The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Reading Legends: Paul Bunyan 1

In this worksheet, students will listen to and read the legend of Paul Bunyan and predict how the story will develop from details stated and implied.

'Reading Legends: Paul Bunyan 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Predict Story Development

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this activity you will read the legend of Paul Bunyan piece by piece so you can try to predict how the story develops.

 

 

********************************

 

The Legend of Paul Bunyan

   

 

It was in the middle of the night in Bangor, Maine USA, that the great noise was first heard. It was a cry that sounded like 10,000 gulls screaming as they swooped for fish. Mr and Mrs Bunyan looked out of their wooden cottage towards the river that led to the great ocean and saw five enormous storks struggling to fly overhead. They hauled a great bundle behind them, from which came the great screaming. The storks flew closer and closer and finally came to land outside their front door, gently placing the enormous bundle on the ground. They stepped back and bowed their heads. Mr and Mrs Bunyan were amazed.

"What on earth, Pa?" exclaimed Mrs Bunyan.

Mr Bunyan was pale, both with the noise and the shock. He crept quietly up to the vast bundle which had, at last, fallen silent. He peeped over the edge, then suddenly fell over backwards as the bundle screamed and bowled him right over.

 

********************************

 

 

Use the start of the story to answer the first questions. Then read on to try and work out each part of the story, using what you have read so far.

What do you think could be in the bundle?

a monster

a baby

What is so special about what is in the bundle?

It's very big.

It's very small.

Here's what happened next:

 

********************************

 

"It's a baby!" said Mr Bunyan to Mrs Bunyan. "The biggest baby you have ever seen!"

Mr and Mrs Bunyan were kindly folk and they had always longed for a child of their own. So they pushed and heaved the baby bundle through their door. They named the giant baby Paul, and loved him so much.

Paul was so big and he grew so fast. When he was thirsty, Mr and Mrs Bunyan had to milk nearly 20 cows just to give him a drink. When he was tired and slept in his cradle, the rocking caused great waves on the ocean nearby, sinking many ships. When his tummy rumbled it was like a huge earthquake shaking the cottage. He used to shout so loud for his breakfast, that he scared all the fish out of the river and the frogs started wearing earmuffs. Once he rolled over in his sleep, and knocked over five miles of forest.

 

********************************

 

 

What do you think Mr and Mrs Bunyan would need to help make his clothes?

small stones for buttons

large wagon wheels for buttons

Read and listen to the next part:

 

 

********************************

 

When Paul needed a new jacket they had to use huge wagon wheels for buttons and stitch together whole reams of cloth for trousers and shirts. 

Paul was a kind and clever young fellow. He started school and was popular, often helping his friends by carrying them quickly home at the end of the day, letting them roll off his shoulders to their front doors. But his friends did get rather fed up sometimes when they were playing:

"Ouch!" they would cry, as Paul trod on three friends at once, his great clodhopper boots pinning them to the ground, only their heads showing. 

"Ooophhf," they would shout, as Paul sneezed and blew them right up into the trees.

But,

"Aahhhh!" they would scream with delight, as Paul scooped them up in his hands, throwing them round and around.

One day, Mr and Mrs Bunyan decided to move house to Minnesota. It was quite a way away, but with Paul's help they could get there in no time. They packed up their things and asked Paul to help them move.

 

********************************

 

 

How could Paul help the family travel to Minnesota?

By carrying Mr and Mrs Bunyan and their luggage

By driving the wagon and horses

Next:

 

********************************

 

So Paul put his parents on one shoulder and the luggage on the other, and took three long steps. They had arrived! 

That winter it was a long, long winter. The snow blew and the wind blew, longer and colder that it had ever blown. The snow was so deep it went an icy blue. Paul was often out looking for wood so his family could keep warm. One day, he was out rubbing two trees together to make a great warm fire, when he heard a loud mooing noise whistle past his large ears.

"MOOOOOOoooooo, MMMOOOOOoooo, MMMMMOOOOooo," Paul heard.

He thought it might be the wind playing tricks on him, but as he searched around for another tree, he tripped over something sticking out of the thick snow. It was a long curved horn. Paul reached down, and gently tweaked the horn with his finger. The horn moved and wiggled, then another horn appeared. The creature, whatever it was, wriggled and shook and grew and grew until standing nearly waist high to Paul.

 

********************************

 

 

What do you think the creature could be?

A snow leopard

An ox

Next:

 

********************************

 

It was a ginormous ox!

"Aahh, you poor thing," Paul boomed. He was only able to boom you see, no whispering for Paul Bunyan.

"MMOOOOOOOooo," mooed the Ox.

"I shall call you Babe," boomed Paul.

From that day forward, they were great friends. Great in size, as well as in friendship.

They loved to play together, and when the snow had finally gone in spring, they decided to play at tug-of-war. As they pushed and pulled, they built up great mountains, and dug great ditches. They thrashed around, throwing each other this way and that. Before they had realised they had left 10,000 footprints all over America. When the rains came in, the water filled their footprints, making several great lakes that you can still see today: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Paul grew older and finally the day came when he left home to become a lumberjack, taking Babe with him. Mr and Mrs Bunyan were so proud that Paul had a job that suited him so well. His strength and size would really help him.

 

********************************

 

 

What is a lumberjack?

Someone who cuts down trees

Someone who mends cars

Next:

 

********************************

 

Paul and Babe were really happy being lumberjacks. Their strength and size meant that they could clear great areas of trees quickly, ready for building of cities and highways. Paul felled the trees with his enormous axe and Babe helped pull the timber to where it was needed. They worked hard all day long, helping the other lumberjacks as best they could. But there was a problem. To get the wood from place to place, the lumberjacks used the river, pushing the logs along it til they came to their yard. But, because the river was curved, the logs kept getting stuck. The logs would pile up on the bends, crashing this way and that and stopping more logs drifting along. Elmer, the owner of the yard, came to Paul and Babe for help.

 

********************************

 

 

How do you think Paul and Babe could help Elmer with the curvy river?

Paul and Babe tried pushing the logs along.

Paul and Babe dragged the river so it ran straight, with no bends.

Nearly the end:

 

********************************

 

But it wasn't all work and no play. Sometimes Paul and Babe went off on their own and just had fun, like they used to! In fact one day, they were out on the plains, dragging their axes around watching the shapes they made, and they dug some craters so big, you can can still see them today. Now they are called The Grand Canyon.

Back at the timber yard, and all over the USA, machines were being built to help do the jobs of people. Paul and Babe were strong, but they were being beaten by the new machines that could chop and move timber even faster than they could.

 

********************************

 

 

Which new machine was taking over Paul's job?

Hammers

Electric saws

Ships

Finally:

 

********************************

 

Paul and Babe decided to travel up to Alaska, where there are many glaciers, volcanoes, lakes and oil and gas reservoirs. Alaska is so far north that some areas have 24 hours darkness, and some 24 hours daylight.

 

********************************

 

 

What do you think Paul and Babe did next?

Use your knowledge of Paul and Babe and what has happened in the story so far.

They help protect the glaciers from melting in the sun, by pushing them into areas in shadow or night time.

They decide to settle down, their adventuring days are over!

The story of Paul Bunyan is a legend from the United States of America (USA).

Tick two reasons why you think it is a legend.

It can tell you about the history of a place or a person.

It has gods and goddesses in it.

It has been exaggerated (made more unbelievable) over time.

  • Question 1

What do you think could be in the bundle?

CORRECT ANSWER
a baby
EDDIE SAYS
Storks are said to deliver new babies to hopeful parents.
  • Question 2

What is so special about what is in the bundle?

CORRECT ANSWER
It's very big.
EDDIE SAYS
The storks have struggled to fly with the enormous bundle, so whatever is inside must also be big.
  • Question 3

Here's what happened next:

 

********************************

 

"It's a baby!" said Mr Bunyan to Mrs Bunyan. "The biggest baby you have ever seen!"

Mr and Mrs Bunyan were kindly folk and they had always longed for a child of their own. So they pushed and heaved the baby bundle through their door. They named the giant baby Paul, and loved him so much.

Paul was so big and he grew so fast. When he was thirsty, Mr and Mrs Bunyan had to milk nearly 20 cows just to give him a drink. When he was tired and slept in his cradle, the rocking caused great waves on the ocean nearby, sinking many ships. When his tummy rumbled it was like a huge earthquake shaking the cottage. He used to shout so loud for his breakfast, that he scared all the fish out of the river and the frogs started wearing earmuffs. Once he rolled over in his sleep, and knocked over five miles of forest.

 

********************************

 

 

What do you think Mr and Mrs Bunyan would need to help make his clothes?

CORRECT ANSWER
large wagon wheels for buttons
EDDIE SAYS
Paul was a big baby, so his parents needed to use large wagon wheels for buttons.
  • Question 4

Read and listen to the next part:

 

 

********************************

 

When Paul needed a new jacket they had to use huge wagon wheels for buttons and stitch together whole reams of cloth for trousers and shirts. 

Paul was a kind and clever young fellow. He started school and was popular, often helping his friends by carrying them quickly home at the end of the day, letting them roll off his shoulders to their front doors. But his friends did get rather fed up sometimes when they were playing:

"Ouch!" they would cry, as Paul trod on three friends at once, his great clodhopper boots pinning them to the ground, only their heads showing. 

"Ooophhf," they would shout, as Paul sneezed and blew them right up into the trees.

But,

"Aahhhh!" they would scream with delight, as Paul scooped them up in his hands, throwing them round and around.

One day, Mr and Mrs Bunyan decided to move house to Minnesota. It was quite a way away, but with Paul's help they could get there in no time. They packed up their things and asked Paul to help them move.

 

********************************

 

 

How could Paul help the family travel to Minnesota?

CORRECT ANSWER
By carrying Mr and Mrs Bunyan and their luggage
EDDIE SAYS
Paul was a big big boy. He helped carry his friends to school and scooped them up in his hands, so he could easily help his parents by carrying everything to their new house.
  • Question 5

Next:

 

********************************

 

So Paul put his parents on one shoulder and the luggage on the other, and took three long steps. They had arrived! 

That winter it was a long, long winter. The snow blew and the wind blew, longer and colder that it had ever blown. The snow was so deep it went an icy blue. Paul was often out looking for wood so his family could keep warm. One day, he was out rubbing two trees together to make a great warm fire, when he heard a loud mooing noise whistle past his large ears.

"MOOOOOOoooooo, MMMOOOOOoooo, MMMMMOOOOooo," Paul heard.

He thought it might be the wind playing tricks on him, but as he searched around for another tree, he tripped over something sticking out of the thick snow. It was a long curved horn. Paul reached down, and gently tweaked the horn with his finger. The horn moved and wiggled, then another horn appeared. The creature, whatever it was, wriggled and shook and grew and grew until standing nearly waist high to Paul.

 

********************************

 

 

What do you think the creature could be?

CORRECT ANSWER
An ox
EDDIE SAYS
The story says that the animal had horns, so it was an ox.
  • Question 6

Next:

 

********************************

 

It was a ginormous ox!

"Aahh, you poor thing," Paul boomed. He was only able to boom you see, no whispering for Paul Bunyan.

"MMOOOOOOOooo," mooed the Ox.

"I shall call you Babe," boomed Paul.

From that day forward, they were great friends. Great in size, as well as in friendship.

They loved to play together, and when the snow had finally gone in spring, they decided to play at tug-of-war. As they pushed and pulled, they built up great mountains, and dug great ditches. They thrashed around, throwing each other this way and that. Before they had realised they had left 10,000 footprints all over America. When the rains came in, the water filled their footprints, making several great lakes that you can still see today: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Paul grew older and finally the day came when he left home to become a lumberjack, taking Babe with him. Mr and Mrs Bunyan were so proud that Paul had a job that suited him so well. His strength and size would really help him.

 

********************************

 

 

What is a lumberjack?

CORRECT ANSWER
Someone who cuts down trees
EDDIE SAYS
A lumberjack is someone who cuts down trees. Paul certainly seems to have the right size and strength for this job!
  • Question 7

Next:

 

********************************

 

Paul and Babe were really happy being lumberjacks. Their strength and size meant that they could clear great areas of trees quickly, ready for building of cities and highways. Paul felled the trees with his enormous axe and Babe helped pull the timber to where it was needed. They worked hard all day long, helping the other lumberjacks as best they could. But there was a problem. To get the wood from place to place, the lumberjacks used the river, pushing the logs along it til they came to their yard. But, because the river was curved, the logs kept getting stuck. The logs would pile up on the bends, crashing this way and that and stopping more logs drifting along. Elmer, the owner of the yard, came to Paul and Babe for help.

 

********************************

 

 

How do you think Paul and Babe could help Elmer with the curvy river?

CORRECT ANSWER
Paul and Babe dragged the river so it ran straight, with no bends.
EDDIE SAYS
Paul and Babe were so strong that they made the river flow in a straight line so that the logs didn't get stuck anymore.
  • Question 8

Nearly the end:

 

********************************

 

But it wasn't all work and no play. Sometimes Paul and Babe went off on their own and just had fun, like they used to! In fact one day, they were out on the plains, dragging their axes around watching the shapes they made, and they dug some craters so big, you can can still see them today. Now they are called The Grand Canyon.

Back at the timber yard, and all over the USA, machines were being built to help do the jobs of people. Paul and Babe were strong, but they were being beaten by the new machines that could chop and move timber even faster than they could.

 

********************************

 

 

Which new machine was taking over Paul's job?

CORRECT ANSWER
Electric saws
EDDIE SAYS
Electric saws had been invented and could cut down trees even faster than Paul.
  • Question 9

Finally:

 

********************************

 

Paul and Babe decided to travel up to Alaska, where there are many glaciers, volcanoes, lakes and oil and gas reservoirs. Alaska is so far north that some areas have 24 hours darkness, and some 24 hours daylight.

 

********************************

 

 

What do you think Paul and Babe did next?

Use your knowledge of Paul and Babe and what has happened in the story so far.

CORRECT ANSWER
They help protect the glaciers from melting in the sun, by pushing them into areas in shadow or night time.
EDDIE SAYS
Paul and Babe are adventurous and will most likely like to continue exploring and helping out where they can.
  • Question 10

The story of Paul Bunyan is a legend from the United States of America (USA).

Tick two reasons why you think it is a legend.

CORRECT ANSWER
It can tell you about the history of a place or a person.
It has been exaggerated (made more unbelievable) over time.
EDDIE SAYS
Legends are always about real places and real people, though they are always embellished and exaggerated. People love to hear these 'tall' stories. They do not contain gods and goddesses.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.