Для старшеклассников — A Great American Writer


Оформление зала:

  1. Портрет Марка Твена.
  2. Географическая карта США.
  3. Газета о географическом положении, о климате и праздниках в США.

В этой газете хорошо поместить раздел о городах в США под заголовком «Do You Know That …?».

Do Yоu Know That … ?

New York is the largest city in the world. ManhattanIsland, the central part of New York, was bought from the local Indians by the Dutch for 24 dollars. On July 9,1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence was read to revolutionary troops in New York in the presence of George Washington. Washington, the capital of the USA, is not an old city. It is less than two hundred years old. The Capitol, where the Congress meets, is a very high building. It is in the very centre of Washington. There is a law in Washington which does not allow any buildings to be higher than the Capitol. The residence of the President was set on fire in 1812 by the British when England was at war with America. In 1814, in order to hide the marks of the fire, the brown stone walls of the President’s home were painted white and it has been the «White House» ever since.

Chicago is the second largest city in the country,   and the greatest railway centre in the world.

Detroit is the fifth largest city m the UISA. It has long been the automobile capital of the world, and in 1947 ranked third in the   USA in the value of all manufactured goods.

San Francisco, the most beautiful city of the USA, is almost surrounded by the water of the sea. It is a major supply base and distribution centre for the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries of the area. The great American writer Jack London was born in San Francisco.

 (Этот материал о городах можно использовать для викторины)

4. Газета на тему: «The Life and Literary Work of Mark Twain».

Эта газета содержит биографию автора и портреты известных литературных героев из произведений Марка Твена. Можно в такую газету поместить смешные истории о Марке Твене.

Once  Mark Twain was fishing. A stranger came along and asked him,

«Any luck? How many fish have you caught?»

«I caught fifteen trout yesterday,» Mark Twain said.

«Is that so?» said the stranger. «Well, do you know who I am?»

«No,» said Mark Twain.

Well, I am the fishing inspector of this place and this is the wrong season to catch trout,» answered the stranger.

Mark Twain thought a while. Then he said, «By the way, do you know who I am?»

«No,» replied the fishing inspector.
«Well, I am the biggest liar in this place,» said Mark Twain.

*    *    *

Mark Twain often received letters and photos from men who had been told that they looked like him. One was from Florida and the man in the photo was so much like Mark Twain that the writer answered him: «My dear sir!
I thank you very much for your letter and photo. We are so like each other that I am sure that if you stood before me in a mirrorless frame, I could shave by looking at you.»

*    *    *

Mark Twain was a guest of honour at a party which went to listen to an opera. His hostess talked all the time during the performance and greatly irritated the writer. Towards the end of the performance, she turned to him and said, «Oh, my dear Mr. Clemens, I want you so much to be with us next Friday evening. I’m certain you will like it — the opera will be ‘Tosca’.»

«Charmed, I’m sure,» replied Mark Twain. «I’ve never heard you in that.»

На этом вечере предполагается поставить три пьесы 

«The Adventures of Tom   Sawyer»


Звучит мелодия «Cindy» — популярной старинной американской плясовой и игровой песни, возникшей ещё при первых переселенцах в «Новый Свет» и пользовавшейся особой популярностью среди фермеров и в маленьких провинциальных городах. Молодёжь собиралась на вечеринки в частных домах, где танцевали под скрипку и под собственное пение. «Синди» была одной из тех мелодий, под которую танцевали «square dance» — американскую разновидность кадрили.

1st Compere: Good evening, boys and girls! I’m glad to meet you. We have gathered today to talk about Mark Twain, the great American writer, some of whose works are very popular with children all over the world. But first of all we want you to meet some of his main characters.

Вновь звучит мелодия «Cindy». Участники пьес под музыку выходят на сцену. Мелодия песни смолкает.

1st Соmpere: Look at the main characters. They’ll speak about themselves and you’ll soon know who is who.

После этого каждый литературный герой представляет себя и других действующих лиц.

Tom Sawyer: I am the main character in the book «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer». My name is Tom and I hope that you like to read about my adventures. I live with my Aunt Polly, my sister Mary and my brother Sid. I am very fond of Aunt Polly. Here are my best friends — Huck Finn, Joe Harper and Becky Thatcher. Those boys and girls standing on the left are my schoolmates and the man on the right is our teacher. None of us likes him. He is not just, he hates children, he shouts at us and often punishes us.

1st Compere: It is time now to begin speaking about the author who wrote the books in which these characters appear.

 (литературные герои уходят со сцены.)

1st Compere: Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born in 1835. He died in 1910. This great American writer was the son of a small­town lawyer in the state of Missouri. Samuel spent his boyhood in the small town of Hannibal on the great Mississippi River. There he went to school and had many friends. He was a bright, lively boy. He could easily swim across the Mississippi and was the leader in all the boys’ games.

2nd Compere: In 1847, when Samuel was eleven, his father died and the boy had to leave school and look for work. For ten years he worked as a printer. All his life Samuel was very fond of reading. While he was a printer he spent his spare time in libraries. It was also while he was a printer that Samuel began to write for newspapers and other publications, sending travel letters to them as he journeyed about the country from job to job. In 1857 he found a job on a boat and travelled up and down the Mississippi. This is where he got his pen-name «Mark Twain» (mark two). It was taken from the call of the Mississippi pilots when they measured the depth of the river. Clemens worked as a pilot for more than four years.

3rd Compere: Later the young man went to Nevada where about this time silver had been discovered. He worked as a miner for some time in Nevada. He suffered great hardships but found no silver and left the mining camps as poor as he had come to them. It was here that he began to write short stories and sent them to newspapers. The publisher of the paper liked them and he was invited to work as a journalist. The writer’s pen-name appeared in print for the first time in 1863. Samuel started his literary activity as a humorist. His humorous stories about the life of the common people of America soon become very popular.

 4th Compere: In 1876 Mark Twain’s «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer» was published. As Mark Twain said later, many of the events described in this book really took place, and the characters came from real life. Tom Sawyer was very often the portrait of the writer himself, Huckleberry Finn was his friend, Aunt Polly was his mother; Tom’s brother Sid was like his own brother. Now we shall see several scenes from this famous book acted by pupils of the seventh form.


The Story-teller. Huck Finn
Tom Sawyer. Becky Thatcher.
Aunt Polly (Tom’s Aunt) The Teacher and several 
Joe Harper schoolchildren.


 Scene I

(The Story-teller appears in front of the curtain.)

 Story-teller: Tom Sawyer was a small boy who lived with his Aunt Polly. She was a very kind person and she loved him dearly. But she couldn’t manage Tom properly as he was a very lively boy. He was certainly not the model boy of the village.

(The Story-teller goes off. The curtain rises and we see a room in Aunt Polly’s house. Aunt Polly is looking for Tom everywhere.)

Aunt Polly: Tom! Tom! Where is that boy, I wonder? Tom, you, Tom!

(She takes a broom, pushes her spectacles up, then bends down and pushes the broom under the bed.)
Aunt Polly: Tom! Well, if I get hold of you I’ll beat you. (She goes over to the door and opens it.)

Aunt Polly: You-u, Tom! (There is a slight noise behind her, she turns and catches Tоm.)

Aunt Polly: There! I might have thought of that cupboard. What have you been doing in there?

Tom: Nothing.

Aunt Polly: Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that?

Tom: I don’t know, Aunt.

Aunt Polly: Well, I know. It’s jam — that’s what it is. Forty times I’ve told you that if you don’t let that jam alone, I’ll skin you. Hand me that switch. (Tom does so and then cries out.)

Tom: Look behind you. Aunt! (The old lady turns round and the boy runs away).

Aunt Polly: What is to be done with that boy? He is my own dead sister’s boy, poor thing, and I haven’t got the heart to beat him.


Scene II

 (The Story-teller appears in front of the curtain)

 Story-teller: As you see Tom was not the model boy of the village. He did not obey his aunt. He was fond of fighting and running away from school. One day he was late for school as usual.

(The Story-teller goes off. The curtain rises)

 Place: A classroom. Several pupils are sitting at the desks: the girls on one side of the room, the boys on the other side. The teacher is sitting half asleep at his table. (Tom Sawyer walks in quickly and goes to his seat. The noise wakes the teacher up.)

Teacher: Thomas Sawyer!

Tom: Sir!

Teacher: Gome up here. Now, sir, why are you late again as usual?

(Atfirst Tom thinks he will tell a lie, but when he sees that no one is sitting on the girl’s side near Becky, he changes his mind.)

Tom: I stopped to talk with Huckleberry Finn! (The teacher looks at him.)

Teacher: You — you did what?

Tom: Stopped to talk with Huckleberry Finn. (All the children, surprised, look at Tom with great interest)/

Teacher: Thomas Sawyer, this is the most surprising excuse I have ever listened to. The usual punishment for coming late isn’t enough. Take off your jacket. (Tom takes off his jacket, goes up to the teacher, whose arm goes up and down until it is tired.)

Teacher: Now, sir, go and sit with the girls. Let this be a lesson to you not to be late for school. (Tom goes straight towards Becky and sits down near her. He puts his arms upon the long low desk and begins to learn the lesson. The other pupils soon turn to their books again and the whispering continues. Now Tom begins to look at Becky, but she turns away from him. When she turns to her book again, she sees a peach in front of her. She pushes it away; Tom gently puts it back. She pushes it away again. Tom returns it to its place. Then he writes on his slate: «Please take it — I’ve got more.» The girl looks at the slate, but makes no sign. Then Tom begins to draw something on his slate.)

Becky (is curious and whispers): Let me see it. It’s nice. Now’ make a man. (Tom draws.) It’s a beautiful man. Now draw me coming along. (Tom draws.) It’s even so nice. I wish I could draw.

Tom: It’s easy. I’ll teach you.
Becky: Oh, will you? When?

Tom: At noon. Do you go home to dinner?

Becky: I’ll stay if you will.

Tom: Good. What’s your name?

Becky: Becky Thatcher. What’s yours? Oh, I know. It’s Thomas Sawyer.

Tom: That’s the name they punish me by. I’m Tom when I am good. You call me Tom, will you?

Becky: Yes. (Tom begins to write something on the slate, hiding the words from the girl.)

Becky: Let me see it.

Tom: Oh, it isn’t anything.

Becky: Yes, it is.

Tom: No, it isn’t. You don’t want to see it.

Becky: Yes, I do, indeed I do. Please let me.

Tom: You’ll tell.

Becky: No, I won’t.

Tom: You won’t tell anybody at all. Ever, as long as you live?

Becky: No, I won’t ever tell anybody. Now let me.

Story-teller (in front of the curtain):

These and other adventures are carried out, then the boys put on their jackets, hide their trumpets and swords and go home talking. That night Tom runs away with Huckleberry Finn. They are walking through the cemetery when three men appear. The boys are frightened and hide behind some trees. They watch the men and see a terrible crime. They decide never to tell anyone about what they saw and go home. Tom is very much upset when he hears that the wrong man has been put in prison. On the way to school one day Tom meets Joe Harper. Joe is unhappy because his mother was angry with him. The two boys decide to run away and be pirates. They find Huck Finn and of course he is willing to go with them. They make plans, get food and decide to run away to the uninhabited island which is three miles below St. Petersburg.

Scene III

(As the curtain rises, Joe and Huck are seen waiting. They have fishing rods. Joe has a blanket, a bag of food and a bucket. Tom enters carrying a bag of food. He gives a low whistle. It is answered. He whistles once more.)
Joe: Who goes there?

Tom: Tom Sawyer, the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. Name yourselves.

Joe: Joe Harper, the Terror ot the Seas.

Huck: Huck Finn the Red-Handed.

Tom: It’s good. Give the word. Joe and   Huck: Blood! (They make a fire and begin to eat.)

Joe: Isn’t it fun?

Tom: It’s great. What would the boys say if they could see us?

Huck: I like it. I don’t want anything better than this. I never get enough to cat at home.

Tom: It’s just the life for me. You don’t have to get up early in the morning, you don’t have to wash and go to school. You see a pirate doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to.

Huck: That’s fine.

Tom: I bet there’ve been pirates here before, boys. Let’s explore. But it was very quiet in the woods on the island and they began to feel lonely. But they were ashamed of their weakness and not one of them was brave enough to speak his thought. (As the curtain rises, the three boys are sitting and talking.)

Joe: Oh, boys, let’s give it up. I want to go home.

Tom: Oh, no, Joe, you’ll feel better by and by. Just think of the fishing that’s here.

Joe: I don’t care for fishing. I want to go home. Tom: Baby! You want to see your mother.

Joe: Yes, I do want to see my mother and you would, too, if you. had one.

Tom (ironically): Well, we’ll let the baby go home to his mother, won t we, Huck? You like it here, don’t you, Huck? We’ll stay, won’t we?
Huck: Yes.

Joe: I’ll never speak to you again as long as I live.

Tom: Who cares? Nobody wants you to. Go home and get laughed at. Oh, you’re a nice pirate. Huck and I are pirates. We’ll stay, won’t we, I luck?

Huck: I want to go too, Tom. Let’s go too, Tom.

Tоm: I won’t! You can both go if you want to. I mean to stay.

Huck: I wish you’d come, Tom. We’ll wait for you when we get to the shore.

Tom: Well, you’ll wait a long time, that’s all. (Joe and Huck stand up to go away, but don’t leave the stage.)

Tom: Wait! Wait! I want to tell you something. Wait! (Tom comes up to Joe and Huck.)

Tom: I have a good idea. Let’s give everybody a surprise, a fine surprise.
Joe: How?

Tom: We’ll stay here till Sunday, then when they’re all in church, we’ll go in and sit down in our places as if we’d never been away.

Huck: Well, well, but I don’t go to church.

Tom: That doesn’t matter. You can come too, Huck. Can you imagine it? We march in one behind the other. You go to your mother, Joe, and I go to Aunt Polly. Won’t they be glad?

Huck (sadly): And me? Nobody’ll be glad to see me.

Tom (with enthusiasm): Oh, Aunt Polly will, I know. You’ve got to march in   like me. She’ll be glad, Huck, don’t worry.

Joe: All right! I’ll stay till Sunday.

Huck: I’ll stay, too.


Scene IV

Story-teller (in front of the curtain): For three days the boys explored the island, swam and fished ‘in the river. They cooked the fish they caught, and ate the food they had brought round their camp-fire. They slept under the trees, and enjoyed themselves. We’ll go tonight. Tonight we’ll be pirates. Tom Sawyer, the Pirate, the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. (Tom goes off. The story-teller appears.)

Story-teller: Tom and his friend Joe Harper are in the woods playing «Robin Hood and His Merry Men». Tom is Robin Hood. (The story-teller goes off,   the curtain rises. Tom is sitting under a tree thinking. Suddenly the blast of a trumpet is heard. Tom throws off his jacket, takes up a bow and arrow, a toy sword and a trumpet. He blows an answering blast.)

Tom: Halt, my merry men! Keep hidden till I blow again. (Joe Harper appears.)

Tom: Halt! Who comes here into Sherwood Forest without my pass?
Joe: I am Guy of Gisbourne. I need no pass. And who are you?

Tоm: I am Robin Hood, as you may know. I allow nobody to pass here.

Joe (waves his sword): So you are that famous outlaw? We’ll soon see who has the right to pass. (They raise their swords, face each other and begin a slow fight which soon becomes faster and faster till they are both hot and breathing hard.)

Tom (shouts): Fall! Fall! Why don’t you fall?

Joe: I shan’t! Why don’t you fall yourself? You’re more tired than I am.

Tom: That doesn’t matter. 1 can’t fall. The book says: «Then with one backhand blow he killed poor Guy of Gisbourne.» You’ve got to turn round and let me hit you. (Joe turns, receives the blow and falls.)

Joe (gets up): Now you’ve got to let me kill you. That’s fair.

Tom: I can’t do that. It isn’t in the book.

Joe: Well. 1 think that’s mean.

Tom: Well, then I can be the Sheriff of Nottingham and you can be Robin Mood and kill me.

Joe: All right.


Scene V

1. Where the deer and the antelope play,

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the skies are not cloudy all day.


Home, home on the range.

Where the deer and the antelope play;

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the skies are not cloudy all day.

2. Where the air is so pure and the zephyrs so free,

And the breeze is so balmy and light

That I would not exchange my home on the range

For all the city so bright.

3. How often at night, when the heavens are bright

With the light from the glittering stars

Have I stood there amazed, and asked as I gazed,

If their glory exceeds that of ours.


5th Compere: I hope you liked that American song. Now let’s go on with Mark Twain’s biography.

As you know «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer» was published in 1876. «The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn» was published in 1884. These two novels are now known to children and grownups all over the world. The writer shows the boys and girls of his time with great sympathy and understanding. Readers often see themselves in these characters for boys and girls of all times have something in common. In the book «The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn» Mark Twain protested against slavery and one of the main characters is a Negro, Jim, who is honest, brave and kind. He is described with much sympathy and is a general favourite with all who read the novels.


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