Fry Bread Literature Guide

Grade Level: 
PreK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Language Style
Native Americans
by Kevin Noble Maillard - A guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to enjoy the multisensory and rich cultural language describing an indigenous family tradition.

While this loving family makes traditional fry bread, we explore the sounds colors, flavors, and togetherness of a Native American family. We experience the value of shared space and time as we join in the joy and are welcomed into the home and kitchen where multiple generations carry on the practice that brings them together. 

Before Reading

Ask: What are the foods that your family makes on holidays that you look forward to sharing?

Show: Look at the image on the cover. What does it remind you of or make you feel?

Connect: Describe your favorite bread or bread-like food (color, taste, best experience with it).

During Reading

Ask: Notice each page spread begins with "Fry bread is..." followed by a noun. What does this word choice do for the story?

Show:  Look at the page with all of the indigenous tribes written on the wall. What does that wall tell you? How does it make you feel? 

Connect: How does food bring people together? Do you have to have the same traditions to come together over food? What could you do to bring people together?

Fry bread is us
We are still here
Elder and young
Friend and neighbor
We strengthen each other 
To learn, change, and survive

After Reading

Ask: What is the story mostly about? What is something that is the same about all family traditions?

Show: Look at the page about "fry bread is art." Notice the different arts and crafts shown. The text says art is passed from teacher to student, a cycle of tradition. Tell about a time you learned about a different culture through art. 

Connect: Talk about your own family traditions that bring you together and the practices that you love. What do we do for one another to make the world better?


  1. Follow the recipe in the book to make fry bread. Describe the taste and color and sound. 
  2. Use the same story pattern to write about something that means a lot to you. Use the pattern of ______ is [food, shape, sound, color, flavor, time, or whatever words fit the thing you are describing]. 
  3. Draw an image of people coming together around something they care about. Draw people forming a community. What are they doing? What might change because they come together?
  4. Make food or a craft and write about it. Who could you share it with so they know you better?