Grade: Elementary
Subject: Literature

#3511. Introduction to Tall Tales

Literature, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Jul 10 10:17:49 PDT 2005 by Shandi Schierling (
Olpe Elementary School, Olpe, Kansas U.S.A.
Materials Required: video or DVD about Paul Bunyan, KWL chart for each student, Paul Bunyan worksheet for each student
Activity Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Concepts Taught: Elements of a Tall Tale

Kansas State Reading/Writing Standards Addressed: Standard 1: Reading: The student reads and comprehends text across the curriculum. Benchmark 4: The student comprehends a variety of texts. Indicators used: 3
Standard 2: Literature: The student responds to a variety of text. Benchmark 1: The student uses literary concepts to interpret and respond to text. Indicators used: 1

Specific Objectives: The student will:

~state what a tall tale is

~list ten tall tale elements shown in a Paul
Bunyan video

Anticipatory Set: Tell the students that today they are going to write and tell what a tall tale is, watch a tall tale video, and make a list of tall tale elements. Give each student a KWL chart and review what each category means on the chart.

Step by Step Procedure:

1. Put the students into small groups of 3 or 4. As a group have them complete the first two categories on the KWL chart. Each student should write one of his/her own sentences for each category plus the other students' sentences(3-4 sentences per category).

2. Students come back to their desks with KWL charts. Have each student share his/her own two sentences from the first two categories with the class.

3. Tell the students they will now watch a tall tale video about Paul Bunyan and then make a list of ten tall tale elements they see in the video. Show the video (about 10-15 min.long).

4. Complete the last category on the KWL chart by writing the sentence: A tall tale is a story that has highly exaggerated elements in it.

5. Give each student a Paul Bunyan worksheet. Read and discuss the directions together. Have them make a list of ten tall tale elements they saw in the video.

Independent Practice:

Students will make a list of ten tall tale elements they saw in a Paul Bunyan video on a worksheet.

Closure: After all students have completed their lists, have each student read five elements from his/her list orally to the class. Ask if anyone has any questions about what a tall tale is. Choose a student to state orally the definition of a tall tale as a review.

Assessment: The students will independently make a list of ten tall tale elements they saw in a Paul Bunyan video on a worksheet to demonstrate an understanding of what a tall tale is.

Modifications: Most students should be able to work with a group on the first part of the KWL chart. Students with IEP's might make a list of five elements instead of ten, and they could have help with the writing and spelling. Challenge gifted students to make a list of as many tall tale elements as they can think of.


KWL Chart
Topic- Tall Tales

K- What we KNOW about the topic:

W- What we WANT to learn about it:

L- What we have LEARNED about it:


Paul Bunyan Worksheet

A tall tale is a story that has highly exaggerated elements in it. Make a list of ten highly exaggerated elements that you saw in the Paul Bunyan video.


Add more tall tale elements below if you want.