Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Age 12-14: Concept 1 - Semester 1: Unit 4

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered to be one of the greatest American novels ever written. The story is narrated by a runaway boy named "Huck" who is accompanied by a runaway slave named Jim. The novel follows their adventures traveling up the Mississippi River as they work their way towards Illinois where slavery has been abolished.

The unit begins by providing historical context for the novel including the realities of the institution of slavery in the mid 1800s. During the process of studying the novel, you will learn about the characteristics of narrative writing, such as the use of figures of speech, the use of literary techniques like dialogue and irony, and the use of literary devices like point of view. You will also explore the differences between narrative writing and the genres of expository and persuasive writing. The unit ends with an examination of Mark Twain's influence on modern literature and the reasons for the choices that get made in film adaptations.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at an 8th or 9th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Can write a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the eighth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Mark Twain and the Novel (2 Days)
  • Lesson 2: Point of View
  • Lesson 3: What is Narrative Writing I
  • Lesson 4: What is Narrative Writing II
  • Lesson 5: Expository Writing
  • Lesson 6: The Power of Persuasion
  • Lesson 7: Persuasive Writing
  • Lesson 8: Hiding the Money
  • Lesson 9: Irony
  • Lesson 10: Figures of Speech
  • Lesson 11: Mark Twain's Influence (2 Days)
  • Lesson 12: The Movie Adaptation
  • Final Project: Cultural Biography (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze how dialogue propels the action and reveals the personality of the characters. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze how differences in points of view of the characters and audience impact the story. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script itself, evaluating choices made by the director and actors. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation. (Language Arts)
  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (Language Arts)
  • Compare and contrast persuasive texts that reached different conclusions about the same topic, analyzing the evidence presented. (Language Arts)
  • Conduct short research projects to answer a question about the type of writing examined and show knowledge of the different types of writing by examining and researching styles of writing and identifying their purpose and type. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. (Language Arts)
  • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone. (Language Arts)
  • Establish and maintain a formal style. (Language Arts)
  • Evaluate the power of dialects in standard/nonstandard English usage. (Language Arts)
  • Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret figures of speech (e.g., verbal irony, puns) in context. (Language Arts)
  • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories. (Language Arts)
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. (Language Arts)
  • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. (Language Arts)
  • Use narrative techniques such as dialogue and description to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. (Language Arts)
  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. (Language Arts)
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. (Language Arts)
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (Language Arts)
  • Support claim with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. (LA) (Science)
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