In chapter 8 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Tom and Joe Harper re-enact the fight between Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne. They quote directly from a real story which was very popular when Mark Twain was a child: Robin Hood and His Merry Foresters, a book written by Joseph Cundall under the pen name Robert Percy.
In this episode, find out about the scene from Cundall’s book that inspired Twain’s reenactment, and get ideas for how to inspire reluctant readers with books that actually appeal to their tastes.
Activity: Get Inspired Like Tom Sawyer
Before reading chapter 8 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, read the story of “Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne” in Robin Hood and His Merry Foresters by Robert Percy (the pen name of Joseph Cundall). Have students re-enact the scene, preferably outdoors and with some props. Encourage them to quote or elaborate on Cundall’s tale. Then read Mark Twain’s version of the scene as performed by Tom Sawyer and Joe Harper. Discuss the similarities and differences.