American Tall Tales

5 09 2011

This dude was ridiculous tall.

All of last week we explored American Tall Tales.  We read about the great frontiersman Davy Crockett and the greatest cowboy of all time, Pecos Bill.  We watched videos about the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and the African-American railroad worker, John Henry.  We even discussed other tall tale heroes like Alfred “Bullstomp” Stormalong, Mose the firefighter, Johnny Appleseed, Febold Feboldsen, Mike Fink, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, and Slue Foot Sue.

All of these characters had their own unique personalities and strengths, but most of them had many things in common as well.  Think about what they all had in common as you answer these questions:  Why did American people start telling stories about these characters back in the middle of the 1800s?  Why did their stories become so important and why did they grow and change so much over time?

Be sure to type out your answers in complete sentences.  Be sure to back up your ideas with some examples, evidence, or proof.  Be sure to check back and see what other people say too.  Be sure to comment on what they say.

Every student in our class is required to participate.  You must comment on this post with your thoughts (probably a good paragraph or two – maybe more), then, come back and comment on what other people have said – you are required to make an effort to keep the conversation going by replying to at least 2 other students (more than just “I agree” or “you are right.” Give them reasons why you agree/disagree or what they said that was meaningful – make this a discussion). 

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131 responses

6 09 2011
jackguldenbecker

One reason the story’s grew so fast and wildly was that people carried a sort of pride in there folk hero’s. For example if you where a lumberjack in the 1860’s and had to clear a huge forest with saws and axes you’d look up to someone like Paul Bunyan. And if you thought someone like Paul Bunyan was amazing and you herd about Davey Crockett well you’d wanna exagerate Paul Bunyan so he’d sound better then Davey Crockett. Overall what i think every folk hero has in common is that they’re all real people exagerated to the point of where nothing is true about them anymore their legends are now more important then them.

6 09 2011
Lexie

i agree that we lost the heroes inside their own stories because now we dont know what is true or not, what is real or fake

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

People in the middle ages started making up these American tall tales because they wanted to pass these tales down from century to century. All of these people were real people but every time someone would tell these stories they would stretch the truth a bit. The characters grew more powerful and indestructible. Ever since people have told these stories they have grown and changed a lot because the people telling them want to make the stories more interesting every time.
The tall tales became important because real people started to believe in them. For example John Henry’s story touched the lives of many slaves that had been freed because when most were freed they couldn’t find a place to live or settle. John Henry showed them you can find somewhere to call home and not have to go back to your owner as a slave and still work a ton. You have to have strength. I liked learning about the tall tales and they have showed me that they have influenced our past more than I can imagine. -Hannah Tribuzzi

6 09 2011
Lexie

I like how you decribed John Henry’s story, It is really detailed. I agree with you

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

Thanks Lexie 🙂

6 09 2011
Rylee

Me too.

6 09 2011
Kira S.

I agree with Hannah because all the characters are powerful and indestructible. When they get passed on, more people extend the stories, which is one reason why they are called tall tales.

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

Yeah I really liked learning about these stories because it shows all of our past and kinda puts all the puzzle pieces together.

6 09 2011
Kori Crot

I like how you read between the lines and used good description while telling John’s story.

6 09 2011
Lilly P.

You did a really good job on describing John Henry.

6 09 2011
heather p.

Davy Crockett he lived in the frontier and he was a hero to all the people who lived in the frontier because he was the best shooter best hunter best fighter Davy was the best t ever thing. John Henry showed them you can find do any thing just put everthing to it mind to it

6 09 2011
Kaden Ferguson

People started telling tall tales based off of real stories or a truth. So eventually people stretched the truth to much that the stories became the tall tales we know of now. These tall tales are American folk tales, though they don’t have the time to become real folk tales. For example, John Henry’s story has been around for only about a hundred years, and it says that he beat a train through the other side of the mountain.

6 09 2011
Erik

I agree, it’s just like stories of how tall Paul Bunyan is.

6 09 2011
Dylan Felgenhauer

i agree to it does sound like a Paul Bunyan story about how tall he is and stuff.

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

Yeah Kaden is right. Just think about how much the stories have grown and changed since we (right now) have heard the stories. It hasn’t been some minor changes it has been huge changes!

6 09 2011
Lauren

I think American people started telling these stories about these people because the United States didn’t have any tall tales. We didn’t want to feel left out so we made some stories up about people, but some are real. They actually happened.
They grew over time because more and more people tell it to other people, but they forgot some of the details in the story so it changed over time. That is why they might not sound like there was a person named Paul Bunyan that actually did what he did. They became so important that they are told by a lot of people. When there is thunder or lightning some people say it is John Henry. They believe that John Henry is still working on railroads up in the sky.

6 09 2011
Lexie

John Henry gave the slaves faith that they would become free.

6 09 2011
Hailey Justak :)

That’s what I think too. In the video of John Henry it said thathis wife made that hammer for him, and when they started singing asong it said that hewas born with a 20 lbs. hammer in his hand.

6 09 2011
hunter lisula

lauren when they told these stories they also stretched the truth a lot.

6 09 2011
DJ

I liked the video about John Henry.

6 09 2011
Lexie

People told stories about these tall tale heroes because in life, all of these people did or were something important to society. For example, Johnny Appleseed helped travelers have something to eat once in a while from the apple trees he planted. Paul Bunyan was a mythical lumberjack. Pecos Bill was just an excellent cowboy. People also told these stories to have folktales in America. Like Mr. Curtis said, “In order to have folktales, you need to have time.” The U.S.A doesn’t have time because we have only been around for about 200 years.

These stories were very important because they gave people faith. Alfred Stormalong was a hero to sailors. Pecos Bill was a hero to cowboys. The reason these stories got so exaggerated was because when the were passed down, each person added their own little tid-bit to the story.

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

Lexie, I liked your description of what we learned. It was really good. Also, you gave great examples.

6 09 2011
Lilly P.

I agree that tall tales are important to people that do what the characters do.

6 09 2011
Sofia

I agree with you because folk tales do need time in order for them to be folk tales. Also, each character was important to different people.

6 09 2011
Kori Crot

I like how you said that America didn’t have time to make stories, so they just made some up.

6 09 2011
DJ

but the song about Davy Crockett was annoying

6 09 2011
DJ

at least we didn’t hear it in french.

6 09 2011
Kira S.h

People in the 1800s probably started making stories about these characters because the characters represent them. By telling these stories to more and more generations, the stories start getting more exagerated and at the same time these characters still have some history to represent the actual people and the people around them. These stories became important because you can learn about your world’s history, and more about the people from past generations. Between all the time, generations started to exagerate more and more. We call these stories tall tales because we didn’t have enough time yet to make folk tales.

6 09 2011
Hailey Justak :)

I thought that too. They needed something to believe in.

6 09 2011
Lexie

i think that maybe in a thousand years or so, when we have time, then maybe we will be able to have folk tales. But for now we just dont have any time.

6 09 2011
Natalie

i agree with you Kira. How these tall tales represented actual people. I think that’s true because if you pass a story down generation after generation, the story is eventually going to change after all the people who told them.

6 09 2011
Kaden Ferguson

I agree with you Jack. All American tall tale heroes are based off of their pride, but since people want them to be the tall tale that stands out over the others, there stories have been exaggerated to much and they don’t have a legend anymore.

6 09 2011
Lilly P.

Each person has it’s own category of people. For example, Paul Bunyan was a hero for the north and Davy Crockett was a hero for frontiersman. Every tall tale character had certain kind of people that consider them a hero. Each one of them are real people that have lived but the story of their life change each time they are told, they change a little. They are exaggerated a bit and each time the tall tale characters are a little braver, or a little stronger, or do different things. In one story Pecos Bill pulled the rain cloud over to the drought but in another story he rode the tornado and squeezed the rain out of it. All the tall tale characters were once real people that did real things but now their stories are more exiting and a lot less real.

6 09 2011
Brianna S.

I like how you gave an example of a part of a tall tale.

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

Great explanation Lilly!

6 09 2011
Lilly P.

Thanks!

6 09 2011
Natalie

I see what your saying, i agree. How they were each tall tale was a hero for certain people and how each story became a little less real. i totally agree! I guess the stories got more exciting over time from the change and such.

6 09 2011
Brianna S.

Back in the 1800’s people noticed that in America, there were no folk tales. So they one day just decided to make up their own stories. But they didn’t have time, so they were known as tall tales.
These stories are important because these tall tales are like heroes to many people. These stories were also based off of real people. People would pass on these tall tales and some people over exaggerated them over time, making them tall tales.

6 09 2011
Natalie

American people started telling these stories because the people based off of them were so important that people started to stretch the truth a little like the stories of John Henry. They saw them as hero’s and then came made up ones like Paul Bunyan. For explanations of how things came to be. Then their stories were so important to people because the tall tales told about certain people were like hero’s to them. John Henry inspired people to work harder and Paul Bunyan “created” lakes and mountains. Eventually the stories started to change over time. I think that they started to change over time because the people who told these stories started to stretch the truth on the stories. Kind of like a game of telephone where one person says one thing, and passes it down but soon it starts to change over time from all the people who have told it generation after generation.

6 09 2011
Kira S.

I also agree with Natalie because American tall tales is like the game of telephone because the game wouldn’t be considered as folk tales because they didn’t have a lot of time, so it’s like tall tales because the message was created in a little amount of time.

6 09 2011
DJ

i agree with Lilly

6 09 2011
skylar duensing

I think we started telling these tall tales because we didn’t really know who ruled some of the American land. Then when someone was brave enough to go to these uncharted lands they would start telling story’s about him or her to friends or family. Each time they told the story to someone else it would get even more exaggerated. Some story’s had more truth then others. Some had almost no truth at all. For example was Paul Bunyan that tall…and did he really build mountains….most likely not. So that’s an example of an exaggeration. So after getting passed on and told to friends and family things got pretty ridiculous.

6 09 2011
Rylee

People started telling stories about these characters in the middle 1800’s to explain to others why things are the way they are. For example the thunder was John Henry hitting his hammers on the railroad. Their stories became important because that is what the people belived in so that’s what they thought was true. These stories grew over time because one person would tell their kids then the kids would tell their kids a little different and more exciting and then it would go on and on the same way.

6 09 2011
Hannah T.

Rylee, that is so true! I love how you told the reader that these tall tale stories explain why things are the way they are. You couldn’t of said it better!

6 09 2011
hunter lisula

I also liked how you said how they pass it down generation after generation Rylee

6 09 2011
hunter lisula

These people made these stories so America could have a backbone. They wanted to be like those other countries and have their own stories that tell all about the great people that lived in America and what they did. Some people would be Davy Crocket, Pacos Bill, and Paul Bunyan.

6 09 2011
Jared Moreno

They told the stories so they had someone to look up to. People told the stories so other people would work harder on their jobs that the characters had. Stories had to be changed for the workers to work hard because they wouldn’t look up to someone weak and bad at their job. They also changed so they would become more interesting. Like John Henry,people wanted to be like him because in the stories he went through a mountain with two twenty pound hammers.
Paul Bunyan was changed so much that in the stories he was a giant. The stories also said he mad the Rocky Mountains. People who were lumberjacks wanted to be like him because he had that job.

6 09 2011
drew

The Americans started telling stories about different characters back in the 1800s. They started to tell these stories because every state wanted to have their own personal hero. For example John Henry was an African American railroad worker. The African Americans said that he carried a twenty pound hammer and could move mountains. The reason they did this was because they needed some modivation to overcome the things they couldn’t do. These characters became important because all over the united states these tall tales started to change and become more unrealistic.They also became important because they influenced so many people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily would do. They changed over time because people wanted the stories to be more interesting.

6 09 2011
Jared Moreno

I totally agree with you drew. I also said about people telling stories to have someone to look up to. Why did you think that each state wanted its own hero? Wouldn’t it just be that every one wanted a hero and it can be anybody?

6 09 2011
kyle piszczek

People started telling tall tales because they didn’t have any folk tales. When people told tall tales they egsagreated right at the beginning of the story. Like Paul Bunyan his story was changed as it was passed on. Then the Davy Crockett story he was real, but his story hanged as it was told over many times. People also told tall tales because they where like heros to people. Like Pacos Bill was the hero to the cowboys in the west.

American tall tales weren’t cultral or religous,they wher regional.Like Davy Crockett lives in the back woods of Tennesse. Paul Bunyan walked through Michigan.Illinois,Wisconsin, and Minesota. Tall tales grew so much over time because in the 1950’s people started writing radio shows and tv shows. Then came the action figs. and hats came out too. Now they are making another Davy Crockett movie which comes out in 2013.

6 09 2011
Sofia

I think American people starting telling stories about these characters in the mid 1800s because The United States didn’t have any tall tale stories, so they just made some based on some people, but not all of those people were real. Some were, but not all of them. Some people who read tall tales never knew if the character was real or not. For example, some people never knew if Paul Bunyan was a real person or not.
These stories grew over time because so many people would tell other people and would change it. These stories were passed down many times so someone would eventually change them. That’s why a lot of tall tales sound unreal, because people change them. After someone changes the story it will stay like that forever because the people who changed them and passed the stories down didn’t know if people changed it. In conclusion, I think tall tales are very important and have grown a lot more than you would ever think.

6 09 2011
Rylee

I really liked how you explained how the stories grew over time.

6 09 2011
skylar duensing

I agree so do you think Pecos Bill really lived?

6 09 2011
Brianna S.

I agree with you when you say some tall tale characters are real but some aren’t.

6 09 2011
Lexie

Lilli think you are right its more of an opinion

6 09 2011
DJ

like if you lived in NYC (New York City) ,you’d believe in Mose the firefighter.

6 09 2011
Amelia Ewing

I agree with you. It does depend on where you live or what time period.

6 09 2011
Lexie

yeah DJ…but whether or not you live there you can still believe in him. Mose was a real person and not just one state has to only believe in specifically him

6 09 2011
Lilly P.

You might believe in in him or you might not it’s more of an opinion.

6 09 2011
Hailey Justak :)

I think that American people started telling tall tales because, we wanted our own stories with hero ish people in it. we wanted something to believe in. so thats why we came up with stories like, Paul Baunyan,some stories of Davy Crocket.
The stories became so important because the people had something to believe in .
The tall tales grew to change over the years because, the stories where getting passed down or told to people and those people changed it bit by bit.

6 09 2011
Lilly P.

I think your right. The U.S.A did want someone to believe in so we took real people and told stories about them and over the years they have been exaggerated.

6 09 2011
Sofia

I agree because America did want their own stories, because we were the only country that didn’t have any stories. Also, you described how tall tales changed very well.

6 09 2011
Kori Crot

American Tall Tales have changed a lot over time. The tall tales change just a little bit every time someone passes them down. For example, at the end of the John Henry video, Johns wife is telling their son about all the amazing things he did.Whenever a story is passed down, someones ends up adding a little bit of fantasy into it. Like Pecos Bill didn’t really ride on the back of the twister, or Paul Bunyan wasn’t really 25 feet tall and 800 pounds. American Tall Tales are very important to certain regions. Like Davey Crockett was a hero to all the hunters and woodsmen, Pecos Bill was a hero to all the cowboys, John Henry was a hero to all the African American people.

6 09 2011
DJ

Or if you were African-American you’d believe in John Henry.And if you believed in Pecos Bill,you might live in the west.

6 09 2011
skylar duensing

I agree. So do you think that maybe the tall tales were about brave people that went to uncharted lands?

6 09 2011
Erik

The Americans started telling these stories because the country wasn’t old enough too have folk tales ,so they made stories that they could fall back on and to give them courage when they didn’t have electronics or machines. Like John Henry gave railroad workers courage. The stories were important because it was what people believed in. Also it’s what gave them courage to do things. These stories changed over time. They changed because to make the tall tales interesting people had to stretch the truth a little. Like Paul Bunyan was said to be 20 feet tall when he was only 8 but people stretched the truth to 20 feet.

6 09 2011
Lexie

Lots of heroes sacrificed, like John Henry probably knew he was going to get hurt, but he didn’t stop because he wanted to help him people get to the “promise lands”

6 09 2011
Hannah H.

American people started telling tales about those characters in the 1800’s because most of the characters lived in the late 1700’s and the early 1800’s. Americans told the stories to some one they know who told it to more people. As they told it to more and more people the details could be changed. These characters were important to people because they were their hero.

6 09 2011
Lexie

i think that some people wanted heroes, so they made them up. Like Paul Bunyon. Oh and Hannah H. i love your crazy triangle face thingy by your name

6 09 2011
Lexie

🙂

6 09 2011
Kaden Ferguson

How do you think people came up with Mose, do you think they just made him up or do you think that the people of New York city tried to prove they were better from other states because they had a tall tale?

6 09 2011
Dylan Felgenhauer

i think they made them up from regular people and just started to make up things to make them sound better so there state’s history is better then the other states so more people can live there.

6 09 2011
SeTh gUtKnEcHt

I don’t know .Probably they were just bored and just wanted to make up something

6 09 2011
Lexie

Does anyone remember in the John Henry movie that they actually showed the exaggeration? They said “Born with a hammer, a 10 pound hammer, a 20pould hammer right in his hand.” The hammer goes from a normal hammer, from a 10 pounder, to a 20 pounder.

6 09 2011
Lauren

I agree with you Hailey. We didn’t want to be the only country without a folk tale or tall tale. We wanted people to believe in. Slaves looked up to John Henry.

6 09 2011
DJ

Basically what I’m trying to say is that the early people made up stories about their favorite heroes and over exaggerated a little to show how great the hero was to the people and depending of where you live or what race you are,you might believe in a tall tale character like Paul Bunyan or John Henry or Davy Crockett or maybe Pecos Bill,everyone believes in an American Tall Tale.

6 09 2011
Gabby =)

These people told these stories because America did not have enough time for folk tales.Instead the Americans called there stories tall tales. That was the case,because The United States started in the late 1700’s so they only had 300 years or so to find folk tales.Other countries had there heroes because they had acient times and hundreds and thousands of years to make up these characters and change them. Back in the 1800’s these “tall tales” were made so The United States could have there stories to pass down. Some tall tales were based on real people and got ecxajerated every time a new person heard the story.
These stories became very important because now America had their own tales to talk about. Many people thought these characters were their hero. For example pecos bill was the hero for all the cowboys, and john henry was the hero for African Americans and all races because he showed people to work hard to earn what you want.

6 09 2011
richard

Most of these people had different abilities. they became famous because they worked hardest of all. like Pecos bill was the best cowboy ever. john Henry was a slave but when he was freed he was a railroad worker that helped save peoples jobs. Paul Bunyan was very large and tall because he was born bigger than most regular people. He was a lumberjack that made mountains and lakes. these stories changed because people that passed these stories down lied to make the story better and more interesting.

6 09 2011
Gianna K.

American people didn’t start telling about the tall tales until the mid 1800’s. They didn’t start talking about them until then because America was discovered in the late 1700’s. So they needed a little more time to come up with characters. As Americans pushed the Indians west they came up with tall tales. They would find somebody who had a good story. After time went by, the stories would change.

All the stories would change during time because they were passed down and nobody told the story the exact same way. So as time went by, people would start making everything different. Sometimes even the names of people were changed! The tall tales of everybody were very important. For example, Johnny Appleseed was famous for planting apple trees.He helped pioneers who were hungry.

6 09 2011
Connor gedwill

In the 1800’s people told the stories because they saw all the other countries like Britain,tell folk tales that are passed down by generations and are exciting to tell.So, since we Americans didn’t have generations, or time, we created tall tales so we could have the fun stories too! Some of the tall tale characters that we had were Davy Croket,Pecos Bill, and John Henry.
But,these old stories that are passed down don’t stay the same,they change when they get passed down because people like the story so much that they tell it a little bit more awesome, and the person who got told the story the tell it different and so on.

6 09 2011
SeTh gUtKnEcHt

i agree Conner America was mad there like “we want something to” so that’s how people came up with our stories

6 09 2011
Sarah

I think tall tales grew a lot and changed a lot because people wanted to make the stories more interesting and exciting

6 09 2011
Mikaela

I agree because no one likes a boring story

6 09 2011
Jake S.

I think that they grew so fast is because someone like Paul Bunyon was there hero. They looked up to them. Them they made up story, and a tall tale was born. Then everybody started telling the story.

6 09 2011
Sarah

anyone agree

6 09 2011
Jake S.

I meant to say their hero

6 09 2011
gio lewis

I think that Americans made some pretty good Tall Tales

6 09 2011
zach

I think they started telling them because there were famous people that did great things but they kept exaggerating the stories because they wanted to make them more interesting and dynamic.

6 09 2011
Dylan Felgenhauer

they made up these characters to show there pride in there state or land. They talk about the people who did outstanding things but make up parts to make it sound better. They get passed down from generations to generation and every time they get passed down they change a tiny bit. But it shows them pride in there state to live there.

6 09 2011
gio lewis

I agree with Richard they did work really hard and were so good at what they did they became Tall Tales

6 09 2011
Bella

I think that they told these stories because they needed to know about why something or person did what they do. The tall tales have grew so much over time because people keep on exaggerating the tall tales. Like when somebody thought that Davy Crocket fought a puma with a stick, then it became, that he fought it with his own bare hands.

6 09 2011
Mikaela

I think Americans started telling stories in the mid 1800’s because they wanted some stories like all the other countries. But, we weren’t here long enough for that. So they created some stories of there own and exaggerated them so more people would wan to hear them. And also making the people greater so they would be the best. And so it would make America seem “magical” and more people would want to visit. And then it also made people from other places with different jobs (lumberjack,cowboy etc…) look up to the exaggerated people. To put America, on top

6 09 2011
Sarah

i agree with you very descriptive

6 09 2011
Riley clark :D

Yea i agree.

6 09 2011
Erin Roberts

Paul Bunyan,Pecos Bill,and John Henry had different abilities and became famous for what they had done. Paul Bunyan chopped down 10 trees with 1 giant swing with an ax and was very large who was a lumberjack. Pecos Bill was once a a wild animal with the coyotes then turned into the greatest cowboy ever. Last but not least John Henry was a slave but got freed and was a railroad worker that helped save peoples jobs. All these stories were passed down with more lies to make a story more interesting.

6 09 2011
Riley clark :D

i agree if there wasn’t any lies in the story it would’nt be interesting.

6 09 2011
Bella

I thought i was alone

6 09 2011
Bella

I agree with Mikaela.

6 09 2011
Hannah Midlock

The American people started telling stories because the people all over the world had tales about their families and their cultures hero’s, so the Americans wanted stories to pass on through the generations.
The stories became so important to the American culture because every one of the stories that were told and the people of there region all believed they were hero’s to our nation.
The stories changed through out time because the people keep making the stories more exciting like for example John Henry they say was born with a hammer,because they say he was born to build railroads.Another example of a story changing or being more exciting was the Pecos Bill story when he rode around on a twister and fell and that is how the Death Valley was formed, and they also say that he used his lasso to bring a rain cloud to Texas because they had not had any rain in a long time.

6 09 2011
gio lewis

I think America didn’t want to be the country with out folk or tall tales so they made there own.Also I want to know how America found time to think of the tall tales we have now.There are lots of different tall tales such as Pecos Bill,Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett ,and John Henry there are many more but that would make it to long so i will not tell you those.

6 09 2011
Nick Polizzi

I think that the stories grew so much over time because it wasn’t ever written down. It was told in words, passed down. So, every time a person passed down the story it changed,and it changed again. Every person told the story a little bit different, even if it was changed by a tiny amount, it was changed. So, finally, it changed so much it turned into something bigger than what actually happened.
The reason these American people told theses stories was because they thought they were interesting. They thought it was nice to have a tall tale for themselves. So, as the story grew, they started writing books down, making movies about these people, lunchboxes, hats, more books, more movies!!! I really liked learning about these people!!!

6 09 2011
Meghan =d

I think that they started telling them in the middle of the 1800’s because somebody had remembered stories from the other countries. And someone might’ve wanted to be a author so they came up with a story about someone back then like Davy Crockett or Paul Bunyan.
A reason why these stories are so important is because America had no stories of there own. So we came up with tales about the people like lumberjacks like Paul Bunyan or frontier’s men like Davy Crockett.
Also the stories changed so much over time is because maybe some people didn’t no the right story so they told it wrong to other people. Also some people wanted to make it more exciting so they changed it. And they made it more exciting.

6 09 2011
zach =D

I also think they started telling them because they really didn’t have stories to tell. So they sometimes made stories out of real people. Also they made up characters to put in stories. Or they sometimes even took real people and put them in stories and the stories told the opposite of what they really did.
I think they exaggerated the stories because they thought they were starting to get old. Also because they were starting to seem boring. So what they did is added things to the story and changed things in the story to make it exiting. Then it got worse then they added things that are humanly impossible. They did it to make the story more interesting. And to make them more dynamic so its not the same old thing

6 09 2011
Mariah

American Tall Tales grew so much over time and was so important to many people during the 1800’s because they were hero’s to many people. It was exaggerated a little because everyone heard a different version and they told someone else and they exaggerated and so on.

6 09 2011
mallory =p

YOUR RIGHT ABOUT ALL THAT

6 09 2011
Collin Reilly

American Tall Tales spread because in the 1800’s they were important to some peoples life. Like John Henry he gave up his life for people to live free. The stories went on over time and got the truth mixed up as people told the stories. It started getting to where it was all made up.

6 09 2011
mallory bush

i love the story. its intersting to me. the way you wrote the story is wonderful.

6 09 2011
DeJah =p

it is wonderful

6 09 2011
DeJah M.

Alot of people liked them because they were funny and the told alot about how things worked and tell us about our history and religion and what our ancestors did bqck then.

6 09 2011
SeTh gUtKnEcHt

Some of the American tall tales are not even true. Except the tale of Davy Crockett. But the ones like John Henry , hecan arm wrestle 3 men and still beat them. Paul Bunyan, a ridiculous tall guy who can cut 50 trees down in one swing. And Pecos Bill< who can make the Gulf of Mexico or make the Rio Grande!

6 09 2011
DeJah =p

True Seth not all of them are true

6 09 2011
gregory s

i agree with Seth because those tales are ridiculous .

6 09 2011
Josh Z.

Your right mostly all of it is made up.

6 09 2011
gregory s

American tall tales started around the 1800’s . most start with truth but some did not have a lot of truth like Pecos bill most of the female characters were made up . like sally Ann thunder Ann whirlwind .

6 09 2011
DeJah =p

I loved the stories because they are interesting to read and learn about

6 09 2011
Josh Z.

I think Americans started Tall Tales because they probably wanted to have cool stories too. They probably wanted to have hero’s that were real and they maybe just made some up, but what i don’ get is that if they wanted a hero why did they make up one? That wouldn’t help them at all. Maybe they wanted a hero to be real so when they worked they thought that hero was helping them the whole time. Hero’s like Paul Bunyan, he was a real guy but he really wasn’t a giant, story’ get really weird sometimes, but that’s what people want. They want to make the story sound cool. People have there own point of view, that’s how people come up with there own stories. Like the people on the railroad. They created John Henry, because they wanted to get the railroad done faster so the created a man who can hit the nails with one hit and then he finally almost got the railroad done until he died from working to hard. People have there own likes and dislikes. That’s how these stories are made up.

6 09 2011
SeTh gUtKnEcHt

I also think if they made one more it should be truthful, and make it interesting . But not stretching the truth.

6 09 2011
trinity=]

poeple started telling storys cuase most hard working poeple where there heros.There storys became important because it was a big part of world history.So then over time they eggsageratedabout it and made it sound more and more exciting over time.Also my favorite charcter that we talked about is john henry because he start out like a pretty cool guy with his hammer and how strong he was.

6 09 2011
Alonte

American tall Tales grew very popular because. America wanted its own folk tale, In the 1800’s. So they had a hero Davy Crockett, Davy Crockett was a hero in the frontier. They also had another hero John Henry, John Henry was a hero who was strong and a good rail work builder. Then they started to change over the past’s year.

6 09 2011
SeTh gUtKnEcHt

Why do they have to make up lies about tall tales.They could still make it true. And make it true throughout generations

6 09 2011
DeJah =p

My favorite one was John Henery because the fact that when he got the ax he said “he was die with this ax in my hand”. In the video he did die with the ax in his hand.

6 09 2011
Justin Conant

I think American people started telling these stories about these characters back in the1800’s because the adults probably told there kids and then when they had kids they probably told them.Then it went on and on for years and years.
The stories became so important to us because it would tell us what happened in our past.The tall tales also changed a lot over time because we probably only got out the really boring stuff that we wouldn’t want to hear.

6 09 2011
Dion Thompson

A tall tale is like any other, it sometimes starts off with a real person that was important to other men and women. then the people start telling stories about that person and as it is carried on through the years, lies have been put in and boring things have been taken out to make the story better. and then the same story is carried on for 1000’s of years with more and more ridiculous stuff added in.

6 09 2011
Ryan W.

I think they have changed so much because people like to take out the boring parts and add to the best parts. The stories became important because they kind of represent America and the people of America.These stories were made because America wanted people tell there own stories not other countries.

6 09 2011
Jessica Kasencak

Back then in the 1800s when people started telling tall tale stories they didn’t have anything to write on so when someone else retold a story he or she might of exaggerated here and there or forgot a few parts of the story. Kind of like when we watched the video of John Henry & they first said that his wife made him a hammer of chains but then later on in the story they said he was borned with it & that it was 20 pounds. & then over the years tey changed even more because the people who first told the stories have pasted away.

6 09 2011
gianna dirck

American people started telling stories because they wanted to stare something for their religion and tell other people about people from the 1800s. Their stories are important to them because they have it in their culture now to tell stories so that is why it is important to them. the stories changed over time so that the people they are telling the stories to r lisening and wanting to pay attention to them speak.

6 09 2011
Blake

people in the 1800s passed on stories because those people were heros to them. Davy Crockett was a hero to the frontiersmen,and Pecos Bill was a hero to the cowboys because of what he did. These stories were important to the people because they were the heros of that place and they got exagerated over time and were changed over time

6 09 2011
carleen krier

I think the story’s change so much over the years because every time you tell a story you leave all the boring parts out of it and put your own thoughts into it. Other wise i dont really know why they started telling stories.

6 09 2011
Taylor

Back in the 1800’s people would tell stories about John Henry, Davy Crockett, and Peco’s Bill would have had people tell stories that were starting the truth, but as more and more people were telling the story the truth became lies because people were going on and on. Americans would tell stories like john henry was born with a hammer. that wasn’t people being literal. h

6 09 2011
Emma

the people started telling these stories to have their own stories like a folk tale but they would have the 1,000 of years so the call them tall tales. Every group had their own hero. The railroad workers had John Henary. They change so much because they wanted to make the hero’s stronger or better.

6 09 2011
Sydney

People in the 1800’s would tell stories about a person that represents a certain place. For example, Pecos Bill represented the cowboys. People would tell these stories and they would take out the part that they thought was boring and put in a more interesting part. That is how a tall tale is made.

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