FAIRY TALES AND TALL TALES

FAIRY TALES AND TALL TALES

Lesson 7 John Henry Lesson 7~ Core Content Objectives The students will:  Demonstrate familiarity with the tall tale “John Henry”  Identify the ch...

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Lesson 7

John Henry

Lesson 7~ Core Content Objectives The students will:  Demonstrate familiarity with the tall tale “John Henry”  Identify the characters, plot, and setting of “John Henry”  Identify the tall tale elements in “John Henry”  Identify the meanings of new vocabulary words

Lesson 7 John Henry

Challenge (noun)

A difficult task or problem Example: The math problem was a challenge, but the students were happy when they accomplished it.

Lesson 7 John Henry

Compete (verb)

To try to be better than someone else at something Example: The athletes at the Olympics compete to be the best.

Lesson 7 John Henry

Feats (noun)

Achievements or deeds that require courage or strength Example: The acrobat landed gracefully on the mat after the last of her amazing feats.

Lesson 7 John Henry

Solution (noun)

Something that solves a problem Example: Wearing an extra coat was the perfect solution to my problem of being cold.

Lesson 7 John Henry

Steam (noun)

The hot air and/or water droplets created when water is boiled Example: The steam from the shower got on the bathroom mirror.

Lesson 7

John Henry Introducing the Read-Aloud 



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American tall tales have special characteristics ~stories are set in the American West -Frontier setting ~Amazing childhood, adventures ~creation/inventions (natural landmarks like the Grand Canyon) ~humor, exaggerations/larger-than-life Remember that tall tales, like other folktales, were first told orally, or shared by word of mouth. That means that tall tales were not written down at first and that everyone could tell the story a little bit differently. The main character in today’s tall tale is named John Henry. Today’s tall tale is interesting because for a very long time, no one knew if the character John Henry was a real person. But today some historians ~or people who study the past ~believe that there was really a man named John Henry who really did lay railroad tracks. No one really knows where he is from. People have said he is from Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. Remember that even though there was a real man named John Henry, some of the things that happen in this story are not real and are exaggerations, so this story is still considered a tall tale and thus partly fiction.

Lesson 7

John Henry Purpose for Listening The title of this tall tale is “John Henry,” and the setting for this story is the American frontier. Let’s remember that although this story may be about a real man named John Henry, it is still a tall tale and one type of fiction. In today’s tall tale, you will hear that John Henry agrees to compete against a steam drill. Make a prediction as to which wins the competition. Listen carefully to see if your prediction is accurate about which will be faster and better at digging—John Henry or the stream drill. 

Read-aloud Anthology Story ~flip book images Page 58 Image 7A-1

Lesson 7 John Henry

Comprehension Questions 1. Literal What is the title of today’s story? 2. Evaluative What kind of special story is “John Henry”? Is this tall tale fiction (made-up), non-fiction (true), or both?

3. Inferential Where in the American frontier does this story take place? 4. Inferential How was John Henry’s childhood amazing? 5. Literal What is one amazing adventure John Henry has in this tall tale.

6. Evaluative What are some things the tall tale says John Henry helped to create? Do you think he really created any of these things? 7. Evaluative Name one exaggeration from this tall tale and explain how it is an exaggeration. Does this exaggeration make John Henry seem larger than life? 8. Evaluative Think Pair Share: You’ve heard about different jobs people had on the American frontier: lumberjack, cowboy, and railway worker. These were all important jobs during that time. If you could choose one, which one would you like to be? How did that job help to make the west livable for others?

John Henry  

View YouTube video and ballad 8:53 The Legend of John Henry

Lesson 7

Lesson 7 John Henry

Word Work: Challenge 1. In today’s read-aloud you heard, “No challenge was greater to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O Railroad) than this: they had to run their tracks through the Appalachian Mountains.” 2. Say the word challenge with me three times. 3. A challenge is a difficult task or problem that takes some thinking to figure out. 4. Example: Putting a two-hundred piece puzzle together can be a challenge. 5. Think about something that is challenge to you. Use the word challenge when you tell about it. Echo response: “ ______________ is a challenge.”