Friday, April 7, 2017

Tom Sawyer ..... Homeschool Literature Unit

It's been a while since I posted a unit that we were working on.  This one is on Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  It is geared for Middle School but you can use it with elementary school and even high school.  We are high schoolers here and I adapted the sources I found to my kids and their learning styles.
The front etching found on the first edition.

Tom Sawyer is an American Classic.  Mark Twain wrote in the preface that he wanted to write a Tom Sawyer as a satire against the other children's books where the main character was always good, helpful, honest, and warm-hearted.  He knew this was not always a reality. He wanted to write a 'real' story about childhood.  He based his characters off people he knew including himself and told stories in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that really happened to both himself and some other boys he knew.
which kids will enjoy and adults will find themselves reminiscing about their 'good ole days' (my term not his).  When it was written, cities were booming with buildings and hustle and bustle of people everywhere.  Life was busy and people dreamed of simpler times; times when they were younger, without a care in the world.  They dreamed of moving out of the city and into smaller towns.  Twain wrote

In it he describes the scenes so clearly that you can picture them in your mind as they are playing out in the book.  He uses dialogue in real dialect for the times and from his childhood days living in Hannibal, Missouri.

This story is a great 'read aloud'.  It lends itself well in both narration and in dialogue to reading out loud.  With a bit of practice you can get the cadence and dialect of the language.  While reading aloud you may even find yourself reading faster and faster as the action climaxes.  After a few pages the characters begin to come alive and for me, they take on voices of their own.  As a family, we find ourselves laughing at the events in this book, particularly the church scene in chapter 5.

When choosing this novel, I researched online for a study guide or a literature unit that was already done.  I found these:

This one from Scholastic - 4 printables
And this one from Glencoe -this one is a whole workbook that you can print and complete.

Here is a great source for character studies:

Character List
Character Map
Character Analysis - look on the left hand side and scroll down to find the names of the main characters.

Here are some sites for quizzes to take online:

Interactive Quiz
Another Quiz - this one has several kinds of quizzes.
Another one - look on the left column and find the second quiz on this site too.  Submit your answers for grading.
Essay Questions

We borrowed our last novel we read together from the local library, but this time I didn't have time to make a request to the library to gather enough books for us.  So I just went to the book store and bought four.  It is not the most cost effective, but I wanted everyone to have their own book and I needed one too.  The bookstore didn't have four of the exact same book from the same publishing company.  I bought two of the same and one of another and one of yet another publisher.  All books had the same words and didn't paraphrase or rewrite the book in a different way.  So while we weren't all on the "same page" we were all reading the exact same story with the exact same words.  A bonus from getting three different book publishers was that we had a couple different introductions that we read to prepare us for the book.  One book had footnotes that gave additional background information.  One book had pictures throughout.  That was encouraging to one of my kids as they enjoyed seeing the pictures of the scenes while reading.

If this post was helpful for you please leave me a quick "thank you" comment so I know that it is worth my time to post these.  If you would like to see more or would like to suggest a book you want more curriculum on let me know that too.  We may have already read it, but no matter, I enjoy searching for curriculum and creating stuff too. :)

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