Do you think the title is a bit of an exaggeration? Can you think of some books or stories that include lots of exaggeration? That is one of the features of Tall Tales!
Wonderopolis shares a Wonder of the Day each day about a topic to promote thinking and conversations. One day this week the Wonder of the Day was “Why do they call it a Tall Tale?” To go along with this question, you can find basic information, vocabulary words, questions to promote thinking, and even other resources for finding out more about tall tales. There is even a lesson promoting the reading of tall tales as well as an activity to encourage writing a tall tale.
Focusing on reading types of stories, like tall tales, was something I really enjoyed when I was in the classroom. We would do studies where we would explore many examples of a certain type and then talk about the similarities and characteristics we found. I also liked to introduce a variety of vocabulary words that could be associated with that story type.
Here is some of the information Wonderopolis shares about tall tales:
Tall tales” are stories that are told as if they were true but contain exaggerated or unbelievable parts. Some tall tales are exaggerations of real events, while others are completely make-believe. Tall tales are usually very funny because the exaggerations in the story tend to be the main focus of the whole story.
A key part of American folk literature, tall tales are believed to have started from the bragging contests that tough American frontiersmen would start when they gathered around a fire. Most tall tales come from the 1800s, when courageous explorers had exciting adventures on their way to the Wild West.
If you were looking for interesting ways for students to write and “publish” their own tall tales, the Writing section in BigUniverse could be an option to use!
Even though it is not a traditional tall tale, you might also want to check out this tall tale: Sitka Rose by Shelly Gill. This story could be used as an example of the type of tall tale stories students could write. Students could work in groups to identify the characteristics of tall tales which are evident in this story.
Here are some ways you can use technology to support the study of, as well as the creation of tall tales in the classroom: http://www.vickiblackwell.com/talltales.html
Are there some tall tales that you enjoy reading? What are some ways you teach about tall tales?