Mark Twain Unit Study

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Mark Twain Unit Study

The Father of American Literature

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30, 1835. Of  course you and I know him better as Mark Twain, master story-teller, humorist and teacher.  Some of his most well-known novels are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Prince And The Pauper.

As we get ready to dive in to his life and works, take a look at these 8 Things You May Not Know About Mark Twain, and watch the video below.

The Adventures of  Huckleberry Finn

One of Twain’s most popular novels is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do it soon. I read it recently after 20ish years and I remembered how much fun I had the first time I read it. Seriously I had a blast.

The video below will give you a quick synopsis, with some spoilers, but will hopefully encourage you to pick up a copy today.

The Humorist

Twain was known as a journalist, author, novelist, teacher, and even as a humorist! The latter, inspired the Mark Twain Prize, which is awarded to humorists who have had an impact in American society. Some recent winners of this price include Phil Murray, Eddie Murphy and Jay Leno. You can see a quick clip on the latest recipient below.


The Scrapbooker Turned Inventor

Mark Twain kept a series of scrapbooks, where he collected articles, souvenirs and pictures from his books and performances. You can read more about why keeping a scrapbook would have been important to him and other authors in the 1800’s, by reading this article in A History of Scrapbooks.

Twain traveled with multiple scrapbooks, and eventually got tired of lost glue, and hard paste. So great was his frustration, that he invented scrapbook pages with a dry adhesive. The kind of adhesive you find in the back of a stamp.  You can learn more about his scrapbooks and take a look at some of his interactive scrapbooks here.

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Check out These Books For Further Reading

Who Was Mark Twain

Mark Twain for Kids: His Life & Times, 21 Activities

The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) – My favorite by far! Written by his daughter.

Online Unit Studies

If you enjoyed this interactive unit study, and would like to explore other famous birthdays in history, in this format, click on the image below.

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