Lesson 1: Heroes
- Learning Goal
- Explain that tall tales are stories about a hero.
- Identify a characteristic or action that makes a character a hero.
- Approximately 50 minutes
- Necessary Materials
Provided: Unit Example Chart, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg, chart paper, markers
will explain to students that one characteristics of “tall tales” is that they are stories about a hero. I will add this to my Characteristics of Tall Tales Chart (example provided). I will write the definition of a hero on chart paper or the board. A hero is a main character who is full of courage, skill, and strength. A hero will “save the day” by solving a problem or rescuing someone or something in trouble. I can identify the actions or characteristics that make a character a hero by first identifying the actions or characteristics (descriptions of the character) of the main character in the text. Then, I will think about whether the actions and characteristics of the main character match my definition of a hero. I will model doing this in the tall tale Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg. I will read the first pages of the story, and identify that Paul Bunyan is described as the strongest baby ever born. “Strongest” is a characteristic that matches my definition of a hero.
Ask: "How can I identify a characteristic or action that makes a character a hero?" Students should respond that you can identify the actions or descriptions of a character and think about whether the characteristics show how the character is full of courage, skill, or strength.
will continue to read the tall tale, Paul Bunyan and work together to identify all of the characteristics or actions that make Paul Bunyan a hero. As we read, we will stop at a characteristic or an action and ask ourselves, does this characteristic or action match or support the definition of a hero? We will reflect that there are several actions and characteristics of a hero that show us how this story is a tall tale, so we will add the title of the book to our chart, along with one example we already identified.
will identify one characteristic or action that signifies that the character is a hero and explain how you know this is a tall tale.
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Build Student Vocabulary blizzard
|Tier 2 Word: blizzard|
|Contextualize the word as it is used in the story||“They probably would have sawed the peaks themselves into logs if a blizzard hadn’t suddenly buried the entire mountain range.”|
|Explain the meaning student-friendly definition)||A blizzard is a strong storm with lots of snow and wind. When the book said that a blizzard “buried the entire mountain range,” that means that the blizzard (the storm) covered the entire mountain range with snow!|
|Students repeat the word||Say the word blizzard with me: blizzard.|
|Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts||When I was younger, we used to get excited about blizzards because they meant we might get a snow day. Blizzards can be dangerous when they last for a long time. If you get stuck outside during a blizzard, you could freeze to death.|
|Students provide examples||What would you do if the weather report said a blizzard was coming up? Start by saying, “If I knew that a blizzard was coming up, I would ________________.”|
|Students repeat the word again.||What word are we talking about? blizzard|
|Additional Vocabulary Words||lumber, griddle|
While reading Paul Bunyan, pause on page 12. Explain to students that “lumbermen” are men who chop down trees. Ask: "Why would someone want to chop down a tree?" Tell students that the wood from trees can be made into floors, and furniture such as desks and chairs. Trees also can be used to make toothpicks and pencils. While some houses are made from brick or concrete, other houses are built with wood from trees.