Lessons & Units :: Genre Studies: Tall Tales Kindergarten Unit

Lesson 3: Exaggeration

Lesson Plan

Pecos Bill | 910L

Pecos Bill
Learning Goal
Identify examples of exaggeration in a tall tale.
Explain that exaggeration is a characteristic of tall tales.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Unit Example Chart, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that tall tales are called tall tales because they are exaggerated (they are taller, bigger, and more ridiculous than regular stories). Exaggeration means to make something seem more than it actually is. I will add “exaggeration” to my Characteristics of Tall Tales Chart that I started in Lesson 1 (example provided). Say, "For example, if I said, 'The principal’s hands are so big, he could wrap them around the entire school,' I would be exaggerating how big his hands are to tell you that they were really big. Tall tales usually use exaggeration to make the traits and actions of the story’s hero seem bigger and more exciting." I will use the familiar tall tale, Paul Bunyan, to model how to identify exaggeration in a story. I will look for descriptions of actions or people that seem impossible and bigger than life. For example, I will recall that Paul Bunyan combed his beard with a pine tree. Most people only comb their hair with a hair brush. Since I have identified exaggeration in the book, I will add the title to my chart, along with the example of exaggeration I identified.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I identify examples of exaggeration in a tall tale?" Students should respond by saying that you can identify exaggeration by looking for descriptions of actions or people that seem impossible and bigger than life.

  • Guided Practice

    will read the tall tale, Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg, and identify examples of exaggeration in the text. We will discuss how there are multiple examples of exaggeration that help us identify the story as a tall tale, so we will add the title of the book to our chart, along with 1-2 examples of exaggeration we identified.

  • Independent Practice

    will identify and illustrate one example of exaggeration from the story. You will share your example and illustration so that it can be added to the class chart and explain how you know this is a tall tale. (Independent Practice Worksheet provided.)

Build Student Vocabulary cattle

Tier 2 Word: cattle
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story “But the men claimed that Texas cattle were much too ornery to ever put up with ranching.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Cattle are large animals that people keep for their milk, meat, and skin. A cow is an example of cattle. In the past, cowboys like Bill Pecos had to take care of lots of cattle, and they needed these cows for food.
Students repeat the word Say the word cattle with me: cattle.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts The milk we drink also comes from cattle. Today, if you want to see cattle, you may have to go to a farm or a zoo because they don’t run around in the wild as much as they used to.
Students provide examples Can you give an example of where you might find cattle? Start by saying, “I might find cattle ____________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? cattle
Additional Vocabulary Words yanked, herd

Build Student Background Knowledge

Pause after reading page 16 of Pecos Bill and explain that a lasso is a loop of rope that you can throw around something, and it will tighten when you pull on it. Lassos are not actually made from rattlesnakes! American cowboys used lassos to catch bulls, cows, and other types of animals.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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