How were bodies of waters and landforms created according to a tall tale?
Teacher and students choose a word list (optional)
Purpose or Learning Outcome:
The students will use the retelling of a tall tale as a fun and entertaining way to learn about landforms and bodies of water. Students will increase their vocabulary by using synonyms or descriptive words when creating a story.
Give students a copy of the attached map of the United States. Tell students that the 1826 map is a primary resource.
Allow students to locate places, such as a city, states, landforms, or bodies of water. Assist students, if you need to, with identifying a city, state, landform, or body of water. Sometimes students can name an area on the map but doesn't know if the area is a city or a state, river, gulf, or ocean.
Have students call out as teacher records the places on the board or chart paper.
Example: City(Capital) State Country Body of water landform
Tell students that those places are real but they will hear a tall tale or make-believe story of how some places on the map were formed.
Show pictures of Paul Bunyan, so students will have a visual of the giant. (see attachments)
The teacher will tell the story of Paul Bunyan using expression and gestures.
If possible, the teacher should use the interactive whiteboard to project a map of the United States.
The teacher or helper can point to the places on the map referred to in the story.
Paul Bunyan was so large. (HOW LARGE WAS HE?) Everything he did received huge results.
This story tells how Towering Paul Bunyan went to get water from the Great Lakes. He wasted the colossal bucket of water, which began to cause an enormous flood on the abundantly populated community. Quick thinking and clever, Gigantic Paul started to dig an immeasurable ditch from the vast Great Lakes to the exorbitant Gulf of Mexico. He called this extensive ditch, The Mississippi River. Paul threw the monumental amount of dirt he dug, to the West and called it, the Mighty Rocky Mountains.
The teacher should ask students to take out desk maps (or atlas in textbooks) and locate the “real” places they heard in the story.
Students use desk maps, wall maps, or the atlas to located places mentioned in the story.
Working with a partner, students will summarize the story of Paul Bunyan using synonyms for big. The students should understand that the main objective of the story is to learn how to locate landforms and bodies of water on a map. Partners should use markers to trace, highlight, or circle places on the map. The teacher should observe as students retell the story and trace/identify landforms and bodies of water on the map correctly.
Make a T-chart by folding a sheet of paper on the line of symmetry. Tell students that this means half is on one side and a half is on the other.
Label the T-chart Realism on one-half and Fantasy or make-believe on the other half.
Place three statements that are facts from the stories on one side.
Place three statements that could never happen on the other side.
Students should be able to write a conclusive statement at the bottom of the page to this questions:
What is a tall tale?
Why use a tall tale to identify landforms and bodies of water?
After students write their child-friendly answers, give them the "textbook" answer.
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual.
Some stories such as these are exaggerations of actual events, people or places.
The students should look at their T-charts, which show imagination on one side and facts on the other.
Use an exit slip to determine if the student understood the purpose of the lesson. The exit slip should demonstrate that each student can identify landforms and bodies of water.
The teacher should repeat the purpose of the lesson to students whose answers did not include Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico and Rocky Mountains.
Emphasize at this time that each location must have capital letters because they are proper nouns.
The ditch in the story is the Mississippi River.
A river is a body of water.
Ponds, lakes, oceans, and seas are also bodies of water.
The dirt in the story is the Rocky Mountains.
A mountain is a landform.
Canyons, hills, plateaus, and mesas are landforms.
Continue or Day 2
After Strategy: Activity 2
Give students a primary resource 1823 map of Alabama. The task is for students to create their own tall tale using Paul Bunyan as the character, any other folk hero, or fictional character to explain how landforms and bodies of water were formed in Alabama.
Encourage a mixed-ability group of students to volunteer to retell the Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan.
Remind students of the definition of a tall tale.
Remind students that we used the tale to identify landforms and bodies of water in the United States. Tell students we are using a primary resource map of the United States drawn up during the time that Paul Bunyan tales started.
However, now we will identify landforms and bodies of water in Alabama. Tell students that they also have the opportunity to create an entirely different tall tale using pictures of landforms and bodies of water of Alabama.
Students work with partners or small cooperative groups. Students should use landforms and bodies of water found on the Alabama map to create a tall tale. Create the story using technology.