This offering is a set of 9 puzzles centered about 3 of Mark Twain's essays and short stories and Samuel Clemens. ALL are intended to be "foot off the accelerator but still learn something" puzzles. There is one puzzle on Mark Twain, the author, and blends a little mental math (Your students WILL be able to handle the math . . . it's addition and subtraction INTENDED to be done mentally.) with learning some facts about Mark Twain the man. The three classics involved are The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences. There are two "word search" puzzles where students are asked to find key characters. They can be done individually by both middle school and high school students and could easily be given as an assignment after a test or before a break. The crosswords on each of the stories/essay are a little more challenging (They can be done by individuals in upper grades or as teams in the lower high school levels and middle school.) and might be implemented as a form of review after having studied/read the book. They do NOT cover every little nuance of the book, rather simply a nice overview that enables learning beyond the classroom. About ten, or so, clues in each puzzle deal with the book, and these have clues that are in bold face or italicized. There are also three vocabulary puzzles (matching) for some of the more difficult words in the essay and two short stories.
Remember! The point of a crossword is to have a little fun/challenge while you are learning something. You are not supposed to know each answer right away upon glancing at the clue. It would be no fun if you did. You’d have LEARNED nothing. (This is a message that might be imparted to your students.) I try to phrase enough of the clues so that a student/person will know many of the answers immediately . . . the rest of the clues I want to challenge the doer a little bit. When they’ve learned something through being challenged they’ll appreciate their accomplishment, and the experience, a lot more. (I also include in my answers to the crosswords explanations for some of the more "uncommon" clues and answers.)