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Playing Hooky and Patent Medicine

This week we read two of my favorite chapters in Tom Sawyer (I have about 20 favorite chapters).  The first was the scene where Tom feigned illness to avoid going to school.  Not only did he end up having to endure another boring day at school,  but he ended up getting his tooth pulled out by Aunt Polly! 


The other chapter involved Tom's aunt trying to cure his "depression" with a patent medicine.  Tom gets the idea to give this remedy to his cat, Peter,  and the results are hysterical.  Twain writes the following to describe the event: 

Peter was agreeable. So Tom pried his mouth open and poured down the Pain-killer. Peter sprang a couple of yards in the air, and then delivered a war-whoop and set off round and round the room, banging against furniture, upsetting flower-pots, and making general havoc. Next he rose on his hind feet and pranced around, in a frenzy of enjoyment, with his head over his shoulder and his voice proclaiming his unappeasable happiness. Then he went tearing around the house again spreading chaos and destruction in his path. Aunt Polly entered in time to see him throw a few double summersets, deliver a final mighty hurrah, and sail through the open window, carrying the rest of the flower-pots with him. The old lady stood petrified with astonishment, peering over her glasses; Tom lay on the floor expiring with laughter.

I incorporated some non-fiction text with this chapter both on patent medicines, as well as looking at the way the media manipulates and deceives consumers in their advertisements.  Ask your students about the article on weight-loss drugs that we read! 

On another note, our new Chromebooks (thank you parents and Vons for donating to my cause) have come in handy!  This week I was able to save over 1,000 pieces of paper on one assignment for my classes.   Instead, I passed out the assignment digitally, and students typed their responses directly on to the forms.  I so appreciate that my students are so patient with me as I tackle technology.  




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