Activity

Write Your Own Tall Tale

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Begin by researching folk tales with your child. Check out these worksheets on a couple of America's most popular folk heroes: www.education.com/worksheet/article/color-paul-bunyan-babe/, www.education.com/worksheet/article/color-john-henry/
  2. Explain to your child the importance of setting to a story. Remember that setting can be something as general as “in the mountains” or as specific as “in Denver, Colorado”. Help your child understand how the specifics of one region can often greatly influence a tale.
  3. Now take Paul Bunyan or a similar folk hero and invite your child to imagine the stories set in your own hometown. How would the character's adventures change? Imagine the impact such a setting shift would have on everything from their clothes to their modes of transportation.
  4. Let your child write down some of the unique adventures that such a twist would inspire. But don't limit their imagination by simply changing the setting of an established tall tale. Try seeing what tale tale heroes they can create on their own.
  5. When they're done, have your tall tale writer draw pictures to accompany their adventure story. Remind your child to identify the lesson that the main character learned during their adventure. 

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