Last week, the 4th graders presented individual, creative stories to their peers and Head of School Andrea Kassar—the culmination of an interdisciplinary project combining visual arts, language arts, and history!

After studying California history and reading stories and legends from indigenous tribes hailing from the state, students wrote short stories with a moral/lesson starring the coyote (a native California animal!) in 4th Grade Teacher Susi Pettersson's class and created related small ceramic sculptures complete with woven rugs and backdrops in Lower School Art Teacher Val Trimarchi's art class.

The stories ranged from "Coyote and Turtle" by Flora Z.—a story about a race between a coyote and turtle and the importance of having fun over winning—to "A Bad Day" by Sophia D.—a story about Luke the coyote who learns about integrity and doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

"The 4th grade students worked through the writing process of generating ideas, drafting, editing, revising, editing and revising some more, and publishing. And they thought about morals and lessons for their stories that they felt were important to share with their classmates and many were aligned with the Westridge Core Values [integrity, respect, responsibility, and inclusion]," said Pettersson. “They showed great stamina through the writing process."