Unit 5 Lesson 5.2
"Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox"
Text pg. 560-573
Tall Tales
Essential Question/s (Specific to Lesson)
               . How do lessons learned from folktales and fables relate to life?
            . Why do people use stories to explain life’s wonders?
            . How do writers use language and information to make a story come alive?
            . How do folktales/tall tales give readers a sense of place and time of a culture?
            . What patterns of character traits are found in folktales/tall tales?
            . How is my life similar/unlike the character in the story or book I am reading?
Genre: Tall Tales
                .Tall Tales are types of stories common on the American Frontier.
            . They are humorous.
            . They use realistic details and common speech.
            . They tell about impossible happenings.
            . They greatly exaggerate the abilities of a hero.

In America, tall tales were first told by settlers who made their homes in the American wilderness. In those days, before TV and movies, people depended on storytelling for entertainment. After a long day's work, people gathered to tell each other funny tales.
• Each group of workers-cowboys, loggers, railroad and steel workers-had its own tall-tale hero. Having a superhuman hero with the same job somehow made their lives easier. Perhaps it gave them strength or courage to do their difficult and dangerous work.
            1. Name some stories you have read about real heroes.
            2. Identify some stories with make-believe heroes.
            3. In what stories did a larger-than-life hero do something impossible?

Animated Tall Tales
 Tall Tales - Text/Paul Bunyan
American Folk Lore - Tall Tales
 Tall Tales - Wiki pedia
 Tall Tales With Quizes
 Interactive Tall Tale Maker
 GC Fairy Tales PPT 
 Paul Bunyan Vocabulary PPT 
    Character Web

Guess the Meaning of the hi-lited vocabulary words in the story.

     One fateful day last summer, tragedy nearly struck the Thompson Ranch  Workers were there to tear down the old barn.  The wrecking crew was ready with their tools and their walkie-talkies and other gadgets. As the crew began knocking down the front wall, someone heard bellowing. "I thought we got all the animals out," said Mr. Thompson.  "It's too late now," said the head wrecker.  "The wrecking's already begun, and it's too dangerous to go inside."
     The softhearted Mr. Thompson felt he ad to do something.   He ran into the barn, and there he found Hammond the pig.  Hammond had sneaked back in to eat some leftover rations and had gotten caught under a falling board.  "That ought to teach you about being greedy," Mr. Thompson scolded as he carried the pig to safety.  "One more minute inside that barn, and you'd have been bacon strips!"
Answer these questions about the vocabulary.
1. Which word has a meaning similar to roaring?
2. How might a softhearted person act during a tragedy?
3. Name some different kinds of gadgets.
4. Which would you call a fateful day  - the day war breaks out or a typical day at school? Why?
5. If you had to eat rations of the same food every day, what would the food be?


1. bellowing  - loud, deep roaring
2. softhearted - gentle and kind
3. ration - the daily allowance of food
4. tragedy - a sad, terrible event
5. fateful - bringing disaster.
6. gadgets - small machines or other mechanical tools

Comprehension Questions
Remember to use part of the question in the answer. Answer in a complete sentence.

1. How would you describe the greatest logger of all time?
2. Why does Paul Bunyan name the ox Babe?
3. According to the selection, why do the Great Lakes exist?
4. Babe grows so fast and is so strong that Paul decides to do what?
5. The loggers change from grumbling about Babe to liking him when he does what?
6. Which of Paul's problems does Babe solve when he drinks the Mississippi dry?
7. Besides being a hardworking ox, what does Babe like to do?
8. According to the story, the Dakotas are smooth, rolling plains and farmland today because of what?
9. What giant-sized problem faces Paul and his men in the North woods?
10. What finally happens to the mosquitoes with bee stingers?
11. Why would Larger Than Life be a good title for this story?
12. Even though he has invented much of the equipment used by loggers, how does Paul Bunyan feel after many years? Why?

Focus Skill: Making Inferences

When you make an inference, you add what you already know to what an author tells you. You make inferences to better understand what is happening in the story.
What The Author Says
What I know
My inference
None of us had ever seen a tree like this. Some things that no one has seen are rare. The tree might be a rare type of tree.
Five people holding hands could barely fit around the trunk. Five people holding hands can make a very long line. The tree has a thick trunk.
We could just make out a bird perched in the top branches. Things that are far away are hard to see. The top of the tree is far away; the tree is very tall.
What inferences did you make about why a person would have to use a telescope to see from one end of Babe  to the other?
What the Author Says
What I know
My Inference
A person would need a telescope to see from one end of Babe to the other  Telescopes are used to see a long distance away. 
Read the second and third complete paragraphs on page 570.  Fill in the following chart.
What the Author Says
What I know
My Inference
"fatally strung across the valley" Fatally means "in a way that causes death"
"There would be plenty of beef." The meat from cattle such as oxen is called beef.
"beef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner" People don't usually eat beef for every meal. 
 Quia Inferences Practice
 Inference Reteaching 3
 Inference Cards
 Inference Battleship Game
 Manatee Inference Lesson/PPT
 RHL School Sample Inferences

Workbook pg. 194 - Vocabulary
Workbook pg. 195 - Words with more than one meaning
Workbook pg. 197-Inferences
Workbook pg. 198 - Adverb review
Workbook pg. 199 -Homophones: sail, sale, hear, here, week, weak, you, ewe

Paul Bunyan Writing Prompt

Read the topic  below and write a well organized composition of at least 100-150 words. Be sure to follow the suggestions listed under the box.

Tall tales have many characteristics. The main character usually possesses superhuman qualities, has an important job to do, and helps others.

            Write a narrative using the following prompt:

In the tall tale, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, the characters are “larger than life.” What does that phrase mean to you? If you could choose one characteristic that makes you “larger than life” what would you choose? Why would you choose this characteristic? How would this characteristic help others? What job would it help you to accomplish?

            • Your essay should have at least two paragraphs.
            • Be sure that your story has a beginning, middle, and end.
            • Give specific details
            • Be sure to write clearly.
            • Check your writing for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.