floyd Thigpen's Traveling Auction House is quite an experience for all the children who attend. Jaynell could not understand why Aunt Loveda was bidding on an item that she already owned. What is your explanation for that?
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE-Family Business
Jaynell's whole family gets together to discuss the situation of the Pickens living in the homeplace. Would you vote to make the Pickens move out? How can this situation be handled without hurting anyone?
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR-The Haunting
Jaynell is torn between keeping Grandpap's secret or telling the family that he really did want the Pickens to live in the homeplace. What do you think she should do?
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE-The Voice
Do know a family like the Pickens? As a class, pick a family in your school to help. The school counselor may offer some suggestions of how this family can use assistance.
Review with the entire class the rules of what to do if your clothing catches on fire. STOP, DROP AND ROLL
The girl living in the woods, Betty Jean Kizer, is said to be crazy. Why do you think she went for help when the fire started?
Jaynell was truly a lifesaver for Mr. Pickens. Have you ever had the opportunity to help someone in a crisis? Would you be able to help or would you be too scared?
Sunshine yellow is a very unique color. Why does momma decide to paint the house this color?
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN-Dancing by the Light of the Moon
Jaynell is very proud of her little sister, Racine. Write a letter to someone that you are proud of and send it to them.
Jaynell and her Cadillac went to the moon that hot day in July. Where did you and your car go and why?
1. Make a Wacky Chocolate Cake with RC Cola and share.
2. Research Cajuns, Grandpap's people, from South Louisiana.
3. Adopt a grandparent in a nursing home. Visit or write pen pal letters.
4. Research the types of fish that you can catch in Caddo Lake and what type of bait to use.
5. Research when Duck Hunting Season begins and what happens if you are caught hunting out of season.
6. Research some old remedies that your grandmother used to cure ailments.
7. Invite an auctioneer to visit your classroom.
8. Invite a firefighter to your classroom to go over rules to follow in a fire.
9. Research the July, 1969 moon landing.
10. Have a moon landing celebration by serving moon pies.
Teachers Guide created by Patti Roberts, a retired elementary school teacher living in Shreveport, Louisiana