Because of Winn-Dixie Literacy Centers

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SWBAT engage in cross-curricular literacy centers (storytelling, vocabulary, drama) to orally tell a story, determine the meaning of words, and role play their favorite scene from "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo.

Big Idea

Students will develop oral storytelling skills, build vocabulary, and show artistic expression through engaging in cross-curricular literacy centers for the story "Because of Winn-Dixie."


2 minutes

Lesson Center Introduction

8 minutes

To begin the lesson, I explain to my scholars that today they will be participating in literacy centers for the story "Because of Winn-Dixie."  The three literacy centers I have selected are oral storytelling, vocabulary building, and drama.  I selected these particular centers because I want my students to hone their speaking and listening skills and improve their vocabulary and comprehension through cross-curricular integration.

Next, I model what students will do in the oral storytelling center by telling about a time when I moved to a new place and how I met a new friend.  Then, I select a Tier 2 vocabulary term (memorial) and demonstrate how students would go about completing a vocabulary map for the word "memorial."  Finally, I select two students to role play a portion of the story "Because of Winn-Dixie" with me.  One student plays Opal, one plays Winn-Dixie, and I play Miss Franny.

I also review with my students our RESPECT acronym which explains our agreed upon guidelines for group interactions (see attached resource).

Oral Storytelling Center

15 minutes

In the oral storytelling center, scholars take turns telling a short story of a time when they moved to a new place and met a new friend.  I encourage them to share when, where, and how they met their friend, and what similarities and differences the two of them have with one another. Students participating in group may pose and respond to each other's questions.

Vocabulary Building Center

15 minutes


In the vocabulary building center, scholars will create vocabulary maps for three to five new vocabulary words from the story "Because of Winn-Dixie."  They will write the vocabulary word in the first box.  In the 2nd box, draw a picture to illustrate the vocabulary word.  In the 3rd box, tell what part of speech the word represents and list an antonym or synonym for the word, if possible.  In the last box, they will write a sentence using the word correctly.

Drama Center

15 minutes

In the drama center, scholars take turns role playing their favorite scene with members of their group.  After they role play a scene, they share why this was their favorite scene in the story.


5 minutes

To close the lesson, scholars share what they learned in each center and which center was their favorite center and why.