Taking a Stand: Shiloh

Students grapple with how a person develops values, identities, and beliefs, and explore what it means to stand up for what you believe in, while reading and discussing the novel Shiloh.

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ELA

Unit 1

4th Grade

Unit Summary


In this unit, students begin to grapple with the overarching question of how a person develops values, identities, and beliefs while reading the novel Shiloh. Marty, the main character in Shiloh, sees someone mistreating a dog and thinks it’s his right and responsibility to step in to save the dog, even if the dog doesn’t belong to him. His action raises a question for readers about when an individual should step in to take a stand against what he/she believes to be an injustice. His action also causes readers to consider how different people, depending on their values, identities and beliefs, may have different opinions on what constitutes an injustice. Students will be challenged to take a stand on both of these ideas, based on the experiences and opinions of the different characters in Shiloh. Students will also be exposed to the idea of courage, and what it means to show courage, especially in situations where you are standing up for what you believe in. It is our hope that this unit will inspire students to grapple with these questions at a deeper level and understand the power of showing courage to fight for the things they believe in, no matter what obstacles they may face.

Shiloh was chosen as the text for this unit not only because of the powerful themes, but because of the way in which Phyllis Reynolds Naylor artfully develops the setting, characters and plot. In this unit, students will be challenged to think deeply about how the details an author includes help a reader better understand a character’s thoughts and actions. The setting of Shiloh in rural West Virginia in the 1970s allows students to deeply analyze how an author develops setting, and how the setting of a text influences the characters.  Finally, students will begin to notice how the point of view of a story influences the way a story is told. 

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

  • Book: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000)   —  890L

Assessment


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • How do beliefs, ethics, or values influence different people’s behaviors?
  • When should an individual take a stand against what he/she believes to be an injustice? What are the most effective ways to do this?
  • What does it mean to show courage?

Vocabulary

Text-based

abused ashamed bargain bawl bawling blackmail bold courage cringe depend decency disgusted dwell edgy enthusiasm flustered fond humble impact impatient influence infuriate intention jubilation licked mistreated mission obliged omission pester pitiful quarrel quavery remedy rehearsed scale shame snoop squeals stumped suspicions sympathy tense threats tremble unfasten whirls witness yelps

Literary Term

dialect

Root/Affix

-ful anti- im- mis- un-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 1, view our 4th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

L.4.1
L.4.1.e
L.4.1.f
L.4.2.d
L.4.3.a
L.4.3.c
RL.4.3
RL.4.6
SL.4.1
SL.4.1.a
SL.4.1.b
SL.4.1.c
SL.4.2
W.4.1
W.4.1.a
W.4.1.b
W.4.1.d
W.4.3
W.4.3.a
W.4.3.b
W.4.3.c

Supporting Standards

L.4.1.c
L.4.2
L.4.3
L.4.4
L.4.4.b
L.4.5
L.4.6
RF.4.3
RF.4.4
RL.4.1
RL.4.4
RL.4.10
SL.4.6
W.4.4
W.4.5
W.4.6
W.4.9
W.4.10
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Unit 2

Finding Fortune: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

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