Presentation on theme: "Background Knowledge and Vocabulary"— Presentation transcript:
1 Background Knowledge and Vocabulary The Tall TaleBackground Knowledge and Vocabularyexaggerate amazing tradition
2 What is a Tall Tale?Tall tales are stories written from someone’s 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.
3 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
4 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.
5 Vocabulary: Exaggerate To make something look or sound better, worse, larger, more common, or more important than is true or usual
6 Vocabulary: PioneersPeople who go into previously uncharted or unclaimed territory with the purpose of exploring,colonizing or settling it.
7 Vocabulary: Tradition Quilting is one example of an American tradition. Can you think of another?A long-established custom that has been handed down from generation to generation
8 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.
9 Paul Bunyan The Mightiest Logger of Them All Vocabulary: announced chow cornmeal gigantic pickaxe pioneers potbellied terrible thawed
10 The Real “Paul Bunyan”Historians 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.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, Fournier worked for the H.M. Loud Company in the Grayling, Michigan area, , 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 . Another legend claims that Rib Mountain in Wausau, Wisconsin, is Bunyan's grave site.
14 John Henry the Steel Driving Man Vocabulary: bulged cascaded flickering maul muscular nitroglycerine protruded shaker towered
15 The Real John HenryJohn 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 HenryFrom Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend by Scott Nelson, Professor of History, Willam & Mary UniversityThe standard account of that, when scholars looked at it, was “well, isn’t it funny that he was brought to the White House, where there isn’t any railroad and there is no sand.” Actually, the term "White House" wasn’t used for the executive office until Teddy Roosevelt was president in 1901, so there wasn’t the White House. I’m 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 contractors—of the C&O officials who were working on the line—that 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 doesn’t 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 silicosis—they 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 stuff—it’s like drilling into concrete. Everyone who drills into concrete knows you have to wet down the drill. They didn’t 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 wasn’t 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 project.
17 What’s real maul shaker nitroglycerin Nitroglycerin was first invented by Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero in Unfortunately, raw nitroglycerine does not like being moved. In the 1860s, it was killing so many people that it was giving alfred Nobel a bad name. Nitroglycerine was banned in America. We had to find a way of making it less reactive and tried absorbing it with inert powders. This was Nobel's most famous invention: dynamite. It was used for rock blasting everywhere and made him one of the richest men in the world.
18 Finding the Real John Henry The 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.”
19 Tall Tale Vocabulary Activities ExaggerationWord
20 How to Exaggerate Vocabulary If you’re going to tell tall tales, you better exaggerate your vocabulary as well as your story…Don’t say Pecos Bill rode a mad tornado, you’d say he rode a ________ tornado.
21 Synonyms Word: Mad angry furious livid annoyed irritated upset fuming incensedirateoutragedcrossWords that mean the same thing ( or nearly the same thing) are called synonyms.
22 Word Scales Word: Mad angry furious livid annoyed irritated upset ReallymadSome synonyms can be scaled (or lined up from one extreme to another). Watch me scale the synonyms for Mad.A littlebit mad
24 Word Scales Word: Mad angry furious livid upset annoyed irritated ReallymadUse clapping to indicate a little mad vs. really madannoyedirritatedA littlebit mad
25 Word Scales Word: Mad angry furious livid upset annoyed irritated ReallymadUse clapping to indicate a little mad vs. really madupsetannoyedirritatedA littlebit mad
26 Word Scales Word: Mad furious livid angry upset annoyed irritated ReallymadangryUse clapping to indicate a little mad vs. really madupsetannoyedirritatedA littlebit mad
27 Word Scales Word: Mad livid furious angry upset annoyed irritated ReallymadangryUse clapping to indicate a little mad vs. really madupsetannoyedirritatedA littlebit mad
28 Word Scales Word: Mad livid furious angry upset annoyed irritated ReallymadangrySelect 7 volunteers to hold scaled word cards in the front of the room- ask them to act the one in their hands.upsetannoyedirritatedA littlebit mad
29 Synonyms Word: Big Massive Gigantic Substantial Enormous Large Vast ImmenseHow many words do you know for “big?”
30 Word ScalesWord: Bigmassive substantial vast large immense gigantic enormousReallybigIf you were going to scale synonyms for BIG, how would you place them on the steps? Work with a partner.A littlebit big
31 murmured thundered remarked reported announced Word ScalesWord: Saidmurmured thundered remarked reported announcedwailed exclaimedSaidboldlyIf you were going to scale synonyms for BIG, how would you place them on the steps? Work with a partner.Saidmildly
32 displeasing terrible appalling dreadful awful Word ScalesWord: Baddispleasing terrible appalling dreadful awfulwretched atrociousReallybadIf you were going to scale synonyms for BIG, how would you place them on the steps? Work with a partner.A littlebit bad
33 protruded bulged swelled projected expanded Word ScalesWord: Stuck Outprotruded bulged swelled projected expandeddistended pouchedStuckouta lotIf you were going to scale synonyms for BIG, how would you place them on the steps? Work with a partner.Stuckout alittle
34 Paul Bunyan The Mightiest Logger of Them All • announced • chow • cornmeal • gigantic • pickaxe • pioneers • potbellied • terrible thawed
35 John Henry the Steel Driving Man • bulged cascaded flickering maul muscular nitroglycerine • protruded shaker towered
38 No real Sally AnnDavid Crockett ( ) 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.