Novel studies to teaching comprehension in the 3rd grade classroom are essential for students to really begin to work on comprehension of higher-level novels. Shiloh is a great novel study to do as a whole class to begin the work of reading comprehension.
Shiloh is a book about a young boy who takes care of an abused dog. He hides him and keeps him safe from Judd, who is abusing the dog. It is a sweet story that relates to almost all kids because of their love for animals and pets.
Why do Shiloh as a novel study in 3rd grade?
Shiloh is a great 3rd grade novel study because it has an older style of talking and writing which helps students take apart language and analyze it for understanding. It also is relatable to the kids in your class because of the aspect of loving and caring for a pet.
I will say that it is not a book I would recommend teaching at the beginning of the year. Students need a lot of reading comprehension work and background knowledge before beginning this book. This is a great novel study for the end of the school year and a great way to review all of the reading standards you have worked on all year!
Getting students excited about a novel study is always essential before beginning! You can start by having students write a story about their pet or a pet they wished they had. Have them describe what they love about that pet, what they like to do with them, etc.
Then, show the book commercial below and have them make predictions about the book before reading.
Each day read a chapter or two of the novel. After reading a chapter, work on a reading skill through discussion or by completing graphic organizers.
Throughout the story, you will want to check for understanding of the novel. I suggest doing 2 quizzes and then a final test. Always make these open-book quizzes. Part of reading comprehension is to go back into the text to find something that might confuse you. By allowing them to use the book for the quizzes and tests, it is giving them a higher understanding of the novel.
Throughout the novel, I love to allow students to do projects. We do two projects while reading and then the students can pick projects at the end of the novel to show understanding of the text.