Tall Tales Janet Lanham Fairdale Elementary [email protected] Tall Tales… Are a type of folk literature, which means they have been handed down in the oral tradition. Tall Tales… A characteristic of Tall Tales is hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration. As the stories were handed down from generation to generation, it’s likely that each retelling resulted in greater hyperbole. He threw that varmint clear across the field! I hear he threw it straight into the next county! Tall Tales… Much of the hyperbole is intended to be unbelievable, which leads to another characteristic of Tall Tales – humor ! Tall tales are meant to be entertaining! Tall Tales… Here is a good example of the way hyperbole can be fun! One time the snowflakes fell so large in Oregon that the ladies put handles on them and used them for umbrellas! Tall Tales… Typically contain a lot of dialect. A dialect is a variety of a language that is spoken by a group in a particular area or of a social group or class. It usually has a different accent and pronunciation, vocabulary and use different grammatical structures. Cheerio, old chap! Howdy, padnuh! G’Day, mate! Tall Tales… • We say Tall Tales contain a kernel of truth because they are often based on a real-life person. • But just like a popcorn kernel explodes into something much bigger, the hyperbole often explodes the real person into superhero status. Tall Tales… • For instance, history shows there really was a railroad worker named John Henry. • He wasn’t really born with a hammer in his hand of course. Tall Tales… • Tall tale heroes often have a job to do • Or compete against nature or another strong character. John Henry had to race a steel driving machine to lay railroad tracks through a tunnel. (Read the story to find out if John Henry won the contest.) Tall Tales… Sometimes Tall Tales can explain how things came to be. The stories of Pecos Bill describe how the Grand Canyon was created. “One day a tornado appeared on the horizon. When the twister approached, Bill jumped on it and rode it like a bucking bronco. In an effort to shake Bill, the tornado rained so hard that it carved out the Grand Canyon. Bill finally fell off in California, hitting the ground with such force that he formed Death Valley!” http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Pa-Pr/Pecos-Bill.html Tall Tales… Tall tales can be found in the library at : Be sure to check one out soon!