EDUC 567 Children's Lit discussion

Because of Winn-Dixie > Because of Winn-Dixie Reflection

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message 1: by Ritsa (new)

Ritsa Mallous | 35 comments Mod

message 2: by Carly (new)

Carly Elliott | 9 comments I loved reading because of Winn Dixie and I think it would be a great book for elementary age students to read. Ideally, this would be read by students new to reading chapter books. The writing style sounds like 10 year old Opal telling the story so it is easily relatable to the readers. The story also speaks to accepting those for who they are as Opal accepts her father for putting the church first and Otis for his present self, not his past. The book would be great for a classroom to read when a new student enters the classroom as the book speaks to acceptance and the difficulty in being a new kid in town.
Some great activities could accompany a class reading the chapter book. I would have a class write a journal of their everyday life in the same way Opal tell her story. The lack of a climax also makes the book seem more like a journal than anything else. This would also be a wonderful opportunity to have students write 10 facts about themselves or their families to share with the class at the beginning of the school year to help the students get acquainted.
The themes of friendship, acceptance and finding your place in the world could truly speak to a 3rd ish grader. This is a time when true friendships are being formed and when teaching lessons of acceptance could be very important and beneficial. I think Because of Winn Dixie is a great book for elementary age students to read because of the way it is written, the themes and the wonderful opportunities for activities.

message 3: by Erika (new)

Erika Kiser | 12 comments Because of Winn-Dixie could be introduced alongside a journal writing unit. The book is written in the perspective and language of ten-year-old Opal and remarks on her everyday life. Often when children are asked to write about themselves they are not really sure what to write and feel they do not have anything interesting enough. None of the events that Opal describes are extraordinary; the book is more or less about an ordinary summer she spent in a new town with her new dog. I think the "ordinaryness" of the story would show students that they can write about anything and be a writer and an author even without outside-of-the-box ideas. So this book would be good for accompanying a "first chapter book" writing project or any type of journaling. The style of the book sounds like we are reading Opal's own journal or that she is talking to us as a friend.
I think that aspect also makes the book very readable for elementary aged children. Instead of feeling like they are reading a book written for them by an adult, they feel they are reading something from one of their peers. The book is very easy to relate to because of this and while the book presents deeper issues such as strained relationships with a parent and the loss of a younger sibling, I think it approaches the issues with the innocence of a child.
I also appreciated that this book wasn't about a typical middle-class family with two parents. The Preacher was a single dad and the family lived in a trailer park. Both of those scenarios do not seem to be often portrayed in literature for children. As a person who grew up with a single mom and never met my dad, I think reading this book while I was in school would have helped me to see that I wasn't so out of the ordinary to have a single parent and not know my dad.

message 4: by Raven (new)

Raven Tate | 10 comments I thought that Because of Winn-Dixie was a good book for children that are starting off reading their first chapter books. It is a very easy read as far as vocab and the flow of the story goes, as well as I feel that children will be able to relate to it very easily.
This book was from the perspective of a 10 yr old female which made it seem as though a fellow friend/classmate was just giving an account of a chapter of their life or the reader could also feel like they were telling the story.
In our group discussion, we talked of how we could incorporate this book into the classroom. We came up with several activities that could be done upon completion of the book, such as: journal entries, making a list of ten that would help classmates learn more about each other, and using the list idea to help students learn to write complete sentences.
One thing that I did not like about the book however, was that the narrator and her father did not have a good (or typical) relationship. They seemed to look at each other as a common adult/child relationship rather than a familial one. I wish that what they began towards the end of the book would have began early.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and I would suggest it to others!

message 5: by Katherine (new)

Katherine | 11 comments I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Having never read the book when I was younger, I really enjoyed the simple, quick read that is narrated by 10 year old Opal about her everyday life with her new pet dog. I think a good age for children to read this book would be around 3rd grade because the language is not only simple, but it is actually written in the perspective of a 10 year old girl and so that makes it more appealing to children around that age. Also the chapters are fairly short so that the book isn't too intimidating to children that are new to reading chapter books. This book can also be applied to a variety of topics in the classroom such as being a tool to help kids learn to write about their own lives. Also I think that this could be read in the classroom when talking about kids that are new in town. One of my favorite parts of the book however are all of the crazy random characters that each bring their own aspect to the story and it shows a lot about how unique people truly are and that it's OK to be different. Overall Because of Winn Dixie is a great book with lovable characters and I would high recommend it!

message 6: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 10 comments I really enjoyed reading Because of Winn-Dixie, despite the fact that I usually don’t care for books involving animals. I found the relationship between Winn-Dixie and Opal very relatable to someone of any age, regardless if they have ever had a pet or not. Winn-Dixie was a good friend to Opal and a gateway for her to meet other friends. Everyone at one point has had a friend like Winn Dixie.
In my group we concluded that a suitable demographic for this book would be for children who were just beginning to read chapter books. The words, and story plot are easy to follow and each chapt4er is about 5 to 7 pages, a good beginner length. The book would also be good to read in a class where there was a new student, or maybe there was a problem with bullying. Because of Winn-Dixie could be used as a teaching tool to show kids that people go about making friends in different ways and that some people have certain experiences that make them how they are i.e. Amanda. The book also touches on issues such as alcoholism, imprisonment, acceptance, and single parenting. These varying elements are lightly alluded to, just enough to introduce the topic to a child but not go into in depth explanations about it. We also concluded that this book could serve as an introduction into a writing assignment such as journal writing or beginning sente3nce writing i.e. writing sentences about yourself or your family.
Overall I would defiantly recommend Because of Winn-Dixie and if given the situation/opportunity use it in my own classroom one day.

message 7: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Sexton | 8 comments I really enjoyed re reading this book. I read it when I was younger and enjoyed it all the same this time around. I think we had a great class conversation and everyone in our group shared the same appreciation for the book. We expressed that this is a good chapter book for elementary school kids because, although it is an easy read, it still presents a challenge for a child with it being a chapter book and then a sense of accomplishment upon finishing the book. This book also lightly touches on very common issues that can be found in a household with out it being too overwhelming. I think that the book also presents a good opportunity for small projects to stem in class such as a book report because it is very understandable and relatable for children. I would definitely have this book in one of my class rooms and I think both parents and students would be pleased as well. Overall I really enjoyed experiencing this book again at a college age versus the fist time I read it in elementary school.

message 8: by Christina (new)

Christina Edmiston (cedmiston) | 11 comments So I never read "Because of Winn Dixie" before. I found this book to be a very quick and easy read. I read it on my flight to Atlanta, GA, and it took me less than an hour to finish. I found this be a good book for younger grades to read together.

The concepts were very mature but since they were addressed in the voice of a 10-year-old girl, I found that this would be a great book for children of that age. I believe that a lot of students would be able to relate to Opal, the main character of "Because of Winn Dixie".

I think that a lot of students can relate to Opal's situation of being new to an area and not knowing anyone. I think that it would also be an awesome book for new students that are coming to a new school/area.

I like the complexity of the characters in the story. I also think that this book can be integrated with a lot of literacy activities.

Overall, I think this was a great book for students in the later years of elementary school. I would definitely use this book in my classroom as a group reading activity followed by literacy activities and more.

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