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Folktales: Tall Tales

This is a collection of literature sites with online tall tales from America. Includes tall tales and information about Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, John Henry, Slue-Foot Sue, and many others. Learn what tall tales are and their common characteristics. There are also eThemes Resources on fables, fairy tales, and trickster tales.


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Use this lesson plan in conjunction with Mary Pope Osborne's book "American Tall Tales" to teach students about American folklore.
This student-created website includes information about: Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Febold Feboldson, Stormalong, John Henry, ans Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind.
Read different folklore stories and tall tales. The icons at the bottom will sort them by character, state, historical, regional, or ethnic.
You can choose any one of the 50 states listed on this page to read folktales, myths, legends, and ghost stories from that state.
After reading some of the American folktales, use this worksheet to show what you know about these characters.
This page contains an introductory explanation of what's good and bad about American tall tales.
Students can use this worksheet to name elements of tall tales they have read. This is a one-page PDF file.
There are many tales about Johnny Appleseed. Which pieces of information on this page do you think could be accurate and what could be an exaggeration? You can use the information on this page to write an illustrate a new tall tale about Johnny Appleseed.
Read about what is known of this Missouri native cowgirl. NOTE: This site contains sponsored ads.
Students can examine the differences between the facts of historical figures lives and the legends and tall tales that spring up around them in this lesson unit. After learning to recognize the literary characteristics of tall tales, students may then create a tale of their own.
A short textual site that shows Davy Crocketts' speech to Congress.
On this site, you can see an original manuscript of the legend of the "Steel-Drivin' Man." This legend has also been sung about over the years, and there are sound recordings available. The site also features background information about the historical man that the legend is based on.
Read a condensed version of the legend of John Henry, or listen to a recoding of "The Ballad of John Henry." There are links at the bottom of the page that lead to further activities, such as learning to sing the ballad or an interactive quiz.
Read the legend of Tony Beaver, or listen to a recoding of the story. There are links at the bottom of the page that lead to another Tony Beaver story and an interactive quiz.
Click on "A Tall Tale" to read an illustrated story about Paul Bunyan. Click on "Tic-Tac-Toe" at the bottom right to play a game with this legendary character. NOTE: This site contains sponsored links.
These sites offer many online fairy tales, plus ideas for studying and writing fairy tales. Read classic tales and new versions.
These sites include lists of fables by Aesop and other authors. There is also some background information about what fables are and how to write your own fable.
These sites are about trickster tales in world folk literature, including Native American tales, tales from Africa, and tales from the American South. Includes a lesson plan, video, and more. Also includes a link to the eThemes folktale resources on fables, tall tales, and fairy tales.

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