Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tall Tale Tales

Our first exploration of fiction writing began this week. In case you don't know, I love writing and teaching writing. I've found that children are so naturally creative that if you put the right writing project in front of them, they can do amazing things.

Monday we began working with Tall Tales, a genre that can be lots of fun. We started by practicing exaggeration, which is the key element of Tall Tales. The kids were encouraged to exaggerate as they moved from table to table (appropriately titled "Exaggeration Stations") in the room.

Next we read some tall tales together such as John Henry and a more modern story called Thunder Rose. We talked about the characteristics of tall tales, learned a new word--hyperbole--and practiced turning regular sentences into hyperbole-filled statements.

We've got one more activity before we actually start our drafting. The students are creating the most important part of their stories--their main characters. Today they started posters that are, like the characters of all good tall tales, HUGE. As you can see, this took up quite a bit of room.

The goal here is to get them thinking about their character's super-human characteristics. This will help them in writing an entertaining, action-packed tall tale.

I'll be sure to share photos of the finished posters next week. Oh, and the stories, too. In the meantime, check out some of our exaggerations from Monday on the class wiki page.

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