A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester, New York

Grade 4 Students Create Pourquoi Stories and Winter Counts as part of Learning about Native American Culture

During the first week back from break, fourth grade students participated in a cross-departmental virtual project supporting their study of Native American culture. In Library, the students learned about Native American pourquoi stories, also known as origin stories. Pourquoi stories are fictional narratives that explain why something is the way it is (For example, why do otters have thick fur? Why does the wind whistle through the canyons?) 

After writing their pourquoi stories based on North American animals or natural features, the fourth graders translated them into homemade Winter Counts, which are Native American pictorial calendars or histories in which tribal events were recorded. To create their Winter Counts, the students used Native American symbols and decorative designs. 

The project concluded with students sharing their Winter Counts to tell their original pourquoi stories to their classmates. 

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