Teacher Guide

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” is a short story written by Mark Twain. It was published in November 1865 in the New York Saturday Press. This story preceded the novels that made Twain famous, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. For the public in the United States, it cast Twain as a master of humor and dialect.

In the story, a narrator from the East visits a mining camp during the gold rush in California. His friend sent him to find information about a Reverend Smiley. He encounters Simon Wheeler, who begins to tell him a story about a Jim Smiley. Wheeler tells a tall tale about Jim Smiley’s gambling prowess. He chooses animals who do not look like they...

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