EDUC 567 Children's Lit discussion

Shiloh > Shiloh Reflection

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message 1: by Ritsa (new)

Ritsa Mallous | 35 comments Mod

message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 12 comments I think what sealed the deal for me in my decision to read Shiloh was the location-West Virgina. I spent most of my elementary school year summers in WV and wanted to 'go back' literarily. I was also interested in the struggle that Marty had to face in regards to finding Shiloh and how he was to resolve the deception he had to use in order to save this dog from his cruel owner.
From the onset of the novel, which I initially began reading aloud to my daughter, I had a rather twangy accent that went along with the text. Even when I was not reading aloud I still heard a twang that complemented Marty's language. I think this internal sound (and external at times) helped the text flow, for me at least.

message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 12 comments I've been a little confused about what to do for different classes but hope to have my routine figured out shortly. In any event, I really enjoyed our discussion about Shiloh today-thank you Lauren for heading up the group. I think its a testament to the author's ability to connect with her audience that made everyone in our group enjoy this read. Again and again the themes of morality and perseverance lead the discussion into talk of how we could either relate to Marty's struggle to keep Shiloh and how hard it was for him to be deceptive. In presenting these themes to students in the upper elementary grade level, it was keenly pointed out that whenever Marty talked about lying he would also talk about why it was wrong and how bad it made him feel. Not to say that two wrongs make a right, but the struggles that Marty encounters are good life lessons for children of a similar age to Marty (11) to think about and possibly debate/discuss in class.

message 4: by Brianne (new)

Brianne Hough | 12 comments I do not think it is a coincidence that everyone in our group enjoyed Shiloh. The story itself tugs on the heartstrings of almost anyone and the compassion that Marty feels for the dog transcends the pages and directly effects the reader. While the story is rather simple itself, the complexities that occur with Marty's feelings and moral dilemmas about lying to his parents and standing up for what is right could really be useful tools in a classroom. While we all thought that the story would be particularly appropriate for an older elementary school student (especially one with a love for animals), the book entertained us just as well and brought us back to the way we felt when we were children. This speaks to the author's wonderful writing abilities. This story definitely touches on some subjects that many kids Marty's age struggle with. We discussed how he struggled with lying and how, if we were teaching the story, we could help a student understand that lying is bad while still supporting Marty's decision to stand up for himself. The author handled this topic very well, however, because Marty was very upset about the fact that he had to lie and his parents' reaction was appropriate as well. Overall, we loved the story and were eager to read the other books in the series, although we were quick to say that we might not want to watch the movie because we wouldn't want to actually see Judd kicking the dog.

message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan Barker (megbarke) | 10 comments Rereading Shiloh now was a great experience for me. I remember reading the book back in fifth grade and absolutely loving it. Books about dogs and other animals always seem to draw in young children, and it is such a nice change when they actually end up having a happy ending! I feel like Marty is easy to relate with at any age, but especially around ten and eleven. He knows what has happened to Shiloh under the care of Judd and wants desperately to rescue him. I think that any person knowing what Marty knew would do the same.

In our group we discussed how to approach discussing how Marty lied and why Marty lied in the book, among many other things. Naylor did an amazing job writing this novel, and it is no surprise to me that anyone who picks it up, loves it.

message 6: by Macon (new)

Macon (macont) | 11 comments Shiloh is one of my favorite books from my childhood, so of course I loved getting to re-read it. After reading this as a child, I remembered three points distinctly: I really disliked Judd Travers, I absolutely adored Shiloh, and Judd Travers scared me. The second time reading this book many of these points remained constant: I still really disliked Judd Travers, I still loved Shiloh, but Judd Travers did not “frighten” me as he did as a child. I would definitely recommend this book to a group of students in the 3rd-5th grade for a number of reason. First of all, since the book focuses on the bond between a child and a dog, most children will be able to connect to the storyline at least to some degree. In addition, Phyllis Naylor does an excellent job portraying a moral dilemma related to lying that many children experience at some point. For Marty, he experiences feeling the need to lie in order to save Shiloh and is faced with an internal battle. As a result, this could provide a great opportunity to talk to children about lies/stretching the truth. My group even thought of the idea to potentially have each child re-write a scene where Marty lies but re-write it according to how they would respond in the situation. Lastly, I think the overall themes of perseverance and fighting for what you believe in that Naylor eloquently focuses on are beneficial concepts for any student to learn.

message 7: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 12 comments Shiloh has proven itself to be an excellent book. I really enjoyed the storyline and how the author portrayed the characters and moral dilemmas addressed. First off, I loved the characters of Marty and his family. They all seemed very real and easy to relate to. They fit into the context and time period of the story with a small southern town where everyone knows everyone. Marty has a huge heart, lots of compassion and love, and strives to be the most honest person he can be. At the same time he is learning how to deal with life's complications and when doing what seems right might not always be easy. He does not want to lie, but at the same time he feels as if he has no other choice in order to save the badly mistreated dog he finds and names Shiloh. As the story progresses you find yourself falling more in love with the dog just like Marty and you do not want him to have to go back to the evil Judd Travers. As I read I wanted nothing more than for Marty to find a way to keep the dog. I admired Marty's determination to do what was best for the dog. I did not want him to have to lie to his family about the dog, but the way he dealt with this moral dilemma proved his maturity. He wanted to do what was right, and he was taking responsibility. He chose to stand up to Judd to protect Shiloh because he truly cared for the dog and knew what Judd was doing was wrong. As the novel went on Marty became stronger and learned the importance of learning to deal with difficulties. He did not give up and in the end succeeds. I would definitely recommend this book to students in the 4th or 5th grade because it brings up many good discussion topics such as right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, morality, consequences of lying, and the importance of perseverance. The story would allow for children to explore the life of someone like them; someone who faces tough decisions but wants to do right. I feel like children would be able to relate well to Marty and would be on his side because Shiloh is such a sweet dog. This novel allows children to read about compassion, perseverance, and growing up in a way that allows them to explore morality. Overall, this is an excellent story that could spark many deep conversations that I believe most children would truly enjoy.

message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Robbins | 9 comments I chose to reread Shiloh because I distinctly remember loving this book when I was younger. I recall a strong response and emotions about the book. These feelings were duplicated as I read this book last week. I think many people feel such a connection to the book is because Marty's personality and his perserverence throughout and the dog he fell in love with. I felt like I was rooting for Marty the entire book. Adults and children alike can relate to this type of story. The themes that we discussed and possible topics we would explore in our classroom were morals, specifically lying, and perserverence. I think these are two important things to discuss with students. These particularly with upper elementary students too because I think they can understand and relate to Marty very well. I would absolutely recommend this to my friends as well as future students. Dog lovers or someone just looking for a story of friendship, perserverence, and somewhat of an underdog story with a "happy ending" will be quite pleased.

message 9: by Brianna (new)

Brianna | 10 comments This was my first time reading Shiloh, and I thought it was a fantastic book. I'm not really sure why I never read the book as a child because I remember my friends reading it... but I clearly missed out! Part of what makes this book stand out is how easily readers can relate to Marty. As I was reading, I found myself stepping right back into an 11-year-old mindset. Not only does Naylor depict the companionship between Marty and Shiloh, she also shows Marty's struggle between following the rules and following his gut. I really liked the way Naylor detailed Marty's reasoning process as he tried to justify his lies and actions. I think this is an excellent book for 3rd-5th graders to read. Children will enjoy the friendship that emerges between Marty and Shiloh, and they will be eager to watch the story unfold. The book sets an excellent example for perseverance, and it shows the importance of standing up for what is right. Children will also benefit from this story because it exposes them to a different time period and dialect from that which they are most familiar. This book can help open a child's mind to situations going on in his or her own life.

message 10: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Harris | 7 comments On Thursday our group had an excellent discussion of Shiloh: why we liked it, why we thought elementary students would enjoy it, and what could be taught and discussed in the classroom after reading it. Marty makes a fantastic protagonist who the reader quickly falls in love with and roots for even though he faces a serious moral dilemma for his age. We discussed Marty's predominant characteristics, the themes of the novel, the "takeaway" messages, and several literary elements that Phyllis Naylor used to enhance the readability of this book. I really enjoyed reading Shiloh and wished I had read it when I was younger. I loved how Marty was so passionate about standing up for Shiloh and he was determined to do whatever it took to save him. My favorite passage from the book happens to be the very last paragraph because it illustrates Marty's growth and maturity. It says "I look at the dark closing in, sky getting more and more purple, and I'm thinking how nothing is as simple as you guess-not right or wrong, not Judd Travers, not even me or this dog I got here. But the good part is I save Shiloh and opened my eyes some. Now that ain't bad for eleven."

message 11: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 13 comments I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for the second time! I agree that most anyone can enjoy this book at any age. I remember loving this book the first time but could not remember a lot about the book. This book will touch anyone who loves animals or even has a special connection with something or someone.

I also think it's a great book to teach children. I believe all children would love this book and really can get into it. There is so much to teach about this book! Its main theme is perseverance and its second theme could be teaching about lying. It's a great book to teacher about Marty's passion about saving Shiloh from Judd and wanted to care for him himself.

The book is also easy reading and its language is that of a fourth or fifth grader, so children can definitely relate to Marty. I enjoyed our discussion in class with Lauren. We really discussed the themes, she asked questions about our feelings, literary devices, etc.

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Kathryn | 12 comments I can't remember if I read Shiloh when I was younger, but I really enjoyed reading it for this class. The book is age appropriate for around the 4th grade because it teaches lessons that a younger child could really learn from. Children reading this book are likely to be really interested and invested in Marty because they are able to understand the relationship between a boy and his pet. Because young children love animals, this is a subject they could really latch on to. Like others have said, I really enjoyed seeing how Marty dealt with the issues of lying and doing the right thing. His struggle in the book is similar to struggles that people commonly have. This made his character very relatable. The whole book I was worried that something really bad would happen to Shiloh, but the happy ending really surprised me and made me feel good once I had finished the book. In the classroom setting, I believe that this book would spark meaningful discussion between children and allow them to think deeply about what is right vs. wrong. People of all ages are able to learn a good lesson from this book.

message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 12 comments I absolutely loved this book! I remember reading it in late elementary school and loving it then as well. One of the reasons I love it is because it is such an emotion packed book. It stirs up so many emotions throughout the whole book. I also love animals and happy endings which made it that much better. There were a few major things we talked about in our book discussion that really stuck out. The first was about the violence in the book. Shiloh definitely caters to the male audience with the small town, farm, hunting aspects. We recommended this book for late elementary students but had a concern with the violence. The abuse to the dogs and the killing of different animals in the book (deer) could scare some of the small readers, especially girls. Another major point was the HUGE moral dilemma. Marty struggles with the fact that he’s blatantly lying to his parents, but he is also saving Shiloh’s life from the abusive Judd. It is important that the author shows that Marty recognizes that he is lying and knows that it is wrong. This is a great issue to introduce to elementary age students. Elementary school is the time when students start facing “big” decisions with friends, behavior, etc. As a teacher introducing this book to her students, I would make a point to talk about this moral dilemma Marty faces, and address lying. As a group we decided it would be great to have the students do an activity related to “fixing” this problem like perhaps proposing other ways Marty could’ve gone about solving the problem without lying to his parents. Shiloh is a great book for reinforcing positive moral behavior in the classroom. There are several constructive activities that can be planned to go along with this book!

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