Tall Tales

Our librarian at school mentioned tall tales to our first graders in the early spring. The students were not very familiar with these stories. In the first grade we do read about Johnny Appleseed in our curriculum and briefly read about Paul Bunyan. However, we do not typically spend a great amount of time talking in length about tall tales. After spending some time on Pinterest, I found some really great comprehension activities that went with Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Pecos Bill, and Johnny Appleseed. As the end of the year comes and we are wrapping up our curriculum, I figured I could use the free time for a tall tales project.

Below you will find links to the activities I used, images of the tall tale wheels my first graders made, and links to the videos I showed in class.

Comprehension Worksheets

Education.com has four full colored story sheets for the tall tale characters we covered. We read these stories aloud and talked about the difference between the written story and the short movies we watched. The students then completed the page to tell which parts could be true and which parts are make-believe. We discussed the word “exaggeration” in great length during this portion of the project.

Paul Bunyan

John Henry

Johnny Appleseed

Pecos Bill

First Grade A La Carte has these great fill-in-the-blank and word search worksheets that I used for John Henry and Paul Bunyan. She also has decoder, word scramble, and crossword sheets for Annie Oakley, Johnny Appleseed and Davy Crockett.


Tall Tale Wheels

Amber over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher created a tall tale wheel for her third graders. I used this with my first graders and did not find that it was too difficult! You can download and print the wheel over at Amber’s site. Below are images of wheels my first graders made.


These are all Disney videos I found on YouTube. I cut some short, not showing the entire film (Johnny Appleseed and Pecos Bill), as they were lengthy. The kids really enjoyed these and sang “Paul Bunyan” for days!


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