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Mark Twain Activities

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

You can help your students appreciate Mark Twain as a person and an acclaimed writer. This lesson provides activities to help you encourage your students to study Mark Twain's life and career.

The Life and Times of Mark Twain

Mark Twain was a creative genius whose classic novels, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, are still appreciated today. His interesting life that included adventures as a riverboat pilot, journalist and inventor can spark curiosity in your students.

This lesson outlines four activities about Mark Twain that you can easily conduct in your classroom. The activities vary in preparation needed and time to complete, from a quick 'Pick a Question' game to a lengthier 'Relive the Journey' presentation. Choose the activities that are most appropriate for your students and will encourage them to understand and appreciate the life and works of Mark Twain.

Pick a Question

This game involves team competition to answer review questions about Mark Twain.

Preparation

After completing the study of Mark Twain, make a list of questions that test the kids' understanding of his life. You may include questions like: What were two of Mark Twain's most famous books? Where was Mark Twain born? How many children did Mary Twain have? Write each question on a paper, fold and place in a bowl.

Directions

  • Divide the class into two groups.
  • Invite a student from each group to come forward to your desk or table.
  • Select a question from the bowl and ask it out loud.
  • The student who slaps the desk or table first gets to answer the question. (See scoring procedures.)
  • Repeat until all students have had a chance to represent their group.

Scoring

If the answer is correct, the team earns a point. If the answer is incorrect, the opposing student has a chance to answer the question. If that student gets the answer correct, the second team earns a point. If the answer is incorrect, both students return to their teams and no points are granted. The correct answer is then revealed.

Mark Twain Abstract Art

In pairs, ask the students to create a mural related to an element of Mark Twain's life on a large piece of construction. The mural may include drawings, paintings or other creations that represent an event related to Twain or a characteristic of his personality.

Once the murals are complete, invite each duo to share their artwork with the class. They can explain what the different aspects of their work represent and answer questions from the other students.

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