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Cub Pilot's Education

Page history last edited by Mary Hillis 9 years, 5 months ago

Cub Pilot’s Education  (Adapted from Mark Twain)


Key Terms

Mark Twain—American 19th century author whose real name is Samuel Longhorn Clemens (1835-1910).  His most famous books are Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


Author—the person who writes a story


Narrator—the character who tells the story


She—the pronoun “she” has often been used to refer to ships or boats


Comprehension Questions

1. What is the setting (time and place) of this story?


2. Describe the steamboat and its crew.  


3. “In ten minutes she (the steamboat) is gone again. The town goes back to sleep.  But the boys of the town remember the boat.  They remember the pilot.  And they don’t forget.”  Why do the boys remember the boat?


4. What is a cub-pilot?


5. Describe Mr. Bixby.


6. What advice did Mr. Bixby give the narrator about how to learn to be a pilot?


7. “Mr. Bixby’s mouth went off like a gun” is an example of what?


8. The narrator feels “My nose was very high in the air,” but later he says, “I felt two feet tall.”  What opposite feelings are expressed in these quotations?


9. Why does Mr. Bixby try to fool the narrator at the end of the story?


Discussion Questions

1. Do you think Mr. Bixby was a good teacher?  Why or why not?

2. Who was your most influential teacher?  Describe the teacher. 

3. In the story, the narrator must learn steer the boat according to the river in his head.  Is there something you can do easily and without looking, such as typing, playing an instrument, doing something at your part-time job, etc.?  Explain.

4. How might this story be different if it were set in Japan? 

5. Your question


Writing Assignment

You will complete the following writing assignment with a partner.


If the narrator were learning to be a pilot in the 21st century, then he would most likely use Twitter to share his experiences with his friends and other people.  Create a series of Tweets based on the story.  You may add ideas from your own imagination, but they should be able to correspond with the story.  (Tag your Tweets #14cubpilot)  After the Tweets have been posted, we’ll discuss which group’s Tweets most accurately reflect the story and why.



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