I'm so glad you've wandered on down to my little ole' blog!
I'm honored to have you here, and am just proud as a peacock to be participating in my first
I Teach 2nd Linky! Special thanks to Nicole for being hospitable and inviting me to join the fun!
Those who've been here before know that I have a love of all things western that is no secret! I'm here to share that with you today as we hunker down and study just how Tale Tales can enrich so many aspects of your language arts lessons!
Explaining tall tales and how they are stories about real American folk heroes and heroines that include both facts and fictionalized anecdotes is great fun when you use a big ball of yarn! Settle your students in a circle, start a story, and then pass the string along. Let your students unroll and unravel the skein as they stretch or exaggerate the truth for comic or dramatic effect!
Pulling favorite sentences from your favorite collection of tall tales to use as model or mentor sentences for exaggerations is also a great way to introduce the old-fashioned storytelling art of "spinning a yarn." Every strong thematic unit begins with the right selection of picture books and you just can't go wrong with Steven Kellogg's series of tall tales! Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, Sally Ann Thunder, and Johnny Appleseed are just a few of the American folk heroes featured in Kellogg's re-tellings and most have a modern twist or two!
Jerdine Nolan's Thunder Rose and Julius Lester's John Henry are also two titles you will want to include in study! The first is a completely fictionalized account of an African American cattle woman with a pet longhorn named Tater. It's figurative language and rollickin' rhythm will captivate your student's imagination and possibly inspire them to write their own story! To quote the author....
Rose was a pretty as a picture, had the sweetest disposition, but don't let yourself
be misled, that child was full of thunder and lightning.
Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney bring John Henry's larger-than-life spirit and persona tonight and help reveal the lore and the legend behind his great strength.
He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until his head and shoulders busted through the roof which was over the porch. John Henry thought that was the funniest thing in the world. He laughed so loud, the sun got scared. It scurried from behind the moon's skirts and went to bed,
which it is where it should've been all the while.
Once I've read each tall tale aloud to my second graders, I put them into book groups to pull three factual and three fictional events from each mentor text using a T-chart and Post-it notes. Each group then shares their information with the rest of the class. This "Tell Me Three" activity is a group favorite, and really strengthens student comprehension skills. I appreciate that it puts my students in the role of teacher, and lets me listen, observe, and reflect on what they bring away from each story.
Thanks so much for stopping to share some of my favorite stories. Enjoy this song,
before you leave! It was one of my brother's favorites when we were growing up! He even had a coonskin cap and a buckskin jacket just like "the king of the wild frontier!"