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Tales of Long Ago

Social Studies, Grade 3

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Study Guide Tales of Long Ago Social Studies, Grade 3

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TALES OF LONG AGO What are folk tales and why are they a part of our history? Long before stories were written in books, they were told by word of mouth. Families in all countries told stories to explain how things happened or came to be. Many of these stories began as truth but over many years, details were added. Some details may have been true but many of them were added to make the story more interesting. A folk tale is any story, song, rhyme or joke that has been told over and over for many generations. These folk tales, legends, and tall tales came to be a part of our culture. Today we learn about life long ago, we learn about justice and fair play, and we have wonderful stories to enjoy. Here are some types of folk tales and examples you may know. A legend is a story telling about real people and places. It is based on truth so many people believe it is true. Pocahontas was a daughter of Chief Powhatan. She may have saved the life of John Smith, the leader of the Jamestown Settlement. She married John Rolfe and moved to England. David Crockett was born in in Tennessee in 1786 and became a US Congressman. Many interesting stories of his outlandish deeds came from himself. He even bragged about “grinning the bark off a tree” in one of his stories. After Davy Crockett died at the Alamo in 1836 many new adventures were added to his life story. Mike Fink was born around 1770 somewhere along the Mississippi River. He was known as “king of the keelboat men” and claimed he could outrun, out jump, outshoot and out brag any man on the river. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
Annie Oakley was born in Ohio in 1860. She was an expert with a rifle in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Casey Jones was a railroad engineer in the early 1900’s. He died in a train crash in the early days of train travel so a ballad was written about him after he died. John Henry was a very strong black worker. Using only a hammer he had a race to see if he could tunnel through a mountain in West Virginia faster than a steam drill. He won the race but died with his hammer in his hand. This tale told of the struggle of old ways against the new ways. George Washington and the Cherry Tree - George Washington was known to be an honest man. A story was told about how at age six, he chopped down his father’s favorite cherry tree. When confronted he said, “I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it with my hatchet.” Johnny Appleseed was really John Chapman who was born in Massachusetts in 1775. He tended an apple orchard and gave bags of apple seeds to pioneers as they headed west. As the story goes, he left home to plant apple seeds and tend to apple trees in the West. One of his many good deeds was to heal the foot of a wolf who became his traveling companion. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
A tall tale is a story that is exaggerated so much that it cannot be true at all. According to the tale of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, Paul Bunyan was a very large baby. At 3 weeks old he rolled over in his sleep and knocked down four square miles of timber in the state of Maine. He grew up to be a lumberjack taller than a redwood tree, stronger than 50 grizzly bears and smarter than a library full of books. With Babe, he scooped out the holes that are now the Great Lakes, formed the Grand Canyon, and made the Mississippi River. In the Southwest, people made up many tall tales of Pecos Bill. As a baby he fell out of a wagon and was raised by coyotes. Bill grew up to be a cowboy living on the Pecos River in Texas where he invented the six- shooter and train robbing! He fed his horse nitroglycerin and dynamite. One day he lassoed a tornado and rode it like a horse. He tamed the tornado until it was a nice summer breeze that he kept by his house. The Uncle Remus stories are based on tales told by southern Negroes whose families brought similar stories to this country from Africa. Uncle Remus may have been a slave but there is no proof. In his stories, Brer Rabbit is a trickster who shows that the small and weak can outwit the large and powerful. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
In almost every culture, there is a story about making soup from a stone. It has been told so many times that the soup ingredients are different but the end result is the same. A clever man is able to trick a greedy woman, and a delicious soup is shared by many. Try this! If you do not recognize these stories or characters, ask your teacher to read some folk tales to you. Or go to the library and check out some for yourself. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
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