Mark Twain Activities for Kids

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Mark Twain was a famous American writer about whom you may teach your students. Check out this lesson if you would like ideas for engaging activities that help your students learn more about Mark Twain's life and work!

Mark Twain for Kids

Mark Twain is a famous American author who has written great children's books, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In this lesson, you will find engaging, meaningful activities that allow students to have fun while learning about Mark Twain. You may choose to use a few or just one of the activities. You may even allow your students the option of selecting an activity on their own. Either way, your students can gain insight to the type of person and author Mark Twain was.

For all of the listed activities, you can use a rubric to grade your student's work. Rubrics set out a range of criteria in order to give an appropriate assessment of the activities.

Let's take a look at activities for teaching Mark Twain!

Activities for Kids

Author Sketch

In this activity, students get to show their artistic side as well as their ability to judge the qualities of others.

Materials:

  • Construction paper or drawing paper
  • Writing paper/type on computers
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils
  • Pencils, pens
  • Books or other reading materials about Mark Twain (such as a biography)

Procedure:

  • Students get to work individually with this activity.
  • Explain that students get to write about Mark Twain's life, accomplishments and more! They will also draw a portrait of him.
  • Ask students how they would describe themselves to other people. Discuss.
  • Have students gather and/or review information about Mark Twain that helps tell about the kind of person he was. Explain that students will be making inferences about Mark Twain's personality and other characteristics. Note that this is not a biography of Mark Twain, it is more of a character sketch.
  • Look for specific details or information that answer the following questions:
    • How would you describe him physically?
    • Would Mark Twain make a good friend?
    • What are some positive qualities Mark Twain has?
    • Does Mark Twain have any qualities that may seem negative?
    • What does he use for inspiration? What does that say about his character?
    • How would you describe Mark Twain's personality?
  • Once students have taken notes and gathered information, have students begin writing a rough draft detailing the type of person Mark Twain seems to have been. E.g., was he intelligent, thoughtful, creative?
  • Once you have had a chance to meet and talk with students, have them write or type the final copy.
  • Then, students may draw a portrait to go along with this 'author' sketch.
  • Students may share or display their final product.

Mark Twain's Look Alike

In this activity, students get to 'become' Mark Twain as they present details about his life. Students will dress up and act like Mark Twain!

Materials:

  • Books or other resources about Mark Twain
  • Writing paper or computers for each student
  • Clothing that would resemble what Mark Twain would wear

Procedure:

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