This is a 59-page Common Core-aligned literature study unit for use with the novel Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
NOTE: This unit does NOT include an answer key. Though some questions here are designed to assess comprehension, the overall objective is to promote discussion, critical inquiry and the development of argument-building skills. Most prompts here are open-ended so a variety of responses will be "correct," depending on how well-supported they are. If you are looking for a unit with multiple choice or fill-in-the-blanks questions you can quickly match against an answer key, this is not the right unit for you.
This unit includes the following components:
• Literature Response worksheets for each chapter of the novel with 8-12 questions about the reading. Some of the questions are designed to assess reading comprehension (or listening comprehension if you read the novel aloud); others are intended to hone critical thinking and writing skills. A few ask students to analyze literary elements (simile, metaphor, personification, setting, point of view). Several of the questions can also be used as prompts for longer writing assignments. This novel raises some tough and complicated questions about family and adult responsibility, and explores some of the ethical dilemmas that poverty can often trigger (i.e., Are lying and stealing ever the “right” things to do?) The Lit Response questions ask students to articulate their thoughts on these issues and write about personal experience. There are some questions geared toward English Language learners that ask students to decode idioms with which native English speakers will probably be familiar. Page numbers correspond with the Kindle edition.
• Vocabulary review exercises (one for every 3-4 chapters) & 2 vocabulary practice crossword puzzles with solutions.
• A vocabulary study sheet, where all words are listed with easy to understand definitions and parts of speech.
• A reproducible “Word Work-up” Frayer model-based graphic organizer for in-depth study of individual words. This page features questions about word origin, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms and parts of speech.
• A link to a set of Shiloh vocabulary flashcards stored on FlashcardMachine.com. From this URL you can download a PDF copy of the flashcards, or let students use the “study session” feature on the website or the Flashcard Machine app for ipad & Google Play-supported android devices. Directions for three flashcard games are included with the link.
• Several Mentor Text Exercise lesson plans designed for use with a Writers’ Workshop program. Each exercise asks students to read as writers—to pay close attention to character, conflict, point of view, and elements of craft—and apply Naylor’s writing techniques to their own works in progress. These exercises include concept intros on the element of craft at the center of each lesson, excerpts of the passages under consideration, discussion questions and writing exercises. The lessons can be used for small group or whole class instruction. Directions and discussion questions are directed toward students, so you can copy the lesson plans and hand them out as worksheets, asking students to complete the writing exercises on the back or in their writing notebooks. You can also use the lesson plans as a teacher resource to help you facilitate discussions and guide writing exercises orally as teacher-led activities.
• “On Eleven’s Mind,” a detailed, multi-day lesson plan for an in-depth mentor author study. This lesson plan includes suggestions for introducing each lesson’s reading, discussion and/or writing session, excerpts of the mentor texts under consideration, questions to guide discussions, and prompts and graphic organizers to help students brainstorm, draft and revise their own poetry. Along with a passage from Shiloh, this lesson also features Sandra Cisneros’ short story “Eleven” as a mentor text.
• Flexible formatting. This document is in Microsoft Word so you can easily modify or delete questions or directions to fit your own class’s needs. The cover image, crossword puzzles, graphic organizers, some of the mentor text excerpts, and “Word Work-up” worksheet are embedded PDF files so they will take a little longer to load. Keep in mind that if you make changes that alter the document’s pagination, the page numbers on the Contents page might become inaccurate, but will probably stay close enough for you to find what you’re looking for.