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The Other Tall Tales
Grade Level(s): 6-8
By: Virginia Y. Martin, Library Media Skills Teacher

Students research tall tales, retell a tall tale, and write an original tall tale of their own.


  • Improve comprehension by interpreting, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating written texts.
  • Improve fluency through opportunities for oral presentation.
  • Identify literary genres.
  • Produce and present oral presentations demonstrating appropriate delivery techniques.
  • Use appropriate language, structure, tone, and voice control in oral communication.


Length of Unit: 7 days

Day 1: Introduction. Teacher will introduce unit and read one tale from the Internet sources listed. Students will answer written questions about the story to measure attention and comprehension. Teacher will explain end-of-unit assignment and give due dates: each student will write an original tall tale based on either real or imagined experience. Paper must include some sort of visual related to the story included on the title page. Visuals may be clipart from the computer.

Days 2-4: Students will select and read tall tales from the resources listed. They should write a journal entry giving a brief synopsis and their personal reaction to the tale.

Day 5-6: Show video of professional or good amateur story tellers and discuss good storytelling techniques. Students will retell (using good storytelling techniques) one of the tall tales they recorded in their journals.

Day 7: Original tall tales due. Finish any storytelling left over from previous class.

Internet resources:

There are many tall-tale sites which would be suitable for this lesson. I chose to use these 3:

  • Texas Tall Tales: Tell Me a Lie URL: http://www.nativetexan.com/talltale.htm
  • Tarwheels Tall Tales URL: http://www.cs.duke.edu/~carla/tall_tales.html
  • Tall Tales as Belles Lettres URL: http://www.tiac.net/users/papajoe/chuck20.htm
  • Original tall tale..........30%
  • Journal entries.............30%
  • Oral story-telling..........30%
  • Day 1 questions.............10%


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