Questions for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

 

You can also find these common core aligned questions in Actively Learn, where they are embedded in the text to get students to stop and reflect as they read. Check out our homepage to learn more about our interactive platform and how we transform student reading.

 
 

chapter I

RL.1 What has Tom been doing that makes Aunt Polly cross with him? Support your answer with evidence.

RL.3 What impression do you get of the relationship between Sid and Tom from this passage? 

RL.1 What is it about the strange boy that bothers Tom? Support your answer with evidence. 

RL.6 What impression do you get of Aunt Polly's attitude to Tom in this chapter? Support your answer with evidence. 

RL.3 What impression do you get of Tom's character in this chapter? Use evidence to support your answer. 

 

chapter ii

RL.1 What chore has Tom been given as punishment? 

RL.1 How does Tom try to persuade Jim to whitewash the fence for him? Use evidence to support your answer.

RL.1 How does Tom talk Ben into whitewashing the fence for him? 

 

chapter iii

RL.1 How does Tom get his own back on Sid? Use evidence to support your answer.

RL.3 Why doesn't Tom want anyone to see him picking the pansy up? 

 RL.2 Why doesn't Aunt Polly apologize to Tom? 

RL.4 How does Mark Twain turn Tom's self-pity into a humorous incident? Use evidence to support your answer. 

RL.2 Do you think Aunt Polly should have apologized to Tom? Explain your thoughts. 

 

chapter iv

RL.1 Why does Mary reward Tom with a Barlow knife? 

RL.1 What is Tom's attitude toward being clean and wearing neat clothes? 

RL.3 Why do you think Tom wants the "glory" of earning a Bible? 

RL.1 Why are the teacher and children suddenly "showing off"? 

RL.6 What impression of Sunday School is Mark Twain trying to present in this chapter? 

RL.7 Watch a school production of the Sunday School scene by clicking the link below. How is it different from the version in the book? 

 

chapter v

RL.1 Why do the boys all hate Wille Mufferson? 

RL.3 What is Tom's attitude to the minister's prayer? Find evidence in the paragraph above to support your answer.

RL.1 Is Tom the only member of the congregation who is bored by the sermon? Find evidence to support you answer.

RL.4 What is Mark Twain's attitude to the church service? Find evidence to support your answer.

 

chapter vi

RL.1 Why does Tom hate Mondays? 

RL.3 Think about the way Tom talks Ben Rogers into whitewashing the fence in Chapter 2. Is his behavior similar here? Explain your answer. 

RL.1 Why do the "respectable boys" envy Huck? 

RL.3 Based on this exchange, why do you think Tom and Huck make good friends? Consider what they have in common. 

RL.2 Why do you think Tom admits that he's been talking to Huck, when he knows he will be punished for it? 

RL.1 Why do you think Tom's spelling is so bad all of a sudden? Find evidence to support your answer. 

 

chapter vii

RL.1 What distraction does Tom find to amuse himself? 

RL.3 Whose fault was it that the boys got in trouble? Explain your answer. 

RL.4 What makes Tom and Becky's discussion of engagement so humorous? 

RL.3 Was Tom in the wrong to hurt Becky's feelings, or was Becky making a fuss about nothing? Explain your thoughts. 

 

chapter viii

RL.1 What is Tom dreaming about? 

RL.1 Why is Tom disappointed that there is only one marble in his secret hiding place? 

RL.3 What is Tom's plan? 

 

chapter ix

RL.1 Who has Tom met up with? 

RL.1 Who are the three men Tom and Huck have seen? 

RL.1 Summarize the events which Tom and Huck have witnessed in the graveyard. 

RL.3 How do you think the events they have witnessed will affect Tom and Huck? Explain your thoughts. 

 

chapter x

RL.1 How have the events the boys witnessed made them feel? 

RL.1 Why have the boys decided to keep quiet? 

RL.6 How has the event Tom witnessed changed the way he thinks and feels? 

 

chapter xi

RL.1 Who is being blamed for the murder of Doctor Robinson? 

RL.6 Why are the boys fascinated with Injun Joe? 

RL.1 Why does Tom visit Muff in jail and smuggle "comforts" to him? 

RL.2 What do you think Tom should do: a) stay quiet?
b) tell everyone what he saw? Explain your views. 

 

chapter xii

RL.1 How has Tom's behavior changed? 

RL.1 How is Tom getting rid of the "pain-killer"? 

RL.6 How does Aunt Polly feel about the fact that she has been giving Tom "pain-killer"? 

RL.6 Why is Tom "crushed and crestfallen"? 

chapter xiii

RL.1 What decision has Tom made? 

RL.1 Where has Tom got all his ideas about being a pirate? 

RL.1 What does Tom like about being a "pirate"? 

RL.1 Why do Joe and Tom have difficulty getting to sleep? 

 

chapter xiv

RL.4 What sort of atmosphere does Mark Twain create in his description of early morning in the forest? 

RL.6 How have the boys' feelings changed? Support your answer with evidence. 

RL.1 How do the boys feel when they realize that everyone thinks they have drowned? 

RL.6 Both Tom and Joe start to worry about how their families must be feeling. Why doesn't Huck worry? 

 

chapter xv

RL.3 Why do you think Tom has gone back home? 

RL.6 How would you describe Tom's feelings towards Aunt Polly at this moment? 

RL.2 What did Tom find out from his journey back home? 

RL.2 Why do you think Tom didn't reveal that he was alive? a) Because he doesn't care about Aunt Polly's feelings
b) Because he is frightened that she will be angry c) Because he wants to make a more dramatic and impressive revelation

 

chapter xvi

RL.1 What did the boys do after breakfast? 

RL.3 Why does Joe want to go home? 

RL.6 Why do you think the boys continued smoking even though it was making them feel sick? 

RL.4 What sort of atmosphere does Mark Twain create with his description of the storm? 

RL.6 Why do you you think Tom and Joe are so pleased at having learned how to smoke? 

RL.2 Do you think smoking is impressive, or 'grown-up'? Explain your answer.

 

chapter xvii 

RL.6 How is Becky feeling? 

RL.6 Do you think the feelings of the congregation are sincere? Explain your answer.

RL.6 How are Huck's feelings at the funeral different from Tom's? 

RL.7 Watch a film version of the funeral by clicking the link below. How does the film version compare to the text? 

 

chapter xviii

RL.1 Why is Aunt Polly "grieved"? 

RL.3 Why do you think Tom lies about his "dream"? 

RL.6 What do you think of the way Tom treats Becky - is he: a) treating her the way she deserves? b) being unkind to her? 

chapter xix

RL.1 How does Tom feel about his lie now? 

RL.6 Does Tom love Aunt Polly? Explain your answer. 

RL.2 Which of the statements below do you think best describes Tom? a) He is selfish b) He has a good heart but he doesn't think about his actions.

 

chapter xx

RL.1 How has Tom's attitude to Becky changed? 

RL.1 What has Tom decided to do about Becky's situation? 

 

chapter xxi

RL.1 Why is the schoolmaster being more severe than usual? 

RL.1 Why is Tom's reading a "disaster"? 

RL.2 Do you think you would like going to the sort of school Tom has to go to? Give reasons for your answer. 

RL.4 What does Mark Twain think of the sort of compositions that are produced at the school exam? Find evidence to support your answer. 

RL.1 How did the boys get their revenge on the schoolmaster? 

RL.2 Do you think the schoolmaster deserved the trick the boys played on him? Explain your answer. 

 

chapter xxii

RL.1 Why did Tom never get to wear his Cadet uniform? 

RL.1 What events during Tom's vacation caused him to be miserable? 

RL.2 What do you think is Mark Twain's attitude to the religious "revival" ? Give reasons for your answer. 

 

chapter xxiii

RL.1 What is keeping Tom "in a cold shiver"? 

RL.2 What important advice does Muff give the boys? 

chapter xxiv

RL.1 How does Mark Twain feel about the fact that the townspeople have suddenly changed the way they feel about Muff? Use evidence to support your answer. 

RL.1 Describe Tom's feelings after testifying against Injun Joe. 

 

chapter xxv

RL.1 What idea has Tom had? 

RL.1 Why wouldn't Huck save any of his treasure? 

RL.1 What have the boys planned to do? 

RL.2 Do you believe in ghosts? Explain your views. 

 

chapter xxvi

RL.1 Why did the boys decide not to go to the haunted house? 

RL.4 What details does Mark Twain include his description of the haunted house? 

RL.1 What do you think the boys are planning to do? Use evidence to support your answer. 

RL.1 Why has Injun Joe decided not to bury the gold in the same place? 

 

chapter xxvii

RL.1 Why does Tom begin to believe his "great adventure" was just a dream? 

RL.1 What is Tom's plan? 

 

chapter xxviii

RL.1 Why do the boys decide against trying Tom's plan? 

RL.1 Is the room really haunted? Explain your answer. 

RL.1 What is Tom's new plan? 

RL.2 Why do you think Huck asks Tom not to tell anyone that he eats with Uncle Jake? 

 

chapter xxix

RL.1 Why is Tom excited? 

RL.6 Do you think Tom is right to talk Becky into disobeying her mother? Explain your answer. 

RL.2 Why do you think people don't normally go beyond the "known" portion of the cave? 

RL.1 Why does Injun Joe want revenge on Widow Douglas? 

RL.3 What do we learn about Huck's character in this chapter? a) He is a coward b) He is brave

 

chapter xxx

RL.3 How do the Welshman and his sons treat Huck? 

RL.6 Do you think Huck is used to people treating him kindly and wanting to protect him? Explain your answer. 

RL.1 Describe Huck's thoughts at this moment. Support your answer with evidence. 

RL.1 Why are Mrs. Thatcher and Aunt Polly frightened? 

RL.2 What do you think has happened to Tom and Becky? 

 

chapter xxxi

RL.1 What has Tom discovered behind the waterfall? 

RL.1 What is Becky frightened of? 

RL.6 What is Becky's attitude at this moment ? a) She is angry with Tom for getting them lost. b) She doesn't blame Tom, and tries to be brave. 

RL.1 What thought have Tom and Becky had which makes them even more frightened? 

RL.3 What impression do you get of Tom's character in this chapter? Explain your answer. 

RL.2 Do you think Tom and Becky will escape? 

 

chapter xxxii

RL.1 How did Tom escape? 

RL.3 What do you think will happen to Injun Joe? 

 

chapter xxxiii

RL.1 Summarize Tom's feelings when he sees Injun Joe is dead. 

RL.1 What does Mark Twain tell us about Injun Joe's cup? 

RL.1 What exciting news does Tom give Huck? 

RL.1 Why did the boys doubt whether they should take the treasure? 

RL.3 What does Tom intend to do with the money? a) Keep it a secret between himself and Huck b) Tell everyone else about it

RL.2 Do you think Tom and Huck should keep the treasure secret? Explain your thoughts. 

 

chapter xxxiv

RL.1 What does Huck want to do? 

RL.1 What is Widow Douglas' plan for Huck? 

RL.6 Tom's original plan was to keep the money secret; why do you think he changed his mind? 

 

chapter xxxv

RL.1 How do people treat Tom and Huck? Support your answer with evidence.

RL.6 How does Huck feel about being rich? 

 

 
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