Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's classic novel Shiloh has long been a classic favorite. The book is perfect for a whole-class novel study or read-aloud in third-grade classrooms, or it can be used as a book club or literature circle text for 4th-6th graders.
If you need a copy of the book, you can get Shiloh in paperback on Amazon. (This link is an
Shiloh is the story of an 11-year-old boy named Marty and a young beagle. After instantly falling for the beagle he finds in the woods behind his home, Marty is horrified to discover the pup belongs to his neighbor, Judd Travers.
Judd is a heavy drinker, carries a gun, and abuses his dogs. After being forced to give Shiloh back, Marty is both thrilled and terrified when he reappears. Realizing he must hide Shiloh, Marty secretly keeps him safe.
However, secrets are hard to keep, especially when they impact your whole family. It isn't long before tragedy strikes, and Marty must make a difficult decision. Will Marty keep Shiloh or return him to his former home?
What reading level is Shiloh?
This book is a Guided Reading Level R and has a Lexile score of 890L. Appropriate for third through eighth-graders, the book has many issues that may be more challenging for younger learners to break down and process. You'll want to approach the text differently depending on the age of your students.
At a DRA level 40, the book should be a relatively easy read for 5th-8th graders. This will allow you more opportunity to dive deep into the moral and ethical issues facing the main characters.
What's included in this novel study unit?
This two-week novel unit is available in both printable and digital formats. The unit guide breaks the book into 10 sections. Each day's work includes a standards-aligned comprehension activity and vocabulary.
Here's more about what you'll find inside:
- Print & digital instructional guides with daily comprehension skill, objective, key Tier 2 & text-based vocabulary, and tips for using both versions
- Comprehension trifolds (provided in color and black & white)
- Reader's notebook comprehension prompts (matching trifolds)
- Word of the Day text-based vocabulary flipbooks
- Vocabulary word wall cards
- Trifold answer keys for easy grading
- Access to the Google Slides version of the daily assignments for use in digital classrooms
Reading comprehension skills targeted
These book study
Some of the skills addressed in this novel study include:
- Inferring character emotions
- Analyzing characters & setting
- Identifying the main idea
- Point of view
- Problem & Solution
- Context clues and vocabulary
- Utilizing text evidence
- Interpreting figurative language
Daily lessons target one comprehension skill, letting learners focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to responding to literature.
While many novel study units provide long lists of questions to be completed along with each day's reading, this no-fluff format makes sure your students understand and can apply their knowledge to Shiloh and other texts they read. The goal is to get students to think rather than just regurgitate the text.
The novel study format
This novel study is provided in two formats – print & digital. The digital version of the novel study is perfect for use as part of distance or home learning, and it can easily be shared with students via Google Classroom.
The printable version includes the same material, but in a paper-saving print format. This version requires under 10 minutes to prepare and is designed to be approachable to struggling and reluctant learners, while still maintaining the interest of your on-level and advanced learners.
Here's a bit more about what you'll find in the printable version of this novel study:
Shiloh Printable Novel Study
The printable novel study format provides comprehension prompts in two formats. These formats were purposefully selected to help you differentiate to meet the needs of your learners.
Here's an overview of each of the comprehension response formats:
The trifold format was the original design for this novel study.
Each foldable was designed to cover a week worth of comprehension using only one piece of paper.
Students respond to a targeted question each day that focuses the day's reading on the comprehension skill.
From the student perspective, the benefit of the trifold is that it is extremely approachable. Each day's work only takes up a third of the page, and this keeps reluctant writers from shutting down.
As a teacher, you'll find it easy to collect and grade. Many students use the trifold as a bookmark, helping prevent missing papers.
The Reader's Notebook prompts are perfect for advanced students, who provide a more in-depth analysis, and struggling writers, who may need more space to write their response.
For advanced readers, the notebook prompts can be used to generate a longer, more detailed response to the daily prompt. This pushes the students to analyze and defend their answers.
However, the notebook prompts are also great for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and fine motor issues because they can be glued onto specialized paper or within a notebook to give students with large handwriting more room to respond.
Regardless of the format selected, the prompt is the same so you can easily have some students working on the trifolds while others use the notebook prompts.
What academic vocabulary is included in your Shiloh novel study?
There are over 40 academic vocabulary words included in the instructional guide for this novel. These include general academic vocabulary and skill-specific vocabulary.
It is crucial to teach academic vocabulary explicitly and within context. Struggling learners often lack the vocabulary essential to perform well in school and on standardized assessments, so this is an easy way to incorporate this into your regular instructional practices. Click here to learn more about why academic vocabulary is important.
Here is a small sample of the academic vocabulary you'll find included in this novel study:
- point of view
- character traits
Text-based vocabulary in this novel study
In addition to the Tier 2 vocabulary, each day's lesson includes a text-based vocabulary word that can be found within the day's reading.
Some of the vocabulary words included in this literature guide are:
These words can be taught using the included flipbook format. Designed with conserving copies in mind, the flipbooks require only a half-piece of paper per week.
The Word of the Day Flip Book is designed for use in interactive reading journals.
To use the flipbooks, cut around the outer edge, cut the tabs, and glue it into their notebook. Have students leave the flaps unglued so they can be lifted. This allows students to write under them.
Depending on your students, you can have them generate a definition of the day's word or generate a list of synonyms and antonyms. You can even have students draw a picture of the meaning.
How to purchase this novel study
This Shiloh novel study unit can be purchased in my shop by clicking the link below: