Writing a Tall Tale
Writing a Tall Tale
You have now read the tall tales of John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Casey Jones. Try to find another Tall Tale that has some of the following characteristics:
1. The main character accomplishes great feats using strength, skill and wits.
2. The main character is helped by a powerful object or animal.
3. The story starts when the hero is a child (e.g., Pecos Bill falls off a wagon and is adopted by wolves)
4. The author uses exaggeration and humor; the hero brags but also makes fun of him/herself.
5. The story explains how some familiar things began (e.g., Pecos Bill invents the lariat and creates the Grand Canyon).
6. The hero has a colorful way of speaking.
7. The hero has one or more companions (e.g., Pecos Bill's wife, Johnny Appleseed's animals).
8. Famous people and places show up in the story.
9. The hero has problems with nature, people and/or progress.
10. The hero tries hard to be a good person but sometimes fails.
11. The hero does not like what others call progress (e.g. the tall tale hero moves because of a neighbor five miles away). More often than not, the hero dies or disappears.
Your job is to re-tell another tall tale (ask around, look online, check out a book). Use the space below.
In 5-10 sentences below, re-tell another TALL TALE. Use the web, books, or even someone at home for a resource BUT PLEASE retell the tale in your own words...

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