Teachers & Students

In-School Programs

Programs cost $75 per session, plus mileage.

Please contact Dr. James Golden, Director of Education, to book your in-school program at (860) 280-31546.

Email James Golden

Writing and Primary-Source Programs for Students

Sam’s Biographies
(Grades 6-12)

During this 45- to 60-minute program, small groups of students conduct research from primary and secondary sources to write a biography of an individual who knew Samuel Clemens well, such as family members, friends, or servants. The whole class then compares their biographies, exploring the range of society in Gilded Age America. 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: AnAmerican Life, 1835-1910″
(Grades 9-12)

This program gives advanced students in-depth analysis of primary sources to prepare an essay 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


Creative Writing: The Mark Twain House Fiction Workshop

(Grades 4-12)

Re-write Mark Twain’s work! Students will learn the basic elements of fiction writing, practice their storytelling, and expand their creativity by writing alternative versions of either The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, a new children’s book based on a Clemens family story. This program also teaches students to respond to writing prompts and structured writing activities.

This program meets the Common Core literacy standard W.6-12.3.

Made possible with generous support provided by Lincoln Financial Group.

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 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 books had such a profound influence, 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 economy 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.” Exploring the social context of his greatest period of literary success, the program chronicles the stories and families of Nook Farm, in Hartford.

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 do what Twain did best: make up stories! Twain created nightly bedtime stories for his three daughters using the bric-a-brac on their library mantel for inspiration, so your students will collaboratively improvise a new story based Victorian. The results are creative and hilarious!

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