I don’t think my boys have ever laughed as hard at a book as they did at The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. There is something to be said for a character who continues to be relatable more than 140 years after he was written.
Tom’s antics and adventures are the stuff of every little boys’ dreams. And probably every little girl’s, too. Tricking everyone into doing your chores for you? Running away to a deserted island? A treasure hunt and a dangerous criminal? I mean, Come On.
Plus, the book is just plain funny. Just ask my boys.
Tom Sawyer Activities
Your kiddos don’t have to do every single one of these activities to get a better understanding of Tom Sawyer. Choose the ones that best suit your homeschool or classroom, but try to do at least do a few from each category.
- Pretend you’re Tom and write about hiding in the closet to eat jam. Why did you hide? Why didn’t you ask if you could have the jam? Did you think you would get away with it?
- Pretend you’re Aunt Polly. Do you believe Tom would be better off if you spanked him? Explain why or why not.
- Describe Tom’s day of playing hooky from school
- Write about your own chores and what you would do to get someone else to do them
- Tom realizes that all it takes to make someone want something is to make the thing hard to get. Have you ever wanted something that was hard to get? Write about it.
- Describe Becky Thatcher from Tom’s point of view
- Have you ever gotten in trouble for something you didn’t do? Write about it.
- Write about a time you were asked something in public that you didn’t know the answer to. How did it make you feel?
- Write an entry about Tom’s behavior in church. Have you ever felt the way Tom did during the sermon? Have you ever behaved like he did?
- Describe Huck Finn from Tom’s point of view then from an adult’s such as Aunt Polly
- What kinds of things do you daydream about when a school lesson doesn’t hold your attention? Write about them.
- Describe the graveyard from Tom and Huck’s point of view
- Write about the revelation of the doctor’s murder from Tom’s point of view
- Describe what you think Tom’s nightmares about the murder are like
- Have you ever been so sad you felt or seemed sick? Write about it. How did you feel? Why did you feel that way?
- Write the runaway plan from Tom’s point of view. Include all the provisions the boys brought with them.
- Describe Jackson’s Island
- Have you ever felt homesick like the boys do on Jackson’s Island? Explain.
- Describe the boys’ first day on the island in your own words
- How do you think your parents would feel if you ran away? Write about it.
- Write about the dangers of smoking
- What would it be like to be the only person you know who wasn’t invited to a party? Explain.
- Have you ever had to recite something in front of a crowd? What was it like? If not, write about what you think it would be like
- Pretend you’re Tom and write about your disappoint at not getting to wear his red sash to Judge Frazer’s funeral
- Describe the feelings of Tom and Huck as Muff Potter’s trial approached. How would you feel in their place? What would you do?
- Pretend you’re Tom and write about how proud you are to be the town’s hero after the murder trial
- Write about what you would do with the money if you found a treasure
- Write a story about going into a haunted house
- Write an entry from Tom’s point of view about discovering Injun Joe in the haunted house
- Describe playing hide-and-seek in the cave
- Pretend you’re Huck and write about the night’s events near the Widow Douglas’s house
- Describe the experience in the cave from Becky’s point of view
- Pretend you’re Huck and write about how terrible it is to live with the Widow Douglas
- Write an entry from Tom’s point of view describing how differently the townspeople treat him after he finds the treasure
Write a Letter
- From Aunt Polly to Tom explaining why she lets him get away with so much and how sorry she is if she’s spoiled him.
- From Tom to Aunt Polly apologizing for stealing the jam and tricking her into letting him run off
- From Tom to Sid berating him for telling Aunt Polly about the black thread
- From Aunt Polly to the new boy’s mother apologizing for the beating Tom gave the boy
- From Ben Rogers to Tom thanking him for letting him whitewash the fence
- From Tom to all the boys in town thanking them for his treasures and explaining how he tricked them
- From Tom to Becky Thatcher explaining why he was showing off for her
- From Tom to Amy Lawrence telling her why he doesn’t love her anymore
- From Aunt Polly to Tom apologizing for licking him for breaking the sugar bowl
- From Tom to Aunt Polly telling her how sorry she’d be if he were dead
- From Mary to Tom explaining why it’s important to learn his bible verses
- From the Judge to Mr. Walters lecturing him for rewarding Tom when Tom didn’t deserve it
- From the minister to Tom reprimanding him for letting the pinch bug loose in church
- From Becky to Tom telling him why she wouldn’t speak to him when he first sat by her at school
- From Becky to Tom apologizing for running him off after their engagement
- From Tom to Becky explaining his decision to become a pirate
- From Tom to Huck telling him how afraid he is to report Injun Joe
- From Muff Potter to the sheriff proclaiming his innocence
- From Huck to Tom reminding him not to tell their secret
- From Tom to Aunt Polly asking her to stop giving her new medicines
- From Tom to Becky asking why she hasn’t been at school
- From Tom and Joe to Aunt Polly and Mrs. Harper apologizing for stealing food
- From Aunt Polly to Tom telling him how worried she is about him
- From Joe Harper to Mrs. Harper telling her how sorry he is for running away and how much he misses her
- From Joe Harper to Tom explaining why they should leave the island and go home
- From Aunt Polly to Tom telling him how wrong it was to attend his own funeral
- From Huck to the town telling them how lonely he is and how he wishes someone had missed him
- From Becky to Tom asking him to leave off Amy and come back to her
- From Becky to Tom thanking him for taking the blame for ripping Mr. Dobbins’ book
- From Mr. Dobbins to his class reprimanding them for painting his head and causing the cat to rip off his wig
- From Tom to Becky in Constantinople telling her how boring summer is without her
- From Tom to Muff Potter confessing what he knows about the murder
- From Tom to Injun Joe begging his forgiveness for coming forward at the trial
- From Huck to Tom telling him how fearful he is that Injun Joe will find out he witnessed the murder, too
- From Huck to Tom telling him why they shouldn’t enter the haunted house
- From Injun Joe to Tom swearing revenge
- From the boys to the sheriff telling him of Injun Joe’s disguise and whereabouts
- From Huck to the Welshman thanking him for believing his story and helping the Widow Douglas
- From Aunt Polly to Tom telling him how sorry she is that he’s lost in the cave and how much she misses him
- From the Widow Douglas to Huck thanking him for saving her and offering him a home
- From Huck to Tom telling him how much he hates being respectable
- From Tom to Huck telling how great being in a robber gang will be
- 19th century schools
- Hannibal, Missouri (Tom’s town of St. Petersburg is based on it)
- Mont Blanc
- Barlow knife
- The 12 disciples
- Robin Hood
- Grave robbing
- History of capital punishment in the U.S.
- Piracy in the 19th century
- Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech
- Temperance movement
- Make a white picket fence with craft sticks and paint
- Make a log raft out of sticks collected outside
- Make a paper Robin Hood cap
- Make a paper pirate hat
- Make a map of the island where Tom, Huck, and Joe stayed
- Paint Jackson’s Island or the boys’ camp
- Create an invitation to Becky’s picnic
- Draw Tom’s Cadets of Temperance uniform
- Draw a treasure map
- Do a chalk pastel of a haunted house
- Make a salt dough cave
- Baked apples
- Peach cobbler
- Fish dinner
- Fried eggs
- Baked ham
- Corn pone
- Have a picnic
- Ice cream
- Learn some bird whistles
- Play marbles
- Do an insect nature study
- Visit the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut
- Visit Hannibal, Missouri and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
Because it’s infinitely cooler to do the writing activities on pages created just for Tom. And like yesterday, you don’t have to subscribe to get this printable. Just click the pic and it will download.
Looking for more activities for chapter books? Check out:
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