Shiloh Extension Activity
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
1. Before making the deal with Judd, Marty considers all kinds of ways to buy Shiloh - collecting cans and bottles, delivering papers, etc. Have you ever had to earn money fast in order to buy something you really wanted? Was it as difficult to earn the money as it was for Marty? How did you end up doing it?
In answering this question, many students will recognize the financial troubles that Marty's family and most of the surrounding community find themselves in. Many students will relate to Marty's feelings of desperation about obtaining the money as quickly as possible, but they will have found more options for earning the money than Marty did.
2. Imagine, five years down the line, Marty finds another one of Judd's escaped dogs and wants to keep it. Judging by the mature way they resolve their differences at the end of Shiloh, how do you imagine they might negotiate a similar problem?
By the end of the novel, Marty and Judd have gained each other's trust, and they are able to make a deal that satisfies both of them. If a similar incident happened in the future, most students would imagine that they would again be able to solve their differences peaceably. Certainly after observing Marty's hard work around his farm, Judd would be eager to hire him again to pay back any debt.
3. Write a set of step-by-step instructions for a friend who's taking care of your pet. Besides feeding it, what special things does he or she need to do - take it for a walk, give it a favorite toy or treat? Show your friend all the tricks you've taught your pet and how he or she can teach pets, too. Use simple illustrations to help explain.
With this activity, students will demonstrate in words and drawings their experiences in caring for their own pets. Students could share their instructions with classmates in presentations, and discuss the differences in tending and training different kinds of animals.
4. Do you have a special pet like Shiloh? Did you find it or have to rescue it somehow? Or did you get it from a pet store or the pound? Write a story where you describe how you got the animal and all the qualities that make him or her so special.
For many students, the time they first received their pet is very memorable, and this event provides a good topic for a narrative essay. Students should use descriptive details and dialogue to help their story come alive, trying to show their feelings for their special pet through the story.