Saturday, April 2, 2011

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE, in which Huck agrees to be respectable

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE on Project Gutenberg

Tom draws his understanding of pirates and robbers from sensational stories in “dime novels.” As the name suggests, these were cheap paperbacks; they originated across the sea in Britain as “penny dreadfuls,” indicating how cheap they were and how low-brow they were considered to be. 

Your mission for this chapter:

Using the website below, answer the following question.  After perusing the covers and chapters of various books, what types of stories were in these books, besides Tom’s pirates and robbers? (Give at least two different types.)

P.S. Remember all the treasure Tom and Huck found?  Here's a fun fact: $12,000 dollars in 1844 would equal $355,000 in today’s world!

Friday, April 1, 2011

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR, in which Widow Douglas hosts a party

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR on Project Gutenberg

Table manners have a long history, dating back to the Greek and Roman societies.  Each culture has its own rules regulating not only how a meal is served, but also how one behaves and one speaks at the table, including superstitions concerning dropping utensils! 

Your mission for this chapter:

Using the website below, answer the following question. In medieval Europe, not only were there rituals for eating a meal, there were also rituals for what two things?

OR, for a double dog dare:

Emily Post, famed for her knowledge of manners during the early half of the 20th century, answered many questions about proper dining etiquette in American society.  And while some rules have changed for modern times, many are the same or similar to what Aunt Polly or the Widow Douglas might expect of Tom and Sid. 

For this mission, answer this question:

According to Emily Post, how should you react to realizing something you ate tastes terrible?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE, in which Tom and Huck return to the cave

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE on Project Gutenberg

The stalactite for Injun Joe’s cup had been formed over the centuries of history. Mark Twain mentions a few notable historic events, including “when the Conqueror created the British Empire.” This refers to William the Conqueror who defeated the Anglo-Saxons in 1066 and combined their little kingdoms into one empire. 

Your mission for this chapter:

Using this website:, answer the following question.  What was a trencher? (HINT: The Normans)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO, in which Becky and Tom come home and recover

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO on Project Gutenberg

Becky and Tom both must take time to recover after their adventures in the cave--weeks, in fact.  On top of dehydration and inanition (exhaustion from lack of food), the duo suffered fatigue.  This combination, then and today, could prove deadly but could also be survived. 

Your mission for this chapter:
According to this article from the Discovery Channel, what is “the name of the game” when combating fatigue?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE, in which Becky and Tom search for an escape

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE on Project Gutenberg

Throughout the centuries, bats fascinated humans as creatures of the night and inspired fear and haunting folklore.  However, most bats eat insects which harm crops and pollinate vegetation; only three species of vampire bat exist, all three in Latin America, and even then they are useful to humans. 

Your mission for this chapter:
Explore this Introduction to Bats and answer this question.  What tree in Africa is dependent on bats for survival?

CHAPTER THIRTY, in which the town realizes Becky and Tom are lost in the cave

CHAPTER THIRTY on Project Gutenberg

Most people remember them by their spelling: stalagmites come from the ground, and stalactites hang from the ceiling.  Stalagmites and stalactites form by deposits, the slow drip of calcite-rich water, developing over eons.  However, one cave formation occurs from erosion. 

Your mission for this chapter:
With the website below, answer the following question.  What are formations occuring from erosion called?

Monday, March 28, 2011

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE, in which Huck saves the widow

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE on Project Gutenberg

Tom convinces Becky to visit the Widow with the prospect of ice cream, an especially delicious treat during the hot and humid Missouri summer. 

Your mission for this chapter:  Using the website below, answer the following question.  Who came up with the first ice cream machine? (Bonus: When was the waffle cone introduced?)