Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s novel, Shiloh, is a captivating and impactful novel that engages readers and fosters a love for reading. Shiloh offers a rich tapestry of themes, character development, and ethical dilemmas that make it a fantastic choice for the classroom. Shiloh is a must-read and can benefit both their students’ academic growth and moral development. 

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The Benefits of Using Shiloh in Your Classroom:

  • Contains Relatable Themes: Shiloh addresses timeless themes that resonate with young readers. The story revolves around the bond between a young boy named Marty and a mistreated dog named Shiloh. Themes of friendship, empathy, compassion, and the importance of standing up for what is right are woven into the narrative. These themes provide students with opportunities to explore their own values and ethics, making Shiloh an ideal text for fostering discussions about moral dilemmas.
  • Explores Character Development: Naylor’s novel offers well-crafted characters, each with their own flaws and virtues. Students can easily relate to Marty’s journey of self-discovery and his determination to protect Shiloh. The characters’ development throughout the story allows for in-depth character analysis, helping students understand how experiences can shape a person’s beliefs and actions.
  • Builds Vocabulary: Shiloh introduces students to a rich vocabulary that can expand their language skills. Naylor’s writing is both accessible and eloquent, making it a valuable resource for building students’ vocabulary and improving their reading comprehension. Teachers can incorporate vocabulary-building exercises and discussions related to the book’s language throughout the reading process.
  • Encourages Ethical Discussions: The moral dilemmas presented in Shiloh offer an excellent opportunity for ethical discussions in the classroom. Students can engage in thoughtful debates about topics such as animal rights, honesty, and the consequences of one’s actions. These discussions encourage critical thinking and help students develop their own moral compass.
  • Enhances Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Reading Shiloh can enhance students’ empathy and emotional intelligence. They will empathize with Shiloh’s plight and Marty’s internal struggle to do what’s right. This emotional connection to the characters promotes empathy and a deeper understanding of the emotions and perspectives of others, a crucial skill for building positive relationships.
  • Provides Real-World Relevance: Shiloh also offers a bridge to real-world issues. Students can explore topics like animal welfare, kindness, and the power of advocacy, connecting the fictional story to current events and global concerns. This real-world relevance can make literature more meaningful and engaging for students.

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Shiloh is more than just a heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog, it’s a powerful tool to inspire young minds. By bringing this novel into the classroom, you can explore relatable themes, promote character development, enhance vocabulary, and engage students in ethical discussions. Shiloh also nurtures empathy, emotional intelligence, and real-world relevance while providing valuable assessment opportunities. Introduce your students to Marty and Shiloh’s world—a journey that will leave a lasting impact on their academic and moral growth.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Shiloh for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format, for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

See what people are saying about the Shiloh Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

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