Activity Overview

In this activity, students can depict the characters in the story, paying close attention to their physical characteristics and actions in the story.

Characters included in the character map are:

  • India Opal Buloni
  • The Preacher
  • Miss Franny
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Sweetie Pie Thomas
  • Gloria Dump
  • Otis
  • Amanda Wilkinson

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.

  1. Identify the major characters in Because of Winn Dixie and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a character to represent each of the literary characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  3. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  4. Fill in the text boxes for Physical Traits, Character's Actions, and How Does the Character Change?.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/1] Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/3] Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Character Map Template
Create a character map of the characters in the story. Put the character's name in the title boxes and choose a character and scene to represent each one. As you read, take notes on the characters by answering the questions.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
Character Picture & Scene
The characters and scenes are both appropriate for the book's characters.
Many of the characters and scenes match the book's characters.
More than half of the characters and scenes do not match the characters in the book.
Accuracy of Notes
Most of the information of the notes is correct.
Many of the notes have correct information, but some are incorrect or missing.
Less than half of the information of the notes is correct and relevant.
Work is complete, thorough, and neat.
Most of the sections of the character map were at least attempted and work is presentable.
Character map is unfinished and/or disorganized.

How To Impart Valuable Lessons Through Fictional Characters


Introduce Positive Values

Introduce students to the concept of positive and negative values. Also, present them with the concept of basic moral values and some qualities of a good person such as honesty, optimism, discipline, etc.


Make a List

Ask the students to make a list of some good and bad qualities of each character from the novel. While analyzing these qualities, students will be able to relate with the characters as they will find some of these qualities in themselves.


Present Consequences

After making this list, teachers can ask the students to highlight some consequences of the actions that were taken by the characters. These consequences will help them realize that people who take good actions and have good qualities will always be successful.


Reflect and Discuss

Teachers can encourage a discussion among the students and ask them about what they learned from the following activity. Throughout the discussion, teachers can try to highlight the importance of learning from one’s mistakes and rectifying one’s bad qualities.


Lead By Example

Teachers can also try to impart these lessons by giving examples to students. These examples can be from their own personal life or any other example they are aware of.

Frequently Asked Questions About Because of Winn-Dixie Characters

Who are the main characters of the story "Because of Winn-Dixie"?

India Opal Buloni: the 10-year-old protagonist, Winn-Dixie: the stray dog Opal adopts, Opal's father: the Preacher, Miss Franny Block: the town librarian, Gloria Dump: a wise and eccentric woman, Otis: the proprietor of the pet store, and Opal's new friend, Amanda Wilkinson, are the book's main characters.

What impact does Opal's friendship with Winn-Dixie have on her daily life?

The interaction between Opal and Winn-Dixie is transformative. She makes friends in her new town and mends her connection with her father with the aid of the dog, who becomes her devoted and loving companion. Opal's life is made happier, more comfortable, and more brave by Winn-Dixie's presence.

What stands out about Opal's personality?

Opal is tenacious, sympathetic, and kind. She is also a bold and brave girl who is not scared of anything for the sake of her friends. She shows kindness to everyone around her and has a great deal of compassion for others. Opal has demonstrated her ability to overcome obstacles like moving to a new town and missing her mother.

What role does Miss Franny Block have in the narrative?

The village librarian, Miss Franny Block, plays a significant part in the narrative by telling Opal about her personal experiences. Her narrative introduces the subject of loneliness and enables Opal to get insight from the mistakes of others.

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