The fifth grade students completed writing original tall tales and shared them with their parents last week. We began this process by reading American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne. There was a lot of discussion that included comparing and contrasting the exaggerated lives of the many American “tall tale” characters like Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Davy Crockett, Stormalong and John Henry, to name a few. We paid particular attention to the figurative and descriptive language that was used so that we could “pattern” our tall tales in a similar fashion.
Each original tall tale needed to follow a particular format that included the following:
- Describing the character’s exaggerated physical ability and personality.
- Creating a “problem” that the character can solve with their remarkable ability and solving the “problem” in a creative way.
- Weaving in some historical information of the time period, and how some famous landmarks and landforms were created.
- Concluding the tale by describing how the character dies and how they are remembered today.
Some of our characters are named: Robin Red, Enormous Edward, Elastica, Lucy Ann, Thylacine, Florine Shannah, Raider Cramora, The Wimpy Eagle, Billy Bob, and Chris Andrew Robinson.
The tall tales will be displayed in our classroom for several weeks. Please feel free to drop in and read them!