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Small Tales:  A delightful creative writing assignment for Geometry

Small Tales: Student Writing Assignment Guidelines

Many folktales and children’s stories describe what it would be like to be very large or very small. Consider the following famous examples:

Issunboshi is a character in a Japanese folktale that is very small. He traveled on the river to Kyoto using a rice bowl as a boat and a chopstick as an oar.

Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack in American folklore. He became famous for his great strength and incredible logging feats. He dug Puget Sound in Washington to float huge logs to the mill, and scooped out the Great Lakes to provide drinking water for his giant blue ox, Babe.

Thumbelina is a character in a European folktale that is very small. Her cradle is a walnut shell. She floats down a river on a leaf and is taken captive by a crow.

Gulliver travels to the land of the Lilliputians, a race of very tiny people. He is captured while he is sleeping and held down by ropes. They are amazed by his size and strength, and by how much he eats.


Write an original story about a character that is either very large, or very small. Your story should include the following elements:

  1. A description of the size and scale factor of the main character

  2. A creative or descriptive name for the main character

  3. At least three ordinary objects that this person could use in unusual size-related ways, and what each would be used for

  4. An "adventure" related to the size of the main character

  5. An illustration of the main character and/or adventure, use any medium

  6. A creative title descriptive of the tale

  7. Approximate length (including illustration) 2 pages (double spaced).


Create a Word document to record your fairy tale.

  1. Use WordArt to create an attractive title at the top of the first page.

  2. Use a scanner or digital camera to insert your illustration into the text.

  3. Re-size the picture so that it is approximately three inches in width.

  4. Set appropriate margins, and double-space the text.

  5. Print out the completed document in color.

Make an appointment with an elementary teacher to read your story to a primary-grade class (K,1,2,3).

Submit your document electronically either as an email attachment, or on a floppy disk.  Also turn in one color printout of the document for evaluation.

Projects will be posted on the Montrose Mathematics website.


Step-by-step instructions for scanner, digital camera, file management, etc. are posted on the Montrose Mathematics website, go to 

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Small Tales: Assessment Rubric

Student work will be evaluated on content, communication skills, originality and technology use according to the following rubric:

  • Content (30 points)

Description of size and scale factor of characters 0 1 2 3

Creative/descriptive name for main character 0 1 2 3

Ordinary object used in unusual way (3 required) 0 1 2 3

Ordinary object                 0 1 2 3

Ordinary object                 0 1 2 3

The size-related adventure 0 1 2 3 4 5

Illustration                       0 1 2 3

Descriptive title                0 1 2 

Appropriate length             0 1 2

Creativity                         0 1 2

  • Communication Skills (10 points)

Spelling                                 0 1 2

Punctuation                            0 1 2

Capitalization                         0 1 2    

Sentence/paragraph structure   0 1 2

Read to elementary class         0 1 2

  • Technology use (10 points)

Document correctly formatted                0 1 2 3

Illustration correctly imported and sized 0 1 2 3

Title correctly formatted                       0 1 2

Project submitted electronically             0 1 2




  • Project score


Communication _______/10


Total ________________/50

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