Activity Overview

To demonstrate understanding of comparing and contrasting characters, students should choose two characters and identify their similarities and differences.

For example: Opal and Amanda

  1. Have experienced a loss in their life: Opal’s mother left her, and Amanda’s brother drowned.
  2. Enjoy spending time with Miss Franny, reading books and listening to stories.
  3. A difference between the two girls is in their personalities; Opal is very social and makes friends easily, while Amanda is very shy and is often alone.

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 storyboard that compares and contrasts characters in Because of Winn Dixie.

  1. Use the T Chart template provided by your teacher.
  2. Pick two characters to compare.
  3. Identify their similarities and differences.
  4. Illustrate each example with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

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/4/9] Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.


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

Grid Comparison Rubric
Create a storyboard that compares two or more elements of the story as directed by your teacher.
25 Points
19 Points
13 Points
Comparison Analysis
Text and images include a clear explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics. These comparisons go beyond superficial elements and show strong understanding of the story elements.
Text and images include an explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics, but the explanation may lack clarity or show only superficial understanding in some squares.
Text and images may include no explanation of similarities and/or differences, or they may make only superficial or inaccurate comparisons.
Textual Explanation
The text clearly and accurately describes all the scenes and concepts depicted.
The text clearly and accurately describes most of the scenes and concepts depicted.
The text fails to describe most of the scenes clearly and accurately.
Storyboard Image and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the setting, characters and specific scene of the book. The scene is clearly identifiable based on the graphic depiction.
Student attempts to convey the setting, characters, and specific scene through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey the setting, characters, and scene.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

How To Identify Similarities and Differences Among Characters


Use Character Maps

Students can take help from the activity of character maps where the physical and personality traits of each character are written. They can also take away character goals and motivations from the maps.


Analyze Actions

While reading the book, teachers can encourage students to highlight important aspects of the characters they want to compare. Teachers can divide the class into groups and assign one character to each group. The group will then highlight and scrutinize the actions of their assigned character.


Context and Background

While analyzing actions, teachers should remind the students to keep in mind the context of the story and the background of the characters. This will help the students understand the characters and the author’s intent in a better way.


Introduce Venn-Diagrams

For the ease of students, teachers can introduce the concept of Venn diagrams where students can use visuals to separate similarities and differences. By using Venn diagrams, students can compare multiple characters at once.



After comparing and contrasting characters, students can share their own opinions as to why characters possess these traits and how could they change for a different ending. They can also share their personal experiences with such characters and personalities and discuss about character growth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Characters Compare and Contrast in Because of Winn-Dixie

What aspects of Opal's connection with Winn-Dixie differ from Opal's relationship with her father?

Opal and Winn-Dixie have an immediate, friendly, and supportive relationship. Due to their lack of communication and unsolved difficulties from the past, her relationship with her father is more strained than usual.

Evaluate Miss Franny Block's and Gloria Dump's personalities. What effects do their contacts with Opal have on her development?

Despite being elderly and reclusive, Miss Gloria Dump and Miss Franny Block each have stories to tell. They provide knowledge and direction to Opal, assisting her in growing her capacity for empathy and comprehension of other people's perspectives.

How do various characters in the story deal with loneliness and loss?

Opal, Miss Franny, and Gloria are just a few examples of characters that dealt with loneliness and bereavement in various ways. Others look for relationships and share their experiences to cope, while some choose to isolate themselves.

How do the individual personalities of the many characters add to the novel's overarching themes of community, acceptance, and friendship?

The distinctive personalities of each character add to the fabric of the town's society. Their interactions and connections highlight the value of acceptance, comprehension, and sincere friendship. For instance, everyone accepted and loved Winn-Dixie instantly which helped them form a unique bond within the community.

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