Lunar and Planetary Institute


Activities About Our Seasons Books Audio/Video Web Sites
Activity: Share the Story

Children retell the Native American story of Spring Defeats Winter – and its scientific counterpart, to reinforce their understanding of why we have seasons on Earth.

The Activity
Invite the children to retell the Native American story and the science story. Help the children begin the Native American story. Prompt the children through the discussion. Help the children remember incidents that are left out or are out of order.

  • What did Old Man Winter do to the Earth?
  • What was his lodge like?
  • His fire?
  • Who was knocking at Old Man Winter's lodge?
  • What happened when he came inside?
  • What did he say to Old Man Winter?
  • What happened to the fire?
  • What happened to the Earth?
You may want to keep a list of events as the children build the story. Follow the Native American narrative with a discussion of the science story in the same way.

You may want to have the children reenact the story as a play, taking turns as the narrator. They can create songs or dance the stories. Invite them to illustrate the stories using craft materials (see the ”Drawing Conclusions” activity).

More Activities

Last updated
January 4, 2007


Ages 5 and up

How Long?
30 minutes or longer

What's Needed?

• Poster Paper
• Markers

Connections to the National Science Standard(s):

Standards A& D (grades K–4): Understand and communicate the explanation (this communication might be spoken or written) for the patterns of movement of objects in the sky. The sun, for example, appears to change its path over the seasons. Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons.

Standards A& D (grades 5–8): Understand and communicate the scientific explanation of how objects in the solar system have regular and predictable motion that explains such phenomena as seasons. Seasons result from variations in the amount of the sun's energy hitting the surface, due to the tilt of the earth's rotation on its axis and the length of the day.