Paul Bunyan: Tall Man, Tall Tale
What makes Paul Bunyan so "tall"?


By
Christina Wong


Table of Contents:
Overview
Understandings & Objectives
    • Our Goals
Introduction
    • Paul Bunyan: Tall Man, Tall Tale
Activities
    • Hello, Paul.
    • Tall Tale Checklist
    • All About Paul
    • Original Tall Tale
    • Build a Paul
Check Yourself
    • How did you do?
Farewell
    • Goodbye, Paul.
Topic:
Paul Bunyan
Themes:
Tall Tales
Focus Content Area:
English/Language Arts

Secondary Content Area:
Fine Arts
Grade Level:
3


Overview:
Summary

This project represents a thorough exploration of Paul Bunyan, "the tallest hero of the tallest of American tall tales." Students will develop an understanding of why the story of Paul Bunyan is a tall tale, and they will apply their new knowledge of this genre to create original work. Students will use this site to explore Paul Bunyan and tall tales through various activities that involve web research, reading comprehension, original writing, and clay art.

Rationale

This site was created to carry on the legacy of Mr. Paul Bunyan through the education of third grade students. The activities in this project are designed to further develop studentsí creative writing and fine arts skills in accordance with the California Content Standards.

Duration

8 hours over 2-3 weeks



Justin Crisostomo. San Francisco Tree. September 2007. From authorís personal collection.




Understandings & Objectives:

Our Goals


Core Understandings
Learning Objectives
Overall Content Standards
(Specific standards are listed on each activityís page.)


California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Three
Strand I. Reading
ELA-3.I.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Structural Features of Literature
ELA-3.I.3.1. Distinguish common forms of literature (e.g., poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction).
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA-3.I.3.2. Comprehend basic plots of classic fairy tales, myths, folktales, legends, and fables from around the world.

Introduction:

Paul Bunyan: Tall Man, Tall Tale

Duration: 20 minutes

We are about to begin our journey into the land of Paul Bunyan and tall tales. This journey will include web research, reading new stories, lots of original writing, and clay sculptures--all inspired by Paul Bunyan!

But wait... Who is Paul Bunyan? What is a tall tale? What do we already know about these things?

Letís find out in this PowerPoint presentation: Paul Bunyan: Tall Man, Tall Tale.


Aligned to:


California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Three
Strand I. Reading
ELA-3.I.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Structural Features of Literature
ELA-3.I.3.1. Distinguish common forms of literature (e.g., poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction).

Activities:

Hello, Paul.

Duration: 60 minutes

Hello! I would like you to meet my friend: Paul Bunyan. He wants to be your friend, too. Paul is the biggest friend youíll ever have. How big is he? Youíre about to find out!

Directions: Read the stories about Paul Bunyan that are listed on the website Discovering Paul Bunyan. As you read the stories, fill in the blanks on the worksheet Paul Bunyan was so big... to keep track of details about Paulís size.


Photograph by Justin Crisostomo. September 2007. From authorís personal collection.


Aligned to:



California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Three
Strand I. Reading
ELA-3.I.2.0 Reading Comprehension
Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA-3.I.2.3. Demonstrate comprehension by identifying answers in the text.


Tall Tale Checklist

Duration: 60 minutes (30 minutes read aloud, 30 minutes independent work)

First, I will read aloud the book Paul Bunyan (2004) by Stephen Kellogg.*

Next, you will answer our key question: What makes Paul Bunyan so "tall"? In other words, why is the story of Paul Bunyan a tall tale?

Directions: On your own, you will complete the Tall Tale Checklist, which lists all of the basic elements of a tall tale. Use details from the story to fill in the answers to the checklist. Once you complete the checklist, you will see that the story of Paul Bunyan is indeed a perfect tall tale.

If you do not complete the checklist in class, complete it for homework tonight.

*Extra copies of the book will be placed in the classroom library for reference.


Aligned to:


California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Three
Strand I. Reading
ELA-3.I.2.0 Reading Comprehension
Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA-3.I.2.6. Extract appropriate and significant information from the text, including problems and solutions.
ELA-3.I.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA-3.I.3.2. Comprehend basic plots of classic fairy tales, myths, folktales, legends, and fables from around the world.
ELA-3.I.3.3. Determine what characters are like by what they say or do and by how the author or illustrator portrays them.


All About Paul

Duration: 160 minutes (20 minutes brainstorm, 40 minutes rough draft, 40 minutes revise, 30 minutes edit, 30 minutes final draft)

Now that weíve read all about our new friend, Paul Bunyan, itís time to write about him.

Directions: Write a three paragraph description "All About Paul." Your paragraphs will describe: 1) how Paul looks, 2) how Paul acts, and 3) what Paul likes to do. Each paragraph must have at least four (4) sentences. Turn in your completed description of Paul with your brainstorming web.

Follow the steps below to write "All About Paul."

Step 1: Brainstorm.

Step 2: Rough draft ("Sloppy copy").
Step 3: Revise.
Step 4: Edit.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as it takes you to produce a final draft that you are proud to put your name on.

Step 5:
Final draft.

Photograph by Christina Wong. November 2007. From authorís personal collection.


Aligned to:


California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Three
Strand II. Writing
ELA-3.II.1.0 Writing Strategies
Organization and Focus
ELA-3.II.1.1. Create a single paragraph:
a. Develop a topic sentence.
b. Include simple supporting facts and details.
Evaluation and Revision
ELA-3.II.1.4. Revise drafts to improve the coherence and logical progression of ideas by using an established rubric.


Original Tall Tale

Duration: 105 minutes (30 minutes brainstorm, 45 minutes revise, 30 minutes edit) + homework

Letís take a look back at all that we have learned about tall tales so far.

What is a tall tale?
Why are tall tales important?

For this activity, we are going to use our new knowledge of tall tales to write our own tall tales.

Directions: Write an original tall tale. Use the tall tale checklist to organize your details before you begin. Your final story should be well organized and reflect all of details from the tall tale checklist. Turn in your completed tall tale checklist with your final draft.

Tips: Tall tales have lots of humor, exaggeration, and details. Make your story funny, and use lots of describing words.

Follow the steps below to write your original tall tale.

Step 1: Brainstorm. (IN CLASS)
Step 2: Rough draft ("Sloppy copy"). (HOMEWORK)
Step 3: Revise. (IN CLASS)
Step 4: Edit. (IN CLASS)
Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as it takes you to produce a final draft that you are proud to put your name on.

Step 5:
Final draft. (HOMEWORK)

Photograph by Kathryn Hedges. "Pencils." Pics4Learning.com. 2005. 9 December 2007.


Aligned to:


California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Three
Strand II. Writing
ELA-3.II.1.0 Writing Strategies
Evaluation and Revision
ELA-3.II.1.4. Revise drafts to improve the coherence and logical progression of ideas by using an established rubric.
ELA-3.II.2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA-3.II.2.1. Write narratives:
a. Provide a context within which an action takes place.
b. Include well-chosen details to develop the plot.
c. Provide insight into why the selected incident is memorable.


Build a Paul

Duration: 60 minutes

Materials: Self-hardening clay (assorted colors)

Directions:
Create an original clay sculpture of Paul Bunyan. Refer back to the story and your "All About Paul" description to make sure your clay Paul looks like the real Paul!




Your clay sculpture must follow these guidelines:

Aligned to:


California Content Standards
Visual and Performing Arts
Visual Arts
Grade Three
2.0 CREATIVE EXPRESSION
Communication and Expression Through Original Works of Art
2.5. Create an imaginative clay sculpture based on an organic form.

Check Yourself:

How did you do?

Duration: -- (to be completed at home)

Wow! Weíre almost at the end of our Paul Bunyan journey. Now itís time for you to look back on everything you did along the way. Did you do it all? You be the judge.

Directions: Use Paul Bunyan: Tall Man, Tall Tale rubric to double check that you have done your very best on all of our activities. Put any finishing touches on work that is not done.


Justin Crisostomo. San Francisco Park. September 2007. From authorís personal collection.


Farewell:

Goodbye, Paul.

Duration: 15 minutes

We did it! Our journey with Paul Bunyan has ended. We researched Paul on the Internet, read his story (and found out that it is a perfect tall tale!), wrote all about him, wrote original tall tales, and even made our very own clay Pauls.

Here are some highlights of what we learned along the way:
That sure was fun! Thanks for coming along with us as we discovered exactly what makes Paul Bunyan so "tall"!


Christina Wong. Second grade art. 1993. From authorís personal collection.


If you enjoyed the story of Paul Bunyan
, check out these other tall tales*:
*Look for these books at the public library or ask your parents to help you buy them.