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A Big Blue Ox


Help children understand the concept of a folktale. Explain that it is a story from long ago that was told over and over again. Over many years the story was passed from person to person, so no one really knows who started the story. Read to children Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg. Encourage discussion by asking: Who helped Paul? Why did Paul chop down trees? How did he get rid of the tree stumps? When children have a good sense of the story's progression, invite them to make layer books. For each student, arrange 3 sheets of copy paper so that each sheet is about an inch lower than the one before it. Take all 3 pages and fold them in the middle of the first page. Staple the book along the "spine." The result will be a book with pages that stick out like tabs. On each tab help students write a word: "Beginning," "Middle," or "End." Talk about what took place in each part of the folktale and let students draw a picture to show that. There will be some extra pages in the booklet; on those pages students can write the book title or any big words from the story.


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Sue LaBella, Education World's early childhood editor, is a former teacher who loves writing activities and poems for young children. She lives in Connecticut with her family and her bulldog named Daisy.

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