Because of Winn Dixie tells the story of ten-year old Opal. She has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. On an errand to the grocery store, Opal finds a large, ugly, homeless dog. Opal is immediately attached to the dog whom she names Winn Dixie after the grocery store where she finds him. Together they make friends with Otis, an ex-convict who runs the local pet store; Miss Fanny, the librarian who has a desk full of “Litmus Lozenges” a type of candy which her great grandfather invented; and Gloria Dump, the lady the local children think of as a witch because of her jungle-like yard. This book will make you laugh as Opal and Winn Dixie make friends with these very likable characters in this small southern town.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Student Created Webpages
Approximately 14 years ago, a group of teachers from my school got together and wrote a grant for a computer lab. This was really a big deal because our school’s only computer lab at that time was equipped with Apple IIe computers. They were fantastic when the lab was first set up in the 1990s, but when the Internet came to our school system, they felt like dinosaurs. The new lab was incredible. The teachers who worked on the grant were given the first time slots in the new lab. I had a 45 minute slot of time each day. You can imagine the excitement I felt.
Then I had to figure out what my students would do with a daily computer lab period. I’m all about projects, so a project it would be. I divided my class into groups. Each group selected a book about dogs. Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, Stone Fox, The Incredible Journey, and Because of Winn-Dixie were selected. Students researched topics about the books, wrote reports, and created webpages.
Here is the result of the Because of Winn-Dixie portion of the project:
[Just remember, these pages were created by students.]
If you would like to try out the Because of Winn Dixie Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:
Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2 [missionary and fortunate]
Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
Constructive Response Question for Chapters 1-2 – Setting
Constructive Response Question for Chapters 1-2 – Characters
Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
Here’s where you can purchase the full unit:
Because of Winn Dixie Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities. Vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice are all included.