Because of Winn Dixie Vocabulary

Instructor: April Gwen Ellsworth

April has a master's degree in psychology and has experience teaching special populations from preschoolers to adults.

What does Opal mean that her dog Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear of thunderstorms? And what do you do with Littmus lozenges? You'll find the answers, plus learn about other interesting words in this lesson on the vocabulary in ''Because of Winn-Dixie'' by Kate DiCamillo.

A Girl and Her Dog

Because of Winn-Dixie is the tale of 10-year old India Opal Buloni and her new dog Winn-Dixie, who she discovers is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever met. This novel is filled with rich and interesting words that help you feel like you are in the little town of Naomi, Florida with Opal, Winn-Dixie, and the people they come to know and love.

Because of Winn-Dixie Vocabulary Words

Before reading Because of Winn-Dixie, it will be helpful to become familiar with some of the vocabulary words you'll find in the book. And as you read the story, you can jot down a few words from each chapter that are interesting or challenging to you, then come back to this list or use a dictionary to check their meaning.

Ex-convict Otis knows the animals in his pet shop will calm down when they hear the strumming of his guitar. Otis strums the guitar by moving his fingers back and forth on the strings.

Congregation. A congregation is a word used to refer to a group of people, and most commonly refers to a group of people that belong to a church. Opal's father is a preacher, or a leader in a church. When his congregation gathers at the Open Arms Baptist Church in Naomi, they bring lawn chairs to sit on instead of pews because the church used to be a Pick-it-Quick store.

Charming. Someone or something that is charming is very pleasant or delightful. A charming person is nice to be around and a charming house looks neat and is comfortable. Winn-Dixie is a charming dog because he easily makes friends with everyone. For example, when he met the preacher for the first time, 'He pulled back his lips and showed the preacher all of his crooked yellow teeth and wagged his tail and knocked some of the preacher's papers off the table. Then he sneezed and some more papers fluttered to the floor.'

Constellations. Constellations are patterns that stars make in the sky, like connecting the dots, only with stars. The Big Dipper and Little Dipper are star patterns that look like huge spoons in the night sky. If you draw imaginary lines between the stars, you can see the handles and the cups of the spoons.

Enlisted. An enlisted man or woman is someone who volunteers to join the military. In this story, Miss Franny Block tells about how her great-grandfather, Littmus W. Block, enlisted in the Army to fight in the Civil War when he was only 14 years old.

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