Should Tom Sawyer be taught in a gifted fifth grade language arts class?

I am looking for some feedback since I am considering using Tom Sawyer as a classroom novel this year. My concern is whether material in the book would be considered offensive or politically incorrect in today's society.

Tags: Sawyer, Tom, arts, classics, fifth, grade, language

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Hello from Hannibal, Missouri, home of Samuel Clemens and author of the book in mention. Now let's see, if we only read literature politically correct for today's society, then we are losing an incredible amount of historical significance, aren't we? Mr. Clemens' work is still read around the world. On a recent trip to Taiwan, I was surprised at all of the questions I was asked about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and days of the riverboats. Kids are very attracted to the story of Tom Sawyer and there are many many lesson to be taught from the social context, character portraits, and so on. As a teacher, we have the opportunity to immerse our students in meaningful literature. Let them decide.
My thoughts exactly, but I am getting some resistance from the administration, and I want to feel out others before I pursue the issue.
I've gotten permission from parents before reading a book that may be controversial. You also might ask parents to read along.
Probably a very good idea. Thanks,
I wonder if we should turn this around, for those fearful administrators:
Should the school and teachers be liable to lawsuit if students are not exposed to Tom Sawyer?
That's not going to happen, of course, and woe the day that it would. But...

Is a student that graduates without knowledge of Tom and his times really properly educated?

I'm asking this as one who did not read the book until age 22. That lapse was one of the first things to start me thinking that I really had not been given much of an education.
True Ed - now let's see how many questions about Tom Sawyer are on our state NCLB test....I'll be darned, can't find a one! :-)



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