Drummer Boy of Shiloh: Audio Literature

Drummer Boy of Shiloh Audio Literature

Access the “Drummer Boy of Shiloh” on audio below.

During the Civil War young men went into battle. Joby, the main character, in the expert from Ray Bradbury’s book Drummer Boy of Shiloh, is only a boy, not yet a man, and he must face the battle with only a drum.

Trying to ready himself for the battle, he tries to make sense of the current conditions surrounding him on this mysterious night.

To his surprise, he is approached by the General who comforts Joby by defining Joby’s role played in the battle to come

As you read and annotate this story, look for …

  • Character traits
  • Character description
  • Character motivation
  • Word Choice
  • Metaphors
  • Theme (We’re still in the survival theme)
  • Symbolism (this one is new to our annotation processes)

As with other stories – and the movie we watched – we observed the need for communication and discussed how communication leads to understanding and ultimately sympathy and/or empathy.

Big Ideas in This Story

These big ideas are present in this story, as well.

With thoughts of survival we considered the following quote:

Our need for self-preservation grows stronger when face with death.

With thoughts of understanding we considered this question:

Was the person’s action(s) justifiable for their circumstance?

Before Reading

Before you read an annotate the text, be sure to apply your pre-reading strategies to gather some insight about the story and generate a logical prediction.

While Reading

Have the copy of your story and a pencil in hand. While you listen, stop the audio and mark up your text. Focus on the intention of engaging with the story and connecting with Joby and his current situation.


“Drummer Boy of Shiloh”, by Ray Bradbury [Audio Literature]

After Reading

Answer the Reading Check Questions and apply the Rules of Incorporation.

Then complete the plot summary on page 6 of your packet.