Lesson Plan

Mark Twain, What Do You Mean?

Major themes and ideas in Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Students will be able to develop opinions and make connections about the themes in the text using writing and speaking skills. 

English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing


Students will watch a youtube video about two women switched at birth to spark their interest in the topic of two boys switched as infants. Then they will use 3-5 minutes to answer the question: "How different do you think these women would be if they had not been switched at birth?" They will then pair up and share their answers with a partner. 

2 Direct Instruction

Prezi Classic
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Once the partner conversation is over, the teacher will use Prezi to cover background information on Mark Twain and the book (setting, characters, etc) as well as the major themes of the text: 

Nature and Nurture (ties in well with idea of being switched at birth)

Duality (a person, place, or object containing different or even opposing characteristics) 



Race and Racism

-Teacher will go over definitions and examples of each theme while students take notes using Three-Column Note Taking (vocabulary word on left, definition in middle, example in right hand column) 

3 Guided Practice

In groups of 3-4, students will explore the stories written by other teens on Figment.com. They will be searching for the major themes we previously discussed. Each group needs to find stories,poems, etc that cover at least 3 of the major themes that occur in Pudd'nhead Wilson. If the students find one story that includes more than one theme, they can use that for their required 3 themes. After, each group will take 5 minutes to present the different themes they found while summarizing the piece of work they found them in. 

4 Independent Practice

Using Edmodo, students will create a blog post each of the first three chapters. Each blog post will require the student to choose one scene or character description and explain how this example fits into one of the major themes of the book. 

5 Wrap-Up

Free, Free to try, Paid

After the students finish their Edmodo posts, they will work in small groups to create concept maps to organize the information covered so far: background information on Mark Twain and the text, main themes of the text, and how Mark Twain is using the characters and the plot to convey his beliefs on the main themes.