Innovative
Classroom

Center Focus

Totem Pole

  1. Provide information for students to peruse in order to learn about totem poles. Click here for a Totem Pole Information Sheet.
  2. Have students come up with a design for their mini-totem pole. They should base this on what they learned about totem poles. Totem poles are generally used to represent one's family, heritage, and ancestry. Native Americans used animals and spirits they were familiar with to represent these things. Since your students (most likely) won't be familiar with this type of symbolism, it will be more meaningful for them to use symbols they are familiar with to represent their family.
  3. Have students write a list of things or ideas they think represent their family, such as a favorite family sport, or a family business or profession, or particular hobbies of the family.
  4. To make the totem pole, you will need to provide plenty of boxes of varying sizes, brown wrapping paper, tempera paints, construction paper, and straight pins or tape. In order to create the totem pole, students will cover the boxes with the brown paper and make each box into a different symbol using the construction paper and paints.
  5. They will then stack the boxes together and hold them using straight pins or tape, depending on the size of the boxes, and their mini totem pole is complete!

More Center Focus Ideas

Speech Writing
Grateful for Acrostic
M&M Fractions
String Art
Columbus Portraits
Rhyming Match
Monster Math
Length of Foot vs. Height
Dice Probability
Person, Place, or Thing?
Twelves
Inch By Inch Map
Depict an Event
Cultural Comparison
Know Your Presidents
Sponge Observation
Olympic Rings
Inclined to Slide
The Color Mix-Up
Fact and Opinion
If the Earth Were Flat
Irish Mobiles
Does It Measure Up?
The Mayflower Compact
Always Say Never Sometimes
To Float or Not To Float
Sequences
Situational Conversations
Discovering the Area of Triangles
Leaf Estimation
All About Columbus
How Far is Sydney?
Spin-and-Spell
Unscramble the Words
Back to Back
Bring Your Own Tale
Persuasive Essay About "Millennium"
What’s Your Valentine Worth?
What Weighs More?
Irish Stained Glass Scene
Money Del Mundo
Hurricane by David Weisner
Shapes and Angles
Personal vs. Country Pride
Magnet Fishing
Pattern Necklaces
Bean Bag Throw-and-Catch
Journal Topic: Space Exploration
Guided by the Stars
Volume Conversions