The first class novel in third grade was Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The story centers around a girl named Opal who just moved to a new town and is having a hard time making new friends. She adopts a stray dog that she names after the grocery store where she found him. Everything that happens to her and the new friends she makes are all “because of Winn Dixie.”
The students learned many new things through this novel study including new vocabulary, identifying character traits, and about the theme of friendship. They also wrote chapter summaries and made predictions about what was going to happen next in the story.
One of the characters in the book was a candy maker who developed a type of candy that made you feel sad when you ate it. For a creative writing activity each student created their own candy that evoked different emotions, such as Lilah’s Laughter and Crying Caramel. They then created an advertisement to persuade people to want to buy their candy.
Tuesday was “Because of Winn Dixie Day” in third grade. The students celebrated by watching the movie and having a party. They talked about their favorite characters from the book. They played a compare/contrast game where they used a Venn diagram to determine if something happened in the book, the movie or both. They had a party just like the one in the book that Opal throws for her friends. Many students tried new foods they had never tried before like egg-salad sandwiches and dill pickles! This day was a wonderful way to celebrate friendship and share our joy of reading!