Paul Bunyan

Melissa Kaye Hicks, Core 4, April 29, 2014

Background information

Paul Bunyan is a 7 foot tall, powerful, giant  He is a famous lumbering district for his physical strength. He is so big that his workers had him blow into a tree trunk for the dinner and lunch bell/alert. He cleared North dakota of it's forest and dug Lake Superior. He owned gigantic logging camps. Lastly Paul Bunyan is a symbol of the past.

Questions page: 1077

1A. According to Sandburg, what is the origin of the Paul Bunyan stories?

1B. What does Sandburg mean by saying that some of Paul is "old as the hills, young as the alphabet"?

2A. Identify two actions that show Paul Bunyan is clever as well as strong.

2B. How does these qualities relate to the myth of the heroic character?

3A. How does Paul Bunyan stop the rain?

3B. What do this anecdote and other details in this selection tell you about life in the midwest in the early nineteenth century?

4A. Do you think the Paul Bunyan stories might have been based on a real person?

4B. What type of person in today's world might inspire this kind of story?

5A. Why would a lumberjack have been a hero in frontier america?

5B. What qualities does Paul Bunyan share with today's hero's? (connect to the big question: Are yesterday's hero's important today?)

Summary of Paul Bunyan

This story Paul Bunyan is a great story. In this tall tale, readers learn all about America's favorite lumberjack. Paul Bunyan was extremely tall and very strong. From a young age, it was clear that Paul was destined to become a famous lumberjack. After leaving home to log the North Woods, Paul found a blue ox and named him Babe. They became fast friends and were lifetime companions. Set during the time when America needed wood for houses and towns, and land cleared for crops, this tale tells of Paul and Babe's larger-than-life adventures.

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