Tag Archives: Tall tales

The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter by Kimberly Willis Holt

Schema: Westward Expansion, old west stories

Text-to-Self Connections: being cared for by an elderly relative

Figurative Language: Holt has filled the book with lots of similes such as “the land was as flat as Ma Clearwater’s burnt corncakes;” “Little Critter shot out of the wagon like cannonballs;” “and their tongues went to hanging like a half-starved hound dog’s.”

At the end of the book the author includes information mentioned in the book about true events that occurred during the 1800’s such as westward migration, the gold rush, stagecoach robberies, and the Pony Express.

Holt’s has written a humorous story in tall tale fashion about Granny and little Critter who get separated from the rest of the family as they travel out west from the Appalachian Mountains.  Granny uses her wits and all that her relatives have taught her about survival skills in the desert and the mountains. This book would make a great addition to a fifth grade western expansion unit.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

cloudy with a chanceSchema: favorite foods, weather, tall tales

Text-to-Self Connections: food, making up a story

Mental Images: Make a mental image of your favorite food falling from the sky and you trying to catch it

Cause and Effect: Because of the pancake landing on Henry, the effect is that Grandpa made up the tall tale about falling food.

Inference: What do you infer is a problem with keeping their clothes nice in the town of Chewandswallow?

At the end of the story, what were the children inferring about the snow when they went sledding?

Drawing Conclusions: The people who lived in Chewandswallow concluded that they had to abandon their town for fear of their lives because of the amount of food falling from the sky.

Synthesis: I am synthesizing that when there is too much of something anywhere, that it is not a good thing.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can get too much of a good thing?”  What does it mean?  Can you think of something you like that you could get too much of?