This lesson centers around one adventure of the tall tale hero, Pecos Bill. Students fill out ten note-taking frames (boxes) containing prompts that will lead them to analyze the text of the retold tall tale, “Pecos Bill Rides a Cyclone.” Before reading, students look over nine words provided in a vocabulary chart. The list of defined words: fictional, drought, widow, cyclone, lasso, fortunately, quivering, witness and basin. Students are also given tall tale background information and directions before they begin reading and writing out notes. Each of the ten note-taking frames contains a prompt question. The prompts help students extract: author's purpose, exaggerated events, realistic events, character traits, story problem and solution, personification examples, comparisons made with similes and the story’s conclusion. The conclusion deals with the formation (tall tale style) of Death Valley, the lowest point in all of North America. I remember even the most reluctant learners being interested and having questions about that!
The note-taking strategy, which can be done individually or in cooperative groups, fosters students’ active thinking about their reading. The lesson supports the Common Core ELA standard of students being able to refer to details and examples in a text, cite the textual evidence to support their analysis of the text as well as draw inferences from the text. The lesson includes a drawing of Pecos Bill riding a cyclone, and two cowboy silhouettes. The sixth page is the answer key. This product is a word document that you can easily print off and edit if necessary. It makes a nice companion to my product entitled: Tall Tale: PAUL BUNYAN Story w/ 6 Note-Taking Frames - Reading Strategy