Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tall Tale Genre Study and Giveaway

Ahh.... I am finally done with our district map testing. I'm so relieved because I feel like I can go back to teaching in a more relaxed mode. We started our newest genre study. I love genre studies! The kids do so much better when you isolate skills. It's seem so simple sometimes, yet in education I feel like we can over complicate things! Am I the only one who feels that way? Anyway, here is a look at what our unit contains and what we will be doing.

 I started by changing our focus books to all Tall Tales. I didn't really tell anyone what genre the new books were. These books are read alouds I do during the week. If the students finish early with work they often go and grab a book from here. It's like a mini library. A few students noticed the new books but not everyone.
 The next thing I did was introduce the word tall tale. We did a consensogram. I was pleased that I had most students honestly answer this. They really did not know very much about tall tales. That's okay - we are just starting out! I think this is a big struggle in elementary school. Everyone wants to be an expert the first day.
 While my students were doing some independent reading I changed out the vocabulary cards and focus chart on our spotlight wall. We then read the story of Pecos Bill. We talked about these different elements and the kids even wanted to keep a tally of the hyperboles that occurred in that story. I hung up our consensogram but will be adding our tally chart of hyperboles to this wall.

Here is Pecos Bill's horse. Some versions call this horse Widow Maker and some call his horse Lightning. I  like the name Widow Maker because it gives you a chance to teach a new word! The speech bubble is a summary of the story. We made a list of major events on an is, can, has anchor chart. Then, the students wrote their summaries of the Tall Tale. 

 Here is a Paul Bunyan summary. I got the idea of Pinterest to make his body long. I used clip art from Scrappin Doodles. I didn't print the kids copies in color but I told them to outline and add their own color. They turned out cute!

 The body part of Paul Bunyan is a summary of the story of Paul Bunyan. We used an ABC graphic organizer to record important events. Then, the kids worked on them. I have a clothesline in my room and am going to stay after tomorrow to hang all of these little fellas up! I can't wait. :)

All of the resources above can be bought in my tall tale genre study unit. I will give away three to the first three people that leave me a comment with their email address!

This unit does include Johnny Appleseed and Davey Crockett. As a disclaimer they are included in our standards and we often discuss how the oral history of Tall Tales has caused two real life people to find their names on the tall tale list.

 How do you teach tall tales?  Am I missing a great activity that I should add next year?



  1. Love it! So hard to find Tall Tales activities for the 2nd grade level that are fun!

    1. I'll email you a copy if you'd like!I'm looking for some feedback on the unit. :) Since you commented, it's yours to claim.

  2. The Paul Bunyan summaries are adorable! This unit looks like so much fun!

  3. These are adorable i did a tall tale unit last year and the kids made themselves as a character, then made the tall tales on skinny paper with pictures of themselves at the top and their feet at the bottom. These are really cute

  4. I left you a comment on pinterest about the paper with the border. I LOVE IT! My 1st grader is doing a project on Paul Bunyan & I would love for her to do it on this paper. Is there any way you can email me the template? melissarinman@gmail.com

  5. Do you have any of these left to give away??? I am student teaching and would LOVEEEEE to use this for my unit study on tall tales! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!

    this google name is my husband. my name is Desiree!

  6. If you still have some to give away, I would love this unit. Everything is adorable.


  7. Just found your site, we are starting tall tales, legends, fables, fairy tales and myths. Incorporating it into common core, i really like your ideas! Where can we download or purchase your items?! Thank you! Stampnsnip