In-School Programs

Can't come to us? We can come to you!

In addition to providing these programs as part of your field trip experience, any of our writing workshops or other presentations can be brought to your school. We also offer teacher workshops. Book your program today by calling our Director of Education:

Dr. James Golden
call 860-280-3146 or email


Our programs align with the Connecticut Core Standards (the Common Core) for ELA/Literacy and the C3 Framework for Social Studies.


Writing Programs for Students

Sam’s Biographies (Grades 6-12)

During this 45- to 60-minute program, small groups of students are given binders containing primary and secondary source materials related to an individual who knew Samuel Clemens very well - a family member, a friend and/or a servant of the Clemens family. Drawing from conclusions that the students reach during a discussion of these sources, they then co-write a biography of their subject that explains how that person’s relationship with Samuel Clemens enhances their understanding of both individuals. This program immerses students in rich primary and secondary sources to explore multiple points of view, across different racial, ethnic, class, and geographic divides.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.6-8.1, 2; SL.6-8.1a-d,4; RH.9-10.1; W.6-8.1,2,7-9; RI.6-8.1-6; L.6-8.1-4,6; L.9-10.1-4,6

For a description of the program see this article.

Life on the Mississippi (Grades 5-8)

This 45-minute interdisciplinary activity allows middle school students the opportunity to analyze and evaluate vintage photographs, period songs, regional maps, and other source readings to enhance their understanding of profound changes in society during the heyday of steamboats on America’s greatest river system.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.6-8.1,4,6; SL.6-8.1a-d; RH.9-10.1,4; RI.6-8.1-6

Critical Thinking for College Preparatory Students: "Mark Twain: An American Life, 1835-1910" (Grades 9-12)

This two-part classroom program is designed to give advanced students of U.S. History an in-depth “jigsaw” exercise in the analysis of primary sources as they prepare an essay response to questions related to the life and legacy of Mark Twain. Two major themes of American History are explored: race and imperialism. Part I is titled The Shame is Ours: Mark Twain from Slavery to Jim Crow, and Part II is titled Mark Twain and the Rise of American Power.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.9-10.1-3,7-10; RH.11-12.1-3,8-9; W.9-12.1-2,4-5,7-10

Interactive Presentations

From Hannibal to Hartford: The History Behind The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Grades 6-12)

Tom Sawyer is an American staple. This 45-minute program sets the novel in its context, exploring how both Mark Twain’s own childhood and his life as a new father shaped the book, in the backdrop of an America trying to recover from the harrowing Civil War.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.6-8.2, SL.6-8.2

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An American Story (Grades 7-12)

This 45-minute presentation underscores the importance of Twain’s masterpiece by placing it within the context of the larger history of race relations in the United States from slavery to the modern Civil Rights movement. The program demonstrates how the book continues to be a catalyst for positive social change when properly framed within a larger curriculum.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.6-8.2, SL.6-10.2

Stowe & Twain: Effecting Social Change (Grades 7-12)

During the nineteenth century, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain were two of the most famous Americans in the world. Surprisingly, they lived as neighbors in Hartford. In collaboration with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, this 45-minute program places their greatest works,Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, into historical context. Your students will understand and appreciate how these small books had such a profound influence on race relations, both 150 years ago and today.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.6-8.2, SL.6-12.2

Mark Twain in Connecticut, 1871 - 1910 (Grades 7-12)

Students explore the history, society, and economcy of Gilded Age Hartford through the lives of the Clemens family and their illustrious neighbors. Twain once said of Hartford that “I think this is the best-built and handsomest town I have ever seen,” and this judgment had a great deal to do with why he and his family settled here in a remarkable house located on Farmington Avenue in the fashionable Hartford neighborhood of Nook Farm.  The program explores the stories and families of Nook Farm, and concludes with Clemens’ return to Connecticut in his final home of Stormfield, near Reading.

This program meets these Common Core Standards: RH.6-8.2, SL.6-10.2

Mark Twain -- America’s Master Storyteller (Grades 3-5)

This 20-minute program introduces Mark Twain to a younger audience, and allows them to actually try to do what Twain did best: make up stories! Just as Twain created nightly bedtime stories for his three daughters using for inspiration the bric-a-brac on the mantel in the library of his home, so too will students be asked to collaboratively improvise the telling of a new story based on a selection of Victorian objects that they may have never seen before. The results are certainly creative, but they are also almost always hilarious!

This program meets these Common Core Standards: SL.3-5.1,4


Professional Development for Teachers

Teaching Mark Twain in the Modern Classroom (Grades 4-12)

Although Twain’s life offers many useful avenues for the study of American History, Literature and Social Studies, they are often avoided because Mark Twain was so deeply involved with many of our nation’s most controversial subjects, especially with regard to race relations. The Mark Twain House & Museum can craft a professional in-service program to suit the specific instructional and budgetary needs of educators who are interested in enriching the resources and techniques available for teaching the life and works of Mark Twain to diverse students in the modern classroom.


Version Note:


Content Editor:
If you do not see the editor here, you have not yet installed XStandard to your computer. Before proceeding, please download and install the XStandard plugin (1.88MB).

Download a Brochure

For printed information about the many educational programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum -- or at your local library, historical society or club -- click below.

Photo Gallery

NEH Logos

NEH Logos

Writing at the Mark Twain House

Improve and develop your writing where Twain wrote. Our Writing at the Mark Twain House programs, launched in 2010, have created deep bonds among participants and instructors alike. Click here.