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Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Grade Level 3-5
The effects of Hurricane Katrina were felt throughout America and even throughout the world. Personally, it was disheartening to read and watch the events unfold during the summer of 2005. Many people throughout the world were also saddened by this terrible tragedy. However, it is important to learn from the tragedy and move forward. There are lessons that all can learn from it. For example, everyone should have an awareness of hurricanes and other destructive storms. Also, we need to be prepared and have a plan if a destructive storm were to occur in our area.
As you know from reading Because of Winn-Dixie, Winn-Dixie, Opal's dog was deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Many animals, children, and grown-ups are afraid of storms, especially hurricanes. A hurricane is a very severe type of storm that causes a great deal of destruction. Hurricanes often touch down in Florida. Opal and her father lived in Florida, a high risk area for hurricanes. We are going to use the Internet, a valuable resource tool, to find out all that we can about hurricanes. We want to be aware of what they are, how they form, how we can prepare, and also how to help our pets in a storm.
TASK 1: Hurricane Background Information
To provide some beneficial and essential information on hurricanes, I would like you to answers the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. To answer these questions, simply click on the link next to the box. Then, read the information on the linked pages.
TASK 2: Awareness of Natural Disasters
It is good to be aware of possible disasters. Let's find out what disasters Opal and her family are at risk for in Florida. I wonder what disasters occur in our state? Let's find out by clicking on the link. Then, click on the state and a box will pop up with a list of possible disasters. Make a list for your state and compare it to the one for Florida. What disasters are the same? Which ones are different?
TASK 3: Planning and Preparing for Natural Disasters
Many families have experienced and lived through natural disasters. The common message these people have for us is to be prepared. These disasters are totally unexpected and can strike at any time. You should consider yourself extremely fortunate if you have not been personally impacted by a natural disaster. The Benitez family was not so lucky. They experienced and survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Click on the link to read their personal story. All seven members of their family have something different to share.
Every family should have a disaster supply kit in their home. The kit will help you and your family during a disaster. For example, in a hurricane, you might be without electricity and the water supply may be polluted. In a heavy winter storm or flood, you may not be able to leave your house for a few days. In times like this, you will need to rely on yourself. Your disaster supply kit will make it easier. Remember, your family will probably never need to use your disaster supply kit, but it's always better to be prepared.
Click on the link at the bottom of the paragraph. On this page, you will see a giant disaster supply kit. Click on each item in the kit and find out what you should have in your own kit. You should click on five different items in all. Then, click on the family disaster plan link. Tonight, talk to your family and develop a disaster supply list and plan for future disasters. Bring your list tomorrow to share in class. Think about the climate you live in and the possible disasters that can strike in our state. This might help you think of what is important to include in a kit. Your plan should not be identical to the disaster supply kit or the family disaster plan on the web but should be your own personal list.
People are not the only ones who are affected by storms. Pets have a keen sense of knowing when things are wrong. In Because of Winn-Dixie , Winn-Dixie was the most affected and terrified by storms. Your pets depend on you for comfort and for their safety. There are many ways to be "Pet Prepared," but you must think ahead and start planning. Your local Humane Society or your veterinarian can help you. During a disaster, if you see an injured or stranded animal that needs help, tell your parent or adult to contact your local animal control officer or animal shelter. Remember, even if you don’t have to evacuate, your pet may be stressed or upset and will need extra attention. Did you include your pet in your disaster kit and plan? Check out the link and make sure you planned properly for your pet and included pet supplies in the supply kit.
Now, you should be confident in your ability to plan and prepare for a storm. Let's see if you know how to protect your valuables and house from a hurricane. Play the Hurricane House Game and demonstrate your knowledge.
TASK 4: Connecting to the Text
Write a well-developed paragraph in response to these questions. You should include specific examples from the text in your paragraph.
Think back to the text of Because of Winn-Dixie. How did Winn-Dixie act during a storm. In which ways did he act safely? In what ways was he not safe? Did the preacher and Opal have a plan for Winn-Dixie when it came to storms? (hint: see pg. 78) Do you have any suggestions for the preacher, Opal, and Winn-Dixie in order that they stay safe in Florida?
Did you know that there was a Hurricane Opal in 1995? It started in Florida and moved north up the Atlantic Coast. It's on the retired names list for hurricanes now. Is your name on the retired list?
Grading Rubric for Web Quest Project
1. How well did I concentrate when working on this webquest?
2. Did I enjoy researching about hurricanes and storms?
3. Did I understand the connection between the webquest and Because of Winn-Dixie?
4. What did I learn from this webquest?
5. Do I want to learn more about these topics?
for more information contact Brian Nawotka