Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Huck Finn

Length of Time:   8-10 Class periods


Given recent controversies surrounding the language of the novel and questions regarding the value of teaching it, we approach Huck Finn with caution and care but also with respect and love. Much like the river they travel, this book is at the center of our nation.

In this unit, you will find a Study Guide with questions for each chapter, suggested Essay Topics, and ways to grapple with the complex and controversial issues raised by this novel.

Essential Questions

How is this timeless novel relevant to us today?

Common Core Standards

English/Language Arts: Anchor Standards: CCRS for Reading Key Ideas and Details

  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Craft and Structure

  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

English/Language Arts: Reading: Literature Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Grades 9-12:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9 Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early- twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

Content Standards