by Meagan Newman, High Point University
This WebQuest is an alternative to the typical pre-reading activities that rarely entertain and rarely inform. Students will learn about the historical period in which Twain wrote (and in which Huck "lived") and will review the various reactions to the novel over time. The lesson also exposes students to the idea of censorship and hopes to tie in outside knowledge about rights and freedom and thought. Students will be better prepared to handle the seemingly-offensive language and themes in the book and (should!) gain appreciation for their own right to think and read and explore as they see fit.
Why do we read "old" books in high school?
What is censorship?
What makes a book a classic?
How does dialect enhance a novel?
When can I make an informed decision about a an issue and how can I voice it?
This unit will tackle these questions and more in hopes of promoting general awareness, stimulating individual creativity, and fomenting respect for what Ernest Hemmingway called one book "from which all modern American literature comes..."
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn