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Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

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Shiloh Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Shiloh Include:

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is a fiction novel about eleven-year-old Marty who hides a beagle from his family and vows to protect the dog from his mean-spirited owner, Judd Travers.

Shiloh Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Shiloh Character Map


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In this activity, students will depict the characters of the story using a character map. Have students pay close attention to the physical and character traits of both major and minor characters. Students will provide detailed information regarding how the characters interact with the main characters, as well as challenges the characters face.


Shiloh Characters

  • Marty
  • Dad
  • Mom
  • Dara Lynn
  • Becky
  • Shiloh
  • Judd
  • David
  • Doc Murphy

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.


  1. Identify the major characters in Shiloh and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a Storyboard That character represent each of the book 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 Textables for Physical/Character Traits, Changes over Time, and What challenges does this character face?
  5. Save and submit the assignment.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Shiloh Vocabulary


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In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of several words using a spider map. After choosing the word(s), students provide the part of speech, definition, an example from the text, and demonstrate their understanding of the word(s) through an illustration in the related storyboard cell.

Example Shiloh Vocabulary

  • beagle
  • gunnysacks
  • quarrel
  • turpentine
  • blackmail
  • witness

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in Shiloh by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Shiloh Themes


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Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, students will identify a theme of Shiloh and support it with evidence from the text.

Example Themes from Shiloh

Honesty

  1. When Judd questions Marty about the dog, he stutters and states hesitantly, “Haven’t seen any dog of any kind in our yard all day.”

  2. David asks to come over to Marty’s house but Marty lies saying, “Ma’s had this sort of headache lately, and she can’t take any noise at all.”

  3. “I never kept a secret from your dad in the fourteen years we’ve been married.”


Determination

  1. “I’d made a promise to Judd Travers I wasn’t going to keep, Jesus help me. But I’m making one to Shiloh that I will, God strike me dead.”

  2. “But the more I sit there petting his head, feeling his happiness, the more I know I can’t give him up. I won’t.”

  3. Marty realizes that he is blackmailing Judd, but thinks, "I'd got to the place where I'd do most anything to save Shiloh."


Other possible themes include: love, kindness, and family.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Shiloh. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify the theme(s) from Shiloh you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for examples that represent this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Flashbacks in Shiloh

Authors use flashbacks in texts to reveal information about a character’s past. Flashbacks can provide some insight into a character’s motivation or details about the conflict. In this activity, students will identify examples of flashback and identify the author’s purpose for including them.


  1. Marty lies about eating his sister’s chocolate. He gets all red and claims, “It was one of the worst days of my life.”

  2. Marty remembers calling David Howard by his full name on two occasions: when David sat on a flowerpot Marty made for his mother, and when he caught Marty with his pants down in the bathroom.

  3. Marty thinks back to the time he found a dead dog with a bullet through his head near Judd Traver’s house.

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Shiloh Point of View

In this activity, students will examine the author’s point of view and identify ways this view is unique in understanding elements of the story.


First person point of view - we see everything through Marty’s eyes

  1. “I put my face down near Shiloh’s again, my mouth next to his ear. ‘Live, Shiloh, Live!’ I whisper.”

  2. David sees the pen and notices the blood on the ground, so Marty tells David about Shiloh and how he was attacked.

  3. Marty blackmails Judd; he agrees to keep quiet about the deer and will do twenty hours of work in exchange for Shiloh.


The narrator tells the reader his inner thoughts and feelings.

  1. "A lie don’t seem a lie anymore when it’s meant to save a dog, and right and wrong’s all mixed up in my head."

  2. Marty thinks about holding up a sign that says, “FREE: WORLD’S BEST DOG”.

  3. “I bend over, my forehead against him, my hand on his head. He’s dead, I know it! I’m screaming inside.”

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Figurative Language in Shiloh


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Figurative language adds a descriptive element to text. The Shiloh book has several examples of figurative language, including similes and hyperbole. In this activity, students can display their understanding of figurative language by identifying the examples from the text and creating a literal or figurative portrayal of the language. Additional types of figurative language include metaphors, personification, and idioms.

Figurative Language Examples in Shiloh

DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE
Simile A comparison using 'like' or 'as' “I’m happy as a flea on a dog.”
Hyperbole Exaggeration or overstatement for humor or emphasis “I feel like there’s a tank trunk sitting on my chest; can’t hardly breathe.”
Hyperbole Exaggeration or overstatement for humor or emphasis “He knows I’d rather swim a river full of crocodiles than face Judd Travers.”

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows three examples of figurative language in Shiloh.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify use of figurative language in the text.
  3. Put the type of figurative language (such as simile or metaphor) in the title box.
  4. Give an example from the text in the description box.
  5. Illustrate the example using using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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A Quick Synopsis of Shiloh

Marty goes for a walk after lunch on a Sunday afternoon and is followed home by a sad-looking, malnourished beagle, whom he names Shiloh. Marty’s parents dismiss the dog completely and after dinner, Marty’s dad returns the dog to Judd Travers, a conniving man who Marty suspects is abusing Shiloh.

Marty thinks about Shiloh all night and makes up his mind to find a way to buy the dog from Judd. He asks his father, who is a mailman, if he knows of any way he could earn money, but the only option is to collect bottles and cans. A day later, Marty helps his dad deliver Sears magazines all over town, including Judd’s neighborhood. Judd openly admits to not feeding the dogs or even giving them names. Marty is livid and more determined than ever to save that Shiloh dog.

Marty continues collecting bottles and cans for the next couple days, eager to make enough money to buy the dog from Judd. While contemplating about the dog, Marty hears a sound he knows is Shiloh. He picks him up from the front yard and heads to the woods so that nobody will see him. He makes a promise to Shiloh that he will never send him back to Judd, and sneaking back and forth to the shed, he picks up wire and some fencing to build a pen.

The next day Judd drives up and asks Marty and his dad if they’d seen him. Marty denies knowing anything about the dog. Marty continues to build upon his lies and decides that lying is better than letting Shiloh get beat up. When Marty sneaks off after dinner one night to tend to Shiloh, his suspicious mother follows him and catches him playing with the dog. Marty’s mother begrudgingly agrees not to tell his father until the next day, but in the night a German shepherd jumps the fence and attacks Shiloh. Marty and his parents run to the dog and find it seriously injured. They rush to Doc Murphy who stitches him up, but is unsure if Shiloh will recover.

The following day Doc Murphy returns the dog and Marty’s dad agrees to let Shiloh stay until he has healed, but then he will need to be returned to Judd. However, Judd finds out and comes to the house and demands the dog be returned by Sunday. After days of thinking, Marty walks to Judd’s horse early on Sunday morning to insist that he sell the dog to him. By chance, Marty witnesses Judd kill a doe and uses this as blackmail. Judd agrees to let Marty work for him for the next two weeks in exchange for the dog. Marty and his family, who have grown to love Shiloh, are thrilled at the news.

Marty owns up to his end of the deal - arriving at 3:00 to chop wood, pull weeds, tend to the garden, and do any other miscellaneous task that Judd can think up. Judd laughs at him, threatening not to hold up his end of the deal, but Marty keeps working just the same. In the end, Judd sells Marty the dog and even gives him an old dog collar.




Essential Questions for Shiloh

  1. Is it important to be honest? Why or why not?
  2. How do you decide when you should be honest and when it is acceptable to lie?
  3. What are some ways that relationships between humans and pets differ?
  4. When people feel strongly about something, what do you they do? How do they act?


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