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Transcript of Tall Tales
What is a Tall Tale?
Tall Tales in the Classroom
Tall tales are apart of the American Folk Literature. They were originally told by people of the American Frontier. A lot of times, they occurred as bragging contests.
Brave, larger than life characters
More male characters than female
Doing the impossible
Exaggerated true stories
A lot of times, characters in tall tale stories are rescuing someone or doing something extraordinary. These kind of heroic stories can inspiring young children to always do the right thing and help others.
Make Believe vs. Real Life
Since tall tales are always exaggerated or made up, children will learn the difference between make believe and real life. Teachers can explain that the stories are made up and could realistically not happen. This would help young students from fibbing and trying to convince others that their stories really happened.
Because these stories are so wild and far fetch, they will be able to teach children to be creative with their writing. As long as students know the difference between fantasy and nonfiction, they will be able to come up with great stories and ideas for future projects and papers.
Not only will students enjoy listening to these crazy stories but they will love to read and retell them. They are the type of stories that can be told in a very animated way, which will engage the listeners and readers. Once hearing the story and seeing the pictures, students will want to retell the stories with their own flare.
A perfect way to start any read aloud is to have the students predict what they think is going to happen just by knowing the title and maybe seeing a few illustrations. Ask questions such as:
Who do we think the main character(s) is/are?
What great thing are they going to accomplish?
Will there be a problem to solve?
Where do we think this story takes place?
What time period do we think this story is from?
Write a Tall Tale
For students who can write, there is no better way for them to get creative after reading a tall tale than to write their own. They can come up with their own story and characters. Try to have them include the following in their story:
A problem to solve
A victim of the problem
A realistic setting
Draw a Tall Tale
For students who are just learning to read or write, drawing might be a better option. The students could make up their own story and draw a scene from it or they could draw themselves as a hero. They should also try to include the things that would be in a written story.
Tall tales are exaggerated, humorous stories about historical or imaginary humans and animals, who accomplish the ‘impossible’ in rugged environs.
Steven Kellogg is an American author and illustrator who was born October 26th, 1941. Throughout his lifetime he has written and illustrated more than 90 children's books. A lot of the these books have been tall tales. Some of his famous tall tales include Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Jack and the Beanstalk, and many more.
David Shannon was born on October 5th, 1960 and is also an American author and illustrator. He started off by writing famous children books such as "No David!" and "Duck on a Bike". But recently (2012) he wrote a tall tale called "Jangles: A Big Fish Story".
Julius Lester was born on January 27, 1929 and is an American author for children's and adult books. He has written a lot of books about African American History and his famous tall tale is "John Henry".
Tall Tales to Know
References and Links
By Bailey Beckham
Paul Bunyan was a hero of the North America's lumberjacks. He was famous for his strength, speed, and skill. Traditions say that he cleared forests from northeastern United States to the Pacific Ocean. There are many different versions of Paul's story, this link is an example of one. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/childrens-story-paul-bunyan-136836893/114708.html
John Henry was said to be the strongest steal-driver to ever live. A steal-drivers job was to hammer a steal drill to make holes for explosives to blast away rock. In the story he is put up to the challenge of racing a steamed powered hammer through a mountain. Because John Henry is a larger than life hero, he of course wins the race. For more historical information visit http://www.ibiblio.org/john_henry/analysis.html .
Johnny Appleseed was a real man whose real name was John Chapman. He was a legendary American who planted and supplied apple trees to much of the United States. He provided seeds and sold a lot of his trees that he had already grown. The video below is a great version of Johnny's story told by Disney.
Davy Crockett was a real-life American hero was is known for his strength, courage, and bravery. He was an American frontiersman, bear hunter, sharpshooter, soldier, legislator, and folk hero. He was and always will be known as the "King of the Wild Frontier". The following link will take you to a site where you can listen and read the lyrics of a song that's all about Johnny's heroic acts. http://www.loving2learn.com/SuperSubjects/ReadingandLanguage/FavoriteStories2/TallTales/DavyCrocket.aspx
Pecos Bill was a famous cowboy who was separated from his family as a baby and was raised by coyotes. He was a tough cowboy who used a snake as a lasso. He rode a horse that no other man could ride and even managed to lasso a tornado. To hear Disney's version of Pecos's story, watch the following video.