Tall Tale About Talent

Language Arts/Art

Children will write and illustrate tall tales about characters with amazing talents.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Tell the children that you would like each of them to write and illustrate a tall tale about a character who has an unbelievable talent. Explain that a tall tale is a kind of folktale in which characters with exaggerated qualities and abilities perform fantastic feats—feats that couldn't happen in the real world. Mention that a tall tale might have some real-life elements, and that it might be presented as though it were true. Also note that tall tales are usually humorous. You may want to read aloud an example of a tall tale. Alternatively, you could give the children a few examples of characters with amazing talents such as these:
    • a basketball player who can make a basket from a mile away
    • a snail that can run faster than a speeding train
    • an elephant that can stretch its trunk to reach the moon
    • a child who can speak any language ever spoken
  2. Work with individual children as they plan and develop their tall tales. Encourage them to use their imaginations to create characters, character traits and talents, settings, funny situations, and events.
  3. Suggest that children first write drafts of their tall tales. Later, when they rewrite their tales in final form, they can add a title and illustrations. Have children use available materials to bind the pages of their tales together.
  4. Ask children to read aloud their tall tales for the class, displaying the illustrations as they go along. You can then collect the tales and put them in a place where children can reread them in their free time, or ask the children to add their tales to their portfolios.