Pourquoi Tales

Pourquoi Tales

A Pourquoi tale is a fictional story that explains WHY something is the way it is. “Pourquoi” means “why” in French. Watch the video below for an example of a Native American Pourquoi tale about why the rabbit has a short tail.


Today, you will write your own pourquoi tale. To determine your topic, choose from one of the following questions or ask your own question.

  • Why do elephants have big ears?
  • Why do foxes have bushy tales?
  • How did the ocean become so deep?
  • Why does the Earth spin?
  • Why can’t penguins fly?
  • Why doesn’t the snake have legs?
  • Why do monkeys swing on trees?
  • Why do caterpillars change into butterflies?
  • Why do hyenas laugh?

Now, plan your story.

  • What is your pourquoi tale going to explain?
  • Who are your main characters?
  • Where does your story take place?
  • What is the main problem of the story?
  • How is it solved?
  • What happened as a result of this solution? (This is where your question is answered. Ex. Why do elephants have big ears?)
  • Is there a lesson or moral taught through the story?

Remember, this is not a realistic story. Use your imagination!


In the comment section below, share your first name, age, state, and country. Share your Pourquoi tale.

headshot smallMichelle Lynn Senters is the Founder and Director of KIDS ARE WRITERS. She spends her days working as a teacher and spends her evenings writing books for children and adults. You can learn more about Michelle HERE and at www.michellelynnsenters.com.