Lesson Plan

Jump to It! Connecting Classic Fiction with Nonfiction Using Mark Twain

Students will learn how to close read "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," as well as interact with it using tech tools.
Suzy L.
Technology coordinator
Cherokee County Schools
Canton, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English-Language Learning, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to answer the following essential questions:

1. How can I use text-dependent questions to understand the story?

2. How can I prove that the story shows traits of realism and regionalism?

3. How can I show that I understand plot elements of the story, like plot, theme, symbol, point-of-view and character?

4. How can I understand the components of a frame story?

English Language Arts
Grades 11
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Activating Strategies

There is a three-part activator for this story, to allow students to connect to background knowledge, to connect this fiction piece to nonfiction, and to allow students to make a Common Core research connection.

1. Link to Background Knowledge:

Describe your experiences with the following in half a page. You may write about one or all of them:

  • * A time when you were tricked or tricked someone else
  • * Someone in your life who tells really long stories *
  • “Cheaters never win.”

2. Nonfiction Article with Quiz:

     a. Students will read “In Ecuador, After the Green Men from Mars Invaded, the Real Tragedy Began”

     b. Students will take the accompanying Newsela quiz on the article.

            i. Those who pass move on to research.

            ii. Those who fail analyze the article with me before moving on to research.

3. Research Connection:

     a.  Using Sweet Search, find three other famous scams in history.

     b. On one PowerPoint slide:

            i. Write a three-sentence summary of each one, including what the scam was and why it was so convincing.

            ii. Include a picture of each one.

     c. On a second slide, include citations for each source and picture on a Works Cited page.   You may use Easybib to do your citations.

     d. Save slides a .jpeg and upload to Edmodo.

Student Instructions

See embedded student directions inside teacher directions.

2 Teaching Vocabulary and the Story

Activity: Presenting


Four students in the class will be in charge of teaching these literary terms to the other students.   One way to choose those students is by putting a sticky note under their chairs or by using a random name generator.  

  • * Tall tale
  • * Dialect
  • * Frame story
  • * Unreliable narrator
  • All students will also choose five story-related unknown words to study as they read.

Close Reading--

Use this link for a student study guide to help with the story:


3 Assessment

Activity: Assessing

To assess the activities in this lesson, use the following:

  • Background Knowledge Pre-Write--I don't grade this but would students save it in a journal to possibly expand later.  They could also share with peers.
  • Scams PowerPoint Slide Grading Checklist
  • Newsela Quiz--auto-graded by site
  • Study Guide--Have students pull out a different colored pen that what they wrote with, and have students first mark out anything on the packet they have not done.  You could also check a few specific questions together as a class for accuracy.  Include missing and missed questions as part of a grade for the activity.