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Mahmood Gusev
Mahmood Gusev

Because Of Winn-Dixie


While at Winn-Dixie, Opal encounters a scruffy Berger Picard that is wreaking havoc. She (not wanting the manager to send him to the pound) claims that he is her dog and names him "Winn-Dixie". He becomes friends with everyone he encounters, and so Opal makes some new friends in the process. She also rekindles her relationship with her father and learns ten things about her mother, Benjean-Megan, who abandoned them when she was three. She describes the preacher as a turtle, always sticking his head into his shell, and never wanting to come out into the real world. This is most likely because of how sad he is about her mother, whom he is still in love with.




Because of Winn-Dixie


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The film was directed by Wayne Wang; produced by Trevor Albert, Walden Media, and Joan Singleton; distributed by 20th Century Fox; with music composed by Rachel Portman. It was shot on location in Napoleonville, Louisiana, with some shooting in Gibson, Louisiana. To make sure both dogs got on well with AnnaSophia Robb, who played Opal, she was brought in early to get acquainted with them and give them treats. By the time shooting started, they considered her a "safe" area.[citation needed] Winn-Dixie was played by multiple Picardy Shepherds, a rare breed from France. The DVD extra "Diamond in the Ruff" shows the two principal dogs named Scott and Lyco, but producer Trevor Albert mentions in the DVD feature commentary that, in all, four dogs were used. In the featurette "Meet Winn-Dixie" AnnaSophia Robb mentions that the stunt dog named Tasha jumped over the flour. The film's mouse was played by a rat. The choice was made carefully because while mice would have been preferable, rats are much easier to train.


Director Wayne Wang wanted to use Picardy Shepherds because he thought they looked similar to the depiction of Winn-Dixie on the book cover and would appear familiar to its readers. Dogs were brought from France when none were available in the U.S. The film, like the book, is set in Naomi, Florida, even though it was filmed in Louisiana. Consequently, the police car and uniform emblems depict Florida rather than Louisiana. The bunny that Otis hands Opal (at around 56 mins) is a Netherland Dwarf. They only get to be between 6 and 8 inches long.


A 10-year-old girl named India Opal Buloni has just moved to a trailer park in the small town of Naomi, Florida, with her father, who is known as The Preacher because he preaches at the local church. Her mother, Benjean-Megan, abandoned them when she was three. She describes the preacher as a turtle, always sticking his head into his shell, and never wanting to come out into the real world. This is most likely because of how sad he is about her mother, with whom he is still in love.


Opal finds a dog collar that she wants to buy for Winn-Dixie, but she has no money and decides to work for the pet store to earn it. Otis, a worker at Gertrude's Pets, is unwilling to hire Opal as a cleaning girl, but she comes to work. When Opal and Winn-Dixie step into the store, the animals panic when they see the big dog. Otis plays his guitar to calm them. Opal learns that Otis once went to jail for battering a police officer who tried to confiscate his guitar after the officer told Otis he could not play music on the street because he was disturbing others.


Opal and Gloria set up everything outdoors, but it starts to rain, so they bring the party indoors. Opal can't find Winn-Dixie anywhere, even after searching the town. Ten minutes later she returns to Gloria's home to discover that Winn-Dixie has been there all the time, hiding because he is scared of storms. The book ends with Otis playing his guitar and everyone singing one of The Preacher's songs.


Opal (Annasophia Robb) and her worried, distracted preacher father (Jeff Daniels) have just moved to tiny Naomi, Florida. At the grocery store, Opal meets a troublemaking stray dog causing chaos, claims him as hers, and names him Winn-Dixie after the store. Her dad and the landlord say "No!" But Winn-Dixie wants to stay with Opal and help her make some new friends. Soon, Opal has a job working the pet store and befriends the town librarian (Eva Marie Saint), a reclusive woman (Cecily Tyson), and some local kids. As Opal becomes more confident, she finds the courage to ask the Preacher about her mother. Because of Winn-Dixie, she has developed the maturity to begin to understand the answers. And because of Winn-Dixie, the small town of Naomi becomes once again a place where people know each other's sorrows and reach out to each other.


The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends, and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship-and forgiveness-can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.


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The lesson plan is a useful example primarily because of its rigor and learning tasks that address Common Core standards in reading, speaking and listening. Activities provide students with opportunities to engage with a complex text. The annotated "Teacher Guide" included with the assessment demonstrates how to create a specific rationale for answer options. Quantitative data about text complexity for the excerpt from Because of Winn-Dixie is included with lesson materials. This model clearly demonstrates the process that educators could use to analyze text complexit. The following link illustrates how to adapt curriculum to differentiate instruction.


One summer's day, 10-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries - and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It's because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it's because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.


Funny and poignant, this 2001 Newbery Honor novel captures life in a quirky Southern town as Opal and her mangy dog, Winn-Dixie, strike up friendships among the locals. (Ages 8 and up)The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket--and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship--and forgiveness--can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.Recalling the fiction of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers, here is a funny, poignant, and utterly genuine first novel from a major new talent.


  • The book and film provide examples of: Academic Athlete: Opal enjoys hearing stories from others, and judging by her respect for the library and librarian, it can be inferred she likes to read.

  • Alpha Bitch: Amanda shows shades of this, though it's very downplayed. She's not really one; her perceived sour attitude is implied to be a result of her brother's death.

  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Winn-Dixie appears to be able to understand Opal's emotions, and also appears to be able to smile like a human.

  • A Boy and His X: A girl and her dog. The focus of the story is about Opal's growing relationship with Winn-Dixie and how he affects her, such as helping her heal from her mother's abandonment.

  • By-the-Book Cop: The film has one of these, a sheriff who appears to enjoy harassing pet shop owner Otis, scolding kids for doing absolutely nothing, and in general, being a real pain. His by-the-book side comes from the fact that every time anyone crosses him, he starts shouting the ordinance they're in violation of. (Considering the violators are usually animals, it's not like they care).

  • Broken Bird: Amanda, who lost her brother, Carson, in an accident, the loss of which she never quite recovered from, so she takes out her feeling because of it.

  • Calling the Old Man Out: Opal does this to Preacher after she loses Winn-Dixie. She goes home expecting to find him, and when her dad tries to get her to come in out of the rain, she confronts him on not showing up for her party, and seeming to ignore her all the time.

  • Child Hater: Mr. Alfred, who's also a dog-hater, as evidenced by his rule against both kids and pets in his trailer park. This nearly gets Winn-Dixie sent to the dog pound. He comes around in both the girl and the dog's cases by the end.

  • Church of Saint Genericus: The Preacher's church has no specific denomination, and services are held in a repurposed convenience store, still known as the Pick-It-Quick. In the movie it's a Baptist church according to the sign on the door.

  • Colour-Coded Characters: Among the three main girl characters, Amanda tends to wear blue, Opal red and Sweetie-Pie pink.

  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone in town calls Opal's dad "Preacher." She does too, though not to his face.

  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Inverted. Winn-Dixie actually leads Opal to potential friends rather than detecting evil, though he does do his share of barking at Mr. Alfred and the Dewberry brothers before they too become friends.

  • Fear of Thunder: The dog is horribly afraid of thunderstorms (truth in television).

  • Free-Range Children: Opal and the other kids seem to run around town without much adult supervision. May be justified in that Naomi is a very small town.

  • Insubstantial Ingredients: Miss Franny tells the girls that the Littmus Lozenge's secret ingredient is sorrow.

  • Line-of-Sight Name: Opal christens her dog Winn-Dixie since she found him in a grocery store and claimed him on the spur of the moment.

  • Missing Mom: Opal's mom left when she was three. Opal doesn't know why, but her dad eventually reveals that she was an alcoholic and hated being a preacher's wife.

  • Old Maid: The librarian, Miss Franny Bloch, though she subverts this trope, explaining to Opal that she never had the need to be married.

  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sweetie Pie Thomas is only ever called "Sweetie Pie" and we never hear her real name.

  • Plucky Girl: Opal plays baseball and was her former hometown's star pitcher. She's also a pretty gutsy kid in general, as seen by her willingness to befriend town "witch" Gloria Dump, stand up to the Dewberry brothers, and ride her bike just about anywhere in the neighborhood.

  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Invoked. Twice, Opal goes to somewhat great lengths to save Winn-Dixie from the dog pound.

  • Puppy Love: It's heavily implied that the nicer of the Dewberry brothers has a crush on Opal. Opal herself doesn't really reciprocate or even seem to notice, at least not until the end where she smiles at him kindly as they share a moment when they think Winn-Dixie's gone for good. In the musical, Sweetie Pie has a clear crush on Stevie, though he clearly doesn't reciprocate.

  • Title Drop: "Just about everything that happened to me that summer happened because of Winn-Dixie."

  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: There are hints of this between Opal, the tomboy, and Amanda, who generally wears skirts and elaborately styles her hair, and is never seen playing sports.

  • Trademark Favorite Food: Winn-Dixie loves peanut butter. In the film, at least, he gorges himself on Miss Franny's Littmus Lozenges.

  • War Is Hell: Invoked; Miss Franny quotes it word for word while telling Opal and Amanda about her great-grandfather Littmus, who fought in the Civil War.

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