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Because of Winn Dixie Literature Unit


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Keywords: Literature unit, book, reading, literature
Subject(s): Reading
Grades 3 through 4
School: Imagine School at North Port, North Port, FL
Planned By: Cassandra A. Duff
Original Author: Cassandra A. Duff, Venice
“Because of Winn Dixie” was chosen for several reasons. First, I feel the book is quality literature and was a Newberry Honor book as well as many other awards. Second, it is a story written about a girl who children today can relate. India Opal, the main character, and her dog, Winn Dixie encounters several life situations in which lessons are learned. It is my goal to provide an opportunity to understand the situations and their impact on people. By reading and discussing the book, the class will participate in different activities related to the book for further knowledge and comprehension.
• Reading Level: 5
• Read Aloud Level: 4
• AR Points: 4.0
• Topic/Theme: Community


• All the students will read and respond in daily journals “Because of Winn Dixie” allowing them to monitor their own learning and comprehension of the text. All students will participate in Grand conversations to predict and formulate questions related to the text.

Strand A: Reading Standard 1: The student uses the reading process effectively.
Benchmark LA.A.1.2.1: The student uses a table of contents, index, headings, captions, illustrations, and major words to anticipate or predict content and purpose of a reading selection.
1. Uses text features to predict content and monitor comprehension (for example, uses table of contents, indexes, captions, illustrations, key words, preview text).
2. Uses knowledge of formats, ideas, plots, and elements from previous reading to generate questions and make predictions about content of text.
3. Uses a variety of strategies to monitor reading in third-grade or higher texts (for example, rereading, self-correcting, summarizing, checking other sources, class and group discussions, reading on, trying alternative pronunciations, asking questions).


1. Multiple copies of “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo
2. Lined paper
3. Construction paper
4. Pocket chart
5. Blank cards for pocket chart
6. Story map example
7. Large Chart Paper
8. Bio of Kate DiCamillo from kidsreads.com
9. Florida Map
10. Books: “War and Peace”, “Johnny Tremain” and “Gone with the Wind”
11. Peanut butter
12. White bread
13. Knife
14. CD of guitar music
15. Books about the Civil War
16. Books about water safety


A brief discussion of pets students own and how they might have enhanced their lives. Share a personal story about my pet.

Instructional Procedures

1. See Weekly calendar for specific time and activities
2. The student will identify words from daily reading to add to the “Because of Winn Dixie” word wall
3. The student will write daily in his/her reading log and include word wall items, words unknown, ways they related to the story, quotable quotes or other story items they want to respond.
4. The student will complete a double entry journal entry in their reading log on Wednesdays and Fridays (at least)
5. The students will participate in Grand Conversations each day
6. The students will participate in each mini-lesson.

Modification for Differentiated Instruction
ESOL/Struggling reader:
1. Provide students with a visual timeline of reading assignments
2. Team the student with a buddy to read the story
3. Add unfamiliar words to the word wall or word box
4. Provide review each day
5. Help students make connections to prior knowledge and experiences
6. Summarize information from large sections of a text to help review

Enrichment:
1. Student is to read related books choosing from the following:
a. Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
b. Fudge by Charlotte Towner Graeber
c. Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes
d. Riptide by Francis Ward Weller
e. Shiloh, Saving Shiloh, Shiloh Season by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
f. Tornado by Betsy Cromer Byars

After reading related book, student creates an open-mind portrait of the main character from “Because of Winn Dixie” and the main character from the additional reading.
2. Student to complete Gertrude’s Pet Shop logical thinking worksheet. (see attached)

Evaluation:
1. Examine student’s quilt squares and their presentation to observe for understanding.
2. Observe student’s participation in Grand Conversations to examine comprehension and use of strategies related to asking questions about the text
3. Evaluation of journals for clear thoughts and understanding by making connections and asking questions if not understood


Re-teaching:
1. Move on to another literature unit and monitor progress
2. Have students continue to respond to written material in a journal
3. Ask questions and hold Grand Conversations on other books read out loud in class or in SSR

Materials: Whiteboards, Digital Cameras
Other Items: 20 Because of Winn Dixie