Tall Tales

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
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
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
old chap!
G’Day, mate!
Tall Tales…
• We say Tall Tales contain a kernel of truth
because they are often based on a real-life
• 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
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!”
Tall Tales…
Tall tales can be found in the library at :
Be sure to check one out soon!