This Free Online Lesson contains some vocabulary you should know before watching the video and answering questions to check your understanding.  I hope you enjoy the story as much as I have!


Let me introduce you to one of the favorite stories of my childhood.  I read (or heard) about him on my mother’s lap when I was about 5 or so.  It was a big collection of Hanna-Barbera and Disney stories, full color and loads of good fun with the most amazing characters you don’t get to see anymore as often.  I just wish they came back somehow.


Let’s jump into the topic!


Here’s a short description from


“Paul Bunyan is a larger-than-life folk hero who embodies frontier vitality. He is a symbol of might, the willingness to work hard, and the resolve to overcome all obstacles. He was popularized by newspapermen across the country in 1910 and has been a part of the American culture ever since.”

Could you explain this in your own words?


Useful Vocabulary

Now I want you to see if you are familiar with these words, that will help you better understand the story.  To see definitions and images please click on the words.

hobnail boots

loki (locomotive)



trade (number 2)


to straighten



Now that you are familiar with some of the vocabulary of the animated short movie you are going to watch,


Read the following questions

      1. Who was Paul Bunyan and what was his trade?
      2. How and where did they spot Paul for the first time?
      3. Who helped put Paul to bed when he was a baby?
      4. Did he fit into school? Did the children of town like playing with him?
      5. What did the town people give him at Christmas?
      6. Why did Paul leave town?
      7. What was special about his boots?
      8. Why was the snow blue?
      9. What did he find in the snow during the storm?
      10. How was the Land of 10.000 lakes created?
      11. How did Babe the blue ox and Paul like to play?
      12. What was the problem with the river?
      13. What did Joe and his steam-saw represent?
      14. What was the dispute between Paul and Joe about?
      15. How did they settle the argument?
      16. Who won? Was it by much?
      17. What happened to Paul?


Watch Disney’s Paul Bunyan (1958)



for answers scroll down!






Answers about the movie questions


      1. Paul Bunyan was a hard working giant who helped the development of north United States.
      2. They found him at the beach in a giant cradle.
      3. It was a whole-town team work.
      4. Did the children of town like playing with him? No, he didn’t fit into school, but he was very smart and the children loved to play with him.  He was very beloved by his fellow town people.
      5. They gave him a double axe
      6. To leave room for the town and work on logging timber elsewhere.
      7. They were Hobnail boots (very popular in the early 1900’s
      8. Because it was so cold
      9. He found a big blue frozen Ox
      10. Paul and Babe got lost because of a storm and the lakes are their spurs on the terrain.
      11. They loved to wrestle.
      12. The river was crooked and Paul straightened it with the help of Babe
      13. They represented progress
      14. About what way of cutting timber was more efficient, the old way or the new way.
      15. They organized a contest of who could cut more timber
      16. Joe won by a quarter of an inch
      17. He left towards the north and left room for progress.


Now that you already know about this legend, I’d like to know about your opinion on the subject.


Answer these questions in the comment box


a) What does Paul represent? Are there more examples of this character in North American Folklore? What about in yours?

b) Are there any analogies you would like to comment?

c) Why was he attributed the formation of mountains, lakes and changes on the landscape?

d) Is Paul Bunyan an environmentally friendly story? What happens to a field after deforestation?

Leave your comments in the box below!

Leave a Reply