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This lesson is on the “other” tall tales and deals with uncommon tall tales and comprehension


Language Arts  


6, 7, 8, 9, 10  

Title – The Other Tall Tales
By – Virginia Y. Martin
Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 6-10 

Tennessee Standards:

Reading: The student will develop the reading skills necessary for word recognition, comprehension, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and appreciation of the written text.


Improve comprehension by interpreting, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating written texts.

Improve fluency through opportunities for oral presentation

Identify literary genres

Speaking and Listening:

Speaking and Listening: The student will express ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of oral contexts and apply active listening skills in the analysis and evaluation of spoken ideas.

Use appropriate language, structure, tone, and voice control in oral communication.

Produce and present oral presentations demonstrating appropriate delivery techniques.

Rationale: Middle school students are generally knowledgeable about the tall tales involving the well-known heroes Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan and John Henry, but are unaware of other characters and tales of the genre. This unit will allow students to read some unfamiliar tall tales and to write some tall tales of their own.

Materials needed: computers with internet access, story-telling video, student journals

Internet resources: There are many tall-tale sites on the web which would be suitable for this unit. These 3 were chosen as random selections.

Tarwheels Tall Tales

Day 1: Introduction. Teacher will introduce unit and read one tale from the sources above. 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 above. 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 storytellers and discuss good story-telling techniques. Students will retell (using good story-telling techniques) one of the tall tales they recorded in their journals.

Day 7: Original tall tales due. Finish any story-telling left over from previous class.

Evaluation: Original tall tale……….30%
Journal entries………….30%
Oral story-telling……….30%
Day 1 questions………….10%

E-Mail Virginia Y. Martin !

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