Tom Sawyer


About the story

Tom Sawyer is about an adventurous, mischievous boy living with his Aunt Polly and cousins Sid and Mary by the Mississippi River in the 1840s. Tom and his friend Huck Finn are often in trouble, but they get in over their heads one night when they witness a murder in a graveyard. In fear for their lives, they keep the scene a secret. But Tom’s conscience agitates him greatly—along with the knowledge that the murderer possesses stolen gold—and soon the two friends are in even more serious trouble. But this classic coming-of-age story is really about a boy’s growth from selfish to selfless, from callous to conscientious.  

About the LitWits Explorer’s Guide

Experience Tom Sawyer with your students in fun, meaningful ways! Your kids can have a blast without electricity — just the power of their own imaginations!  After all, who needs TV when you’ve got a dead rat on a string? Not to mention orange peel, a brass doorknob, and a half-eaten apple? Besides thinking up fun things to do with these treasures, they can take part in whitewashing competitions, write thoughtful notes to Aunt Polly on sycamore bark, translate Twain’s high-handed composition criticism, build their own spool cannons, nibble on cave fare (hmm, Tom’s or Joe’s?), discover a theme, and so much more! 

LitWits Explorer’s Guides are private web pages that include creative and academic downloadables. This lesson planning resource is ideal for ages 8-12, but it’s highly adaptable. Scroll down to get more details and a free idea with template.



Product Description

The LitWits Kit for TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain

The LitWits Explorer’s Guide for Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Everything in this “experience guide” comes from our unique sensory workshop on Tom Sawyer. It’s packed with hands-on ways to get into the characters’ shoes. When kids see, feel, hear, taste, smell, and DO what the characters did, they understand more. Better yet, they want to read more.

LitWits Explorer’s Guides are web pages packed with downloadables—templates, activity aids, academic handouts, and more. (Here’s a sample, for a different book.) Because our guides live online, we can link you to useful info and audiovisuals. And you’ll always have the very latest updates!

The LitWits Explorer’s Guide for Tom Sawyer includes:

  • sensory prop suggestions, with photos
  • creative project and activity ideas, with photos
  • printable templates, excerpts, and activity prompts
  • takeaway topics, to fuel meaningful conversations
  • printable handouts for creative writing, the narrative arc, setting, and more
  • research and audiovisual links, for one-stop prep and homework help
  • great quotes from the book, where copyright allows


This guide is adaptable to a wide range of ages. (See the Ways to Use tab for classroom and homeschool uses.) We find 8-12-year-olds consistently “ready to LitWit,” but you know best what your kids are ready for, interested in, and capable of.

Common Core Alignment
The LitWits experience of this book is jam-packed with carefully integrated lessons — but they’re embedded in FUN, so kids don’t feel “taught.”  At a bare minimum, the use of this guide helps meet these Common Core goals:

THIRD GRADE Common Core Alignment
FOURTH GRADE Common Core Alignment
FIFTH GRADE Common Core Alignment
SIXTH GRADE Common Core Alignment

Please note that LitWits® is a registered trademark of LitWits Workshops, LLC.  All LitWits Explorer’s Guides are copyrighted and may be used for non-commercial educational purposes only.

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