“We call her the wind. But before she was the wind, she was a human being just like us. Her name was Winda.” 

So begins How the Cactus Got Its Prickles and Other Stories: 15 Tales About Why Things Are the Way They Are. Ashwood’s Class of 2020 has created this illustrated book of children’s stories, now available in digital format, as the culminating project of their language arts class. They are dedicating the book to young readers of Ashwood, and will be placing printed copies in the lower grades classrooms for all to read and enjoy in years to come.

How the Cactus Got Its Prickles began as a writing assignment, to craft a pourquoi tale—a story that explains “why things are the way they are.” The assignment was inspired by the Collins Writing Program, and the students’ writing technique was supported by a yearlong study of Harry R. Noden’s Image Grammar as well as eight years of learning with “head, hands, and heart” in the Waldorf classroom. The illustrations that accompany each story are the authors’.

Please tap on the cover to read, and leave the students a comment below.

View the book of stories.