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READER PROJECT

THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER


By Mark Twain
Pupil’s Name:
Group:
COMPETENCY 11 KEY CONTENT
KC1: Oral Comprehension: Global, literal and interpretative comprehension from
To understand & value adapted or authentic texts.
authentic or adapted literary KC2: Strategies for oral comprehension: identification of key words and expressions;
texts. anticipation and formulation of hypotheses based on prior knowledge about the
situation, selection, interpretation, inference, retention.
TEACHER’S NOTES

ACTIVITY: To read an adapted version of the book TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain
LEVEL: 1st Secondary

0. PREFACE

Preface The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is not merely a literary classic. It is part of the American imagination. More than
any other work in our culture, it established America's vision of childhood. Mark Twain created two fictional boys, Tom
Sawyer and Huck Finn, who still seem more real than most of the people we know. In a still puritanical nation, Twain
reminded adults that children were not angels, but fellow human beings, and perhaps all the more lovable for their
imperfections and bad grooming. Neither American literature nor America has ever been the same.

1. INTRODUCTION
Theme Focus: Classic Novel
Comprehension Focus: Theme
Language Focus: Words of Adventure

Teaching the book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, based on Mark Twain’s recollections of his Missouri boyhood, is a
timeless classic that continues to captivate new generations of readers. The book gives students the opportunity to
explore Twain’s themes, his use of language, and his memorable characters. Activities engage students in analysing a
famous Twain quote, researching Twain’s life, and creating a table of contents for their own adventures.

2. PURPOSE

Burning Question: How can I help my students understand that Tom develops ethical responsibility throughout the
novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer? How can I help them see a connection to him through their own experiences?

Context: This is a “during reading” project for students that will help them interact with the text while examining the
important issue of ethical responsibility, a major theme Twain explores through the development of Tom Sawyer. This

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connection is important for students to investigate as they come to see changes in their own lives and compare their
personal growth to that of the character Tom.

BEFORE READING ACTIVITIES


ACTIVITY 1
COOPERATIVE STRATEGY: ROUNDTABLE

Present a category. In pairs, students take turns writing one word at a time.

2.1 Write all the words you can think of which relate to this word

HEROIC

2.2 Write all the words you can think of whic relate to this phrase

GOOD BOY

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BEFORE READING ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITY 2

COOPERATIVE STRATEGY: 1-2-4

4) Decide whether they agree/disagree or answer yes/no in the boxes below. You must choose one or the
other; you cannot write “sometimes.” If you need to explain “if” next to your decision there is space provided.

Statement/Question Agree Disagree We agree/disagree if……


Robin Hood was a robber.
Was he a good man?

Tricking someone for fun is not


the same as lying.

It’s okay to pretend to be


someone you’re not, in to fit in
and not be made fun of.

It’s okay to lie for yourself, a


family member, or a friend if it
keeps you out of trouble or
danger.

Money doesn’t change a person’s


character.

It’s better to follow laws, even if


you don’t agree with them.

Children should obey and respect


adults.

An adolescent’s behaviour is
influenced by friends more than
anything else.

An adolescent’s attitudes are


influenced by parents more than
anything else.

Cruelty begets (generates) cruelty


and kindness begets kindness.

There is good in every person.

Lying is bad and should be


punished.

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You should always tell the truth.

BEFORE READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 3

THE AUTHOR: MARK TWAIN

What was his real name? When and where was he born?

When did he write this novel? When and where did he die?

Was he an orphan boy?


Could this novel be an
autobiographical one?

When and where does the novel


take place?

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WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

Write down the similarities between the author’s life and the novel main character’s life.

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READING ALOUD: CHAPTER 1:

The teacher will read chapter 1 aloud and teach students:

- Correct Intonation
- Pace
- Pronunciation

ACTIVITY 1: READING ALOUD

REST OF CHAPTERS

Pupils will read aloud in the order stablished by the teacher.


They will take into account the points before mentioned
because they are going to be marked while reading. At the end
of every chapter you will have to write a sentence which
summarizes its content.

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

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WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 2: VOCABULARY

While reading the teacher will emphasize some KEY WORDS or EXPRESSIONS and pupils will look up their
meaning in a dictionary.

KEYWORDS DEFINITION TRANSLATION

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AFTER READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 1

MAIN CHARACTERS: Who are they? What’s their role in te novel?

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AFTER READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 2

Tom’s Timeline of Development


List pranks and events that occur during the course of the novel Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Below, tell
whether Tom learned a lesson from the event or not.

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AFTER READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 3: COMPARE & CONTRAST: SUMMARIZING SIMILARITIES & DIFFERENCES

Use the “Y” chart (graphic organizer) to compare or contrast the protagonist to yourself.

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AFTER READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 4: GEOGRAPHY + HISTORY + ETHICAL ISSUES

TIME OF THE NOVEL

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LOCATION SOCIETY OF THAT TIME

COUNTRY EDUCATION

CITY SOCIAL CLASSES

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES RACISM

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION SEXISM

CHILDHOOD MATURITY

FREEDOM vs REPONSIBILITY

AFTER READING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 5: SUMMARY OF THE NOVEL

Summarize in your own words the main content of the novel.

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Do you think this novel has got a message? Is there any larger thematic intent beyond the depiction of
boyhood in a river town in the 1840s?

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EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITY 1: QUESTIONAIRE

1. Does this novel speak for more than one boy and his personal concerns?

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2. What does this voice tell us about the choices and responsibilities for a boy coming of age in mid-nineteenth-
century America?

3. How do you think American childhood has and hasn't changed since the 1840s?

4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was already a historical novel when it was written, fully 30 years after it is set. Does
it feel realistic or nostalgic?

5. Between Tom and Huck, who's more of an outlaw and who's a conformist?

6. Who emerges with more dimension in the book, African Americans or Native Americans? Can you detect any hints
of Twain's late-career humanism?

7. How might the fence in Aunt Polly's yard serve as a symbol? What might be implied by Tom getting others to
"whitewash" the fence for him?

8. How old are Tom and his classmates? Do they behave convincingly for their age?

9. Why do you think Twain made Tom an orphan?

10. Which do you enjoy more, Twain's dialogue or his descriptions? How does one complement the other?

11. If you could eavesdrop on your own funeral, what do you think you would hear?

12. Find a sentence that makes you laugh out loud. Change one word. Is it as funny? If not, why not? If so, change
one word at a time until the joke weakens or dies. What made it work before?

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13. What important roles did Huck and Becky play in Tom's success, even though Tom is celebrated as the town's
hero?

14. Tom makes a difficult decision when he tells the truth about the murder. Compare the way he comes to his
decision with Huck's choice to help Jim in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . How does Tom's motivation differ from
Huck's?

15. Some readers believe that Tom develops a conscience by the end of the novel. Do you agree? Is there evidence
to suggest that Tom has changed?

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