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The Tall Tale. Background Knowledge and Vocabulary. exaggerate amazing tradition. What is a Tall Tale?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Background Knowledge and VocabularyThe Tall Taleexaggerate amazing tradition

  • What is a Tall Tale? Tall tales are stories written from someones imagination. The story can be funny or silly. They are filled with exaggerations, similes, metaphors, and lots of descriptive language. It is always told as if it were true, even though the listeners know that the story could never really happen.

  • A tall tale is a uniquely American story form that features(1) a larger-than-life, or superhuman, main character with a specific task (2) a problem that is solved in a humorous or outrageous way (3) exaggerated details that describe things larger than they really are (4) characters who use everyday language and tone

  • Tall TalesMany tall tales are based on actual people or on a composite of actual people. Exaggeration is the major element in tall tales.The settlers loved to exaggerate when they told tales about the huge animals, the incredible weather extremes and the monstrous fish that got away. We can thank the pioneers for making tall tales a tradition.

  • To make something look or sound better, worse, larger, more common, or more important than is true or usualVocabulary: Exaggerate

  • People who go into previously uncharted or unclaimed territory with the purpose of exploring,colonizing or settling it.Vocabulary: Pioneers

  • A long-established custom that has been handed down from generation to generationVocabulary: Tradition

  • Why Tall Tales?Many settlers originally came west because someone made optimistic claims. They were told the climate was perfect and that there was plenty of water. They were convinced that crops would spring up overnight. It was said that the soil was so fertile that even footprints would grow! In real life, living on the plains was a lot tougher that the settlers had been told. After they found out what life on the plains was really like, they had to face many hard times. It was easier to handle if that person used humor.

  • Paul Bunyan The Mightiest Logger of Them All


  • The Real Paul BunyanHistorians believe the legend of Paul Bunyan is based on the exploits of Fabian "Joe" Fournier, a French-Canadian logger born in Quebec around 1845.The big, strong Fournier moved to Michigan following the Civil War in search of higher wages and was eventually hired by the H. M. Loud Company.Sitting around the campfire, future newspaperman James MacGillivray would listen to stories about Fournier, which were embellished with every telling.MacGillivray wrote "Round River," a tale about the fictitious lumberjack Paul Bunyan which was published Aug. 10, 1906.

  • Whats realPotbellied StoveChowCornmeal mushPickaxe

  • Whats realPotbellied StoveChowCornmeal mushPickaxe

  • Whats realPotbellied StoveChowCornmeal mushPickaxe

  • John Henrythe Steel Driving ManVocabulary:bulgedcascadedflickeringmaulmuscularnitroglycerineprotrudedshakertowered

  • The Real John Henry

    John Henry is the most researched folk hero in history.

    Most think the story is based on the Big Bend Tunnel in WV, but evidence points to the Lewis Tunnel in VA.

    Listen to the ballad of John Henry

    From Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend by Scott Nelson, Professor of History, Willam & Mary University

  • Whats realmaulshakernitroglycerin

  • Whats realmaulshakernitroglycerin

  • Finding the Real John HenryThe clue came from the song, The Ballad of John Henry

    Song: They took John Henry to the White House, and they buried him in the sand, and every locomotive comes roarin by says there lies a steel drivin man.

  • Tall Tale Vocabulary ActivitiesExaggeration

  • How to Exaggerate VocabularyIf youre going to tell tall tales, you better exaggerate your vocabulary as well as your story

    Dont say Pecos Bill rode a mad tornado, youd say he rode a ________ tornado.

  • SynonymsWord: Mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetReally madA little bit mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetReally madA little bit mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetReally madA little bit mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetReally madA little bit mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetReally madA little bit mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetReally madA little bit mad

  • Word ScalesWord: MadReally madangryfuriouslividannoyedirritatedupsetA little bit mad

  • SynonymsWord: Big

  • Word ScalesWord: BigA little bit bigReally bigmassive substantial vast large immense gigantic enormous

  • Word ScalesWord: SaidSaid mildlySaidboldlymurmured thundered remarked reported announced wailed exclaimed

  • Word ScalesWord: BadA little bit badReally baddispleasing terrible appalling dreadful awful wretched atrocious

  • Word ScalesWord: Stuck OutStuck out a little protruded bulged swelled projected expanded distended pouchedStuck out a lot

  • Paul Bunyan The Mightiest Logger of Them All

    announced chow cornmeal gigantic pickaxe pioneers potbellied terriblethawed

  • John Henrythe Steel Driving Man

    bulgedcascadedflickeringmaulmuscularnitroglycerine protrudedshakertowered

  • Thank You

  • Davy CrockettSally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind

  • No real Sally AnnDavid Crockett (1786-1836) was renowned as an adventurer, Indian fighter, bear hunter, and congressman.He was born in a small cabin in Tennessee, not on a mountaintop. He did not kill a bear when he was only three. He was called David, not Davy.Married Mary Polly Finley in 1806 and had 3 children.

    *Quilting is one example of an American tradition. Can you think of another?*Paul Bunyan has dozens of towns vying to be considered his home: Bemidji, Brainerd, Shelton, and Westwood; and Bay City, Michigan, where several authors, including James Stevens and D. Laurence Rogers, have traced the tales to the exploits of French Canadian lumberjack Fabian "Saginaw Joe" Fournier, 1845-1875. Fournier worked for the H.M. Loud Company in the Grayling, Michigan area, 1865-1875, where MacGillivray later worked and apparently picked up the stories. The state of Michigan has declared Oscoda, Michigan as the official home of Paul Bunyan due to the earliest documented published stories by MacGillivray.

    One legend has Paul Bunyan born in Bangor, Maine (one of the great lumber capitals) and eventually going west to find more timber. Kelliher, Minnesota is the home of Paul Bunyan Memorial Park, which contains a site purporting to be Paul Bunyan's grave [2]. Another legend claims that Rib Mountain in Wausau, Wisconsin, is Bunyan's grave site.*The standard account of that, when scholars looked at it, was well, isnt it funny that he was brought to the White House, where there isnt any railroad and there is no sand. Actually, the term "White House" wasnt used for the executive office until Teddy Roosevelt was president in 1901, so there wasnt the White House. Im looking at the penitentiary on my computer screen, and there is a white house, there is a railroad running by and there is sand all around. ..When you start with the penitentiary, instead of starting with the Big Bend Tunnel, everything sort of comes together. You find someone named John Henry; you find that all these convicts had been shipped up to do construction for the railroad; you find steam drills side by side with these convicts and you find that the tunnel they worked on primarily was the Lewis Tunnel. It was because I started searching the names of the contractorsof the C&O officials who were working on the linethat I found all of those things that everyone said were missing. People had said that you can never know what happened on the C&O railroad because all of the engineering records were destroyed in a fire. I found that the papers of the contractors were available at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio. They describe construction of the C&O railroad tunnels. Taken together, they are the smoking gun.The real story is uglier. The C&O railroad wants to get these tunnels dug; it has to get these tunnels dug by 1872 if it is to be granted the rights to the whole run from Richmond to the Ohio River. So, they buy up all of these convicts; they buy up the steam drills.

    John Henry doesnt really challenge the steam drills. He, and everybody else, is forced to work on these tunnels, and the terrible tragedy here is that nearly everyone who was forced to work on these tunnels died in the space of five or six years, not from exertion but from acute silicosisthey actually inhaled all of this crystalline dust from the rock. The Appalachian Mountains are, of course, the oldest mountains in the world, and this crystalline rock comes right up to the surface. That stuff, when hit by steam drills, produces this powdery stuffits like drilling into concrete. Everyone who drills into concrete knows you have to wet down the drill. They didnt during the tunneling, so the workers sucked this stuff down into their lungs. It killed everybody.

    The tunnel is still there. When you go to the Big Bend Tunnel, you can see that it wasnt a particularly difficult tunnel to dig. The rock is not that hard. When you go to the Lewis Tunnel, you can see why it was a gut-busting


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