Activity Overview

Students can identify the setting of the story and validate their understanding of setting using textual evidence.

For example:

Setting #1: Opal’s trailer park home.

Textual Evidence: “This was an all adult trailer park and the only reason why I got to live in it was because the preacher was a preacher and I was a good, quiet kid.”

Setting #2: Church

Textual Evidence: “The Open Arms Baptist Church of Naomi isn’t a regular-looking church…people bring in their own foldup chairs and lawn chairs…”

Setting #3: Pet Store

Textual Evidence: “Winn-Dixie was not allowed to come inside the store (there was a big sign on the door that said NO DOGS ALLOWED…”

Extended Activity: For an extra challenge, students can describe the importance of each setting on the story and how it does or doesn't affect the plot.

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 depicts the important settings of Because of Winn Dixie.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Pick three settings in the novel.
  3. Identify a quote that describes each of the three settings you selected.
  4. Illustrate each setting 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/4/3] 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.)

Setting Map Rubric #1
Evaluate your setting map using the criteria stated in the rubric below.
20 Points
15 Points
10 Points
Setting Description
The student effectively describes the setting by identifying the place, time, and atmosphere.
The student describes two elements of the setting.
The student describes only one aspect of the setting.
Role of Setting
The student effectively identifies how the setting contributes to the development of plot, characters, mood, and theme.
The student is able to identify how the setting contributes to the development of two aspects of the novel: plot, characters, mood, or theme.
The student is able to identify how the setting contributes to the development of one aspect of the novel: plot, characters, mood, or theme.
Shifts in Setting
The student identifies how the setting shifts and the effect this change has on plot, character, mood and theme development.
The student is able to identify how the setting shifts, and the effect this shift has on two aspects of the development of the novel (plot, character, mood, or theme).
The student is able to identify how the setting shifts, and the effect this shift has on one aspect of the development of the novel (plot, character, mood, or theme).
Final product contains accurate visual depictions of setting and characters.
Final product demonstrates an effort to accurately portray settings and characters though some aspects are confusing and/or inaccurate.
Final product contains irrelevant images.
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation
Final product is free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Final product contains up to three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar that do not alter the meaning of the text.
Final product contains more than three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

How To Use Visuals to Depict Accurate Setting


Define the Concept of Setting

Teachers should briefly explain to the students the concept of setting within the story. Once the students have a clear concept of the idea they will be able to perform better.


Choose Accurate Scenes

Students should choose accurate scenes that have textual evidence of the type of setting in the story. For example, in fictional stories, authors use many adjectives and descriptive language to depict the scenes and leave the rest up to the reader's imagination.


List Down Details

For their convenience, students can list down all the descriptive details of a setting from a scene. For instance, they can note down the time period, the place, the situation, the expressions and appearances of the characters, and other small details that can be used in drawing.


Foster Creativity

Teachers can give the students a choice to select any scene they want and draw it according to their understanding. Encouraging research is also an important aspect of this story. Such as, if the setting is in a different time period like the 1940s, students can research what kind of clothes people used to wear during that time, what were the social and cultural differences and the most visited places for entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Because of Winn Dixie Setting

Where does the story of Winn-Dixie and Opal take place?

The summertime setting for the book is the sleepy Florida hamlet of Naomi. The town's different settings and how they affect the inhabitants' lives are at the heart of the narrative.

What effect does Naomi, Florida's setting have on the narrative?

A sense of community is created by the small-town Southern environment, where the characters' lives are intertwined. It contributes to a welcoming and comfortable environment that fosters friendships and personal development.

What impact does the setting of a “small town” has on the theme of the story?

The small-town environment supports the concepts of acceptance, understanding, and camaraderie. The close-knit neighborhood emphasizes the value of getting to know people beyond their outward appearances.

Does the setting alter as the story progresses?

The fundamental setting doesn't change, but the character's perceptions of the setting do. As they get increasingly involved in the community, their original sense of isolation and detachment transforms into one of connection and oneness.

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