Teachers & Students
Experience the magical home of one of Connecticut’s most important residents. Transport your students back to Gilded Age Hartford.
Bring your students to visit the house where Huck, Tom and Jim were born! Through a variety of interactive, inquiry-based tours and programs led by our expert guides, students in grades K-12 can explore the beautiful rooms where Twain worked and raised his family, learn about the social and cultural issues that shaped his writing, and even do a little storytelling themselves. It’s the perfect way to bring learning to life!
Testimonials about Field Trips at the Mark Twain House
"The house had a deep and lasting impact"
"It gave us a chance to experience life in the 19th century"
"They learned they can take action on subjects they care about"
House Tour and Education Program
NOTE: Teachers accompanying Student tours are admitted for free. One adult teacher or chaperone is required for every ten students.
Field Trip Descriptions and Programs
Priority School Free Visits: Students at priority schools may tour the historic Mark Twain House, explore our two galleries, view our documentary film, and participate in a storytelling or creative writing program. Ask for details when you submit or call for a reservation.
The Mark Twain House Guided Tour
Experience a 45-minute inquiry-based tour of the elegant mansion where Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) lived and worked from 1874 to 1891. Students expand their visual literacy and learn about life in 19th-century Connecticut by exploring the space where Clemens wrote his most successful works.
Hands-on Tour: Everyday Life in Susy, Clara, and Jean’s House
What was it like to learn, play, and grow up in Mark Twain’s home?
In this special 60-minute interactive tour, young students explore the everyday lives of the Clemens daughters—the books, games, and songs they loved, the subjects they studied, and the people they interacted with. Led by an experienced guide, this inquiry-based tour invites students to think about a house as a source for understanding the past, and to think about the ways that childhood and family life in the Gilded Age were similar and different to their own.
Hands-on Tour: Everyday Life in Mark Twain’s Hartford
What was it like to visit, work at, and live in Mark Twain’s house?
Between Sam and Livy Clemens, their three daughters, their staff, and a steady stream of visitors from down the street and across the country, Mark Twain’s house was usually full of people. In this hands-on tour, students learn about what it was like to live and work in Gilded Age Hartford—and what it was like to visit a fancy house! It encourages them to think about the various roles people play in their homes and communities, helping them draw connections between their lives and the lives of Hartford residents more than 100 years ago.
Mark Twain: America’s Master Storyteller
How can we use the objects around us to tell stories in collaboration with others?
This 20-minute program introduces Mark Twain to a younger audience, and allows them to do what Twain did best: make up stories! Just as Twain created nightly bedtime stories for his three daughters using 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—and almost always hilarious!
Why might an autobiography and a biography conflict? How do we reconcile that contradictory information?
During this 30-45 minute program, each student reads and analyzes a description of the same event or person written by Twain, his family members, or one of his later biographers. Students work in small groups to compare the competing interpretations they’ve read, considering each author’s perspective, purpose, audience, and evidence. They then come together as a class to discuss why each author took the approach they did and consider what knowledge they can gain from what they’ve read.
Creative Writing: The Mark Twain House Fiction Workshop
What can we learn about writing from rewriting Twain?
In this 30-45 minute program, students learn the basic elements of fiction writing, practice their storytelling, and expand their creativity by rewriting the opening scene of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Asked to change one element of the story, like the setting, students must then consider how all of the other elements must change in response. This program is made possible with generous support provided by Lincoln Financial Group.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An American Story
What does it mean to have a ‘just’ society and how can writing help us get there?
In this hour-long program that places Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in historical context, students discuss Mark Twain’s unflinching look at slavery and Jim Crow. By considering the novel’s enduring ability to provoke and inform conversations about freedom, equality, and the idea of a just society, students will think about the power of writing as part of a broader strategy of informed action. This program is intended to support students who have read or are reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Visit both The Mark Twain House & the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Did you know Mark Twain and his family lived right next door to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Students can explore both sites in one field trip. $20 per student includes a tour of each home plus one of the two programs below:
Nook Farm Neighbors
Students learn about the power of storytelling to create community through an interactive investigation of historic objects and documents. They explore the questions: What can we learn about the individuals who lived in Nook Farm through the museums’ collections? What stories might our own objects and documents tell about us and our communities?
Making an Impact: Stowe, Twain, and Activist Writing
Students discuss Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in context with other nineteenth-century activist authors. They explore the questions: How have U.S. authors used creative writing to effect social change? What does informed action look like, historically and today?
Schedule Your Field Trip
Please make your reservation at least two weeks in advance of your visit. It is also helpful if you have multiple dates in mind. All tours are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. To register or get more information, call our school and group booking line: (860) 247-0998, Option 5, or e-mail GroupTour@marktwainhouse.org