Bring your students to visit the House where Huck, Tom and Jim were born! Our experts will not only guide your classes through the beautiful rooms where Twain worked and raised his family, but talk about the fascinating times in which he lived and which influenced his books. It’s the perfect way to bring learning to life!
Please make your reservation at least two weeks in advance of your visit. It is also helpful if you have multiple dates in mind. All tours are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register or get more information by using our convenient online form below. Or, contact our admissions director:
Priority School Free Visits -- Students at priority schools may tour the historic Mark Twain House and view an age-appropriate documentary film in our auditorium. Ask for details when you submit or call for a reservation.
Step back in time during a 45-to 60-minute tour of the mansion where Samuel Clemens (”Mark Twain”) lived and worked from 1874 to 1891, a very productive period in which Twain wrote such classics of American literature as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Students will see three floors of Twain’s elegantly decorated home while a tour guide discusses the life and legacy of one of Connecticut’s most famous residents.
This special 60-minute tour for younger students lets them experience life during the Gilded Age by combining a house and kitchen tour. Students can try on Victorian clothing and, if time permits, participate in an additional timeline activity in the Museum Center that will enhance their knowledge of the importance of Hartford and Mark Twain in United States history. This will draw deeper connections between their lives and the lives of Hartford residents more than 100 years ago!
This 20-minute program introduces Mark Twain to a younger audience, and allows them to actually try to do what Twain did best: make up stories! The program features Twin’s love of animals, particularly cats, and shows how all kinds of different critters inspired many of his most famous and humorous tales. Just as Twain created nightly bedtime stories for his three daughters using for inspiration the bric-a-brac on the mantel in the library of his home, so too will students be asked to collaboratively improvise the telling of a new story based on a selection of Victorian objects that they may have never seen before. The results are certainly creative, but they are also almost always hilarious!
In addition to actually touring and exploring the Mark Twain House & Museum, students can compliment their experience with one of our writing programs or interactive programs, either at the museum or in your school. Click on the link to see descriptions of these programs.
Older students who tour the Mark Twain House can experience this 45- to 60-minute writing program in which small groups of students analyze period photos and images of manual labor typical of the Gilded Age, and then co-write a short story that describes the drudgery inherent in the lives of the African American and immigrant servants who maintained the affluent lifestyle of the Clemens family. Students will appreciate the difficulty of working class employment during the period and the theme of social and economic stratification caused by industrialization.
During this 45- to 60-minute program, small groups of students are given binders containing primary and secondary source materials related to an individual who knew Samuel Clemens very well - a family member, a friend and/or a servant of the Clemens family. Drawing from conclusions that the students reach during a discussion of these sources, they then co-write a biography of their subject that explains how that person’s relationship with Samuel Clemens enhances their understanding of both individuals.
Groups of high school students have the opportunity to analyze and evaluate a wealth of primary and secondary sources concerning the life of Mark Twain and then prepare an outline for an essay response to the question: "To what degree was Mark Twain a man of his time?" The program has two parts, one focusing on Twain and the issue of race, and the other focusin on Twain and the issue of imperialism. Each part is 90 minutes, and can be done at the Mark Twain House and/or your school.
This two-part classroom program is designed to give A.P. students of U.S. History an in-depth “jigsaw” exercise in the analysis of primary sources as they prepare an essay response to questions related to the life and legacy of Mark Twain. Two major themes of American History are explored: race and imperialism. Part I is titled The Shame is Ours: Mark Twain from Slavery to Jim Crow, and Part II is titled Mark Twain and the Rise of American Power. Parts I and II are each 90 minutes in length. One or both parts may be done during a visit to the Mark Twain House & Museum, or for an additional fee one part may be done as an outreach program at your school.
This 45-minute presentation underscores the importance of Twain’s masterpiece by placing it within the context of the larger history of race relations in the United States from slavery to the modern Civil Rights movement. The program demonstrates how the book continues to be a catalyst for positive social change when properly framed within a larger curriculum.
During the 19th century, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain were two of the most famous Americans in the world. Surprisingly, they lived as neighbors in Hartford. In collaboration with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, this program offers students the opportunity to tour both of their homes and experience this 45-minute classroom presentation that places their greatest works, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, into historical context. Your students will understand and appreciate how these small books had such a profound influence on race relations 150 years ago and today.
Students will explore the everyday activities of the Stowe and Twain households, two authors who changed the world with their words, through hands-on learning with artifacts and primary sources, as well as try their hand at some expository or narrative writing. The program includes guided interactive tours of both the Stowe House and the Twain House.
This 45-minute activity allows middle school students to analyze and evaluate vintage photographs, period songs, regional maps, and other source readings to enhance their understanding of Chapter Four in Mark Twain’s classic, non-fictional work Life on the Mississippi, an evocative description of the heyday of steamboats on America’s greatest river system. A follow up activity allows them to expand their learning through poetry and/or song. Life on the Mississippi is specifically designed to afford visiting school groups an excellent opportunity for enrichment of their Social Studies and English classroom learning consistent with the learning objectives cited in the new Connecticut Common Core Standards.
Download a Brochure
For printed information about the many educational programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum -- or at your local library, historical society or club -- click below.
Writing at the Mark Twain House
Improve and develop your writing where Twain wrote. Our Writing at the Mark Twain House programs, launched in 2010, have created deep bonds among participants and instructors alike. Click here.