Friday, June 29, 2012

Because of Winn Dixie

If you love doing literature studies with intermediate students, I would highly recommend Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. It's an easy read, but don't be fooled. You can go really deep with this one. I've done it twice with fifth graders, and both times, they LOVED it. Isn't that what makes a teacher's heart happy? 

Here are some of the anchor charts we kept. 

On this one, we used the title to summarize while reading the story. 

This one helped us generate clarifying questions, make predictions, and study the characters.

Since the chapters don't have titles, we came up with our own. I had them come up with their ideas in small groups, then each group shared and defended their ideas. We then chose one to add to our chart. This was great for inferencing (coming up with titles that have double meaning, play on words), predictions, summarizing. I really challenged them to get creative. You could do this for any book with no chapter titles. 

When we finished up, it was almost the end of the year, so we had a little more time for fun! One of our wrap up activities was a scene sketch on a film strip. I gave them 6 different things to sketch. This one is Gertrude's Pet Shop.

Open Arms Baptist Church

Winn-Dixie Grocery Store

Gloria Dump's yard

We celebrated the book with a party in Winn-DIxie style! Our food included Otis' Pickle and Litmus Lozenges. (Lemonheads)

The kids had a ball decorating with pink and orange streamers, and cutting pictures of dogs out of magazines!

The kids thought she looked like Sweetie-Pie Thomas.

One of the student's drew a Wait-and-See Tree.

More food! Egg salad sandwiches.

Dump Punch! Yum!

The book has it's place of honor!

And we watched the movie. (The movie is NEVER as good as the book, as we all know) It was so fund hearing them say "That is NOT how it's supposed to happen!

I can't claim all the ideas. I co-taught with a fabulous reading coach one year, and she introduced me the book and the party. Thanks Patty Chan!


  1. These are really great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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