Samuel Clemens, who also referred to himself as Mark Twain or Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, was born 176 years ago, today, and Google has created a Tom Sawyer white washing logo in honor of the occasion.
I really like it...creative people are so handy.
If you are interested in teaching your children about this most famous American author, here are some helpful links that will provide everything from quotes to be used as copy work in the elementary years to high school study guides. I hope you find it useful and if you have your own links please feel free to mention them in the comment section.
Go to the official site for Mark Twain for a great biography, quotes and pictures. This is a wonderful first stop.
Web English Teacher has so many wonderful tools for reviewing and enjoy the literature written by Twain. I always check this site when I am planning literature or writing assignments for junior or senior high. Its a great resource, and once you visit you won't know how you lived without it.
The Mark Twain House and Museum is a very rich source. There is in depth information about the man, the house, and the museum, and a tremendous amount of links and books suggestions for more information about the famous author. Since I hadn't found a lot for younger kids I appreciated these coloring pages for my youngest student.
If you haven't seen the PBS special about Mark Twain that was written by Ken Burns, it is now on the instant play list at Netflix. PBS has designed a complete set of classroom activities as a follow up.
Of course one of the best ways to learn about Twain is to read one of his books. My son listened to this free audio recording of Tom Sawyer a few years ago. All of the chapters can be downloaded to an iPod and enjoyed before bed or in the car while running errands.