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7th Grade Language Arts / Lesson 7 - Tall Tales Language

Tall Tales Language

What will we be learning today?

  • We will be learning about some of the tools authors use to create setting, mood, and characters in stories.

Figurative Language

  • Figurative language : words that are used differently than their usual meaning.

  • The purpose of figurative language is to help a reader form a clear picture of something in his mind.

    Example : She was so embarrassed her face turned red as a beet.

Idioms and Dialect

  • Idiom : a word or phrase that means something different than the usual or normal meaning of the word. Slang.

    Example : Bent out of shape - be angry or worried for no reason. Bug - annoy or pester.
                      Catch some Z's - take a nap.
  • Dialect : a form of language used only in a certain place or among a certain group of people

    Example : Southern dialect, Western dialect


Hyperbole : Extreme exaggeration for emphasis.

The purpose of hyperbole in tall tales is to create a picture that is funny and impossible.

Examples : One time snowflakes so large fell in Oregon that ladies put handles on them and used them as umbrellas.

I nearly died laughing.
I tried a thousand times.


Simile : A comparison of two things that uses the words "like" or "as".

Example :

1  He eats like a pig.
2  She was as fresh as a daisy.
3  My steak is tough as leather.


  • Metaphor : A comparison of two things that does NOT use the words "like" or "as".

    Example :

    1  My life is a yo-yo. It's a series of ups and downs.
    2  Concrete mixers move like elephants.
    3  You can always depend on John. He's a rock!

Figurative Language and Tall Tales

  • Tall tales have many examples of figurative language.

  • Hyperbole is used make people and events seem funnier. It also makes the reader realize the story is not a true story.

  • Similes and metaphors are used to describe people and events in a colorful way.

  • Idioms and dialect are used to help create the setting for tall tales and may help to make them funny.

  • Watch the Brain Pop movie and do the Brain Pop activities on similes and metaphors.

  • Do the worksheets in your lesson packet.