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

The Mayflower Compact
Biographical Data Organization
Am I a Square?
Personal vs. Country Pride
Valentine Placemats
Cultural Comparison
Corn on the Cob
Pattern Necklaces
Complete the Story
What is the Moral?
How Much is 2000, Anyway?
Depict an Event
What Comes First?
Round vs. Flat
Picture Replicas
Spring Into Science
Early Division
Matching Animals To Their Names
The Gymnastics Incident
Bottle Flutes
Compare the Cookies
Valentine Flower Pots
Decorative Vase
Persuasive Essay About "Millennium"
Popping Popcorn
Back to Back
Surf the World
A to Z
Anthropomorphism
Still Life
Guided by the Stars
Leaf Estimation
Pumpkin Volumes
Where Is This?
Sponge Observation
Dice Probability
Egg Weight
Oil Pastel Fruit
Walk a Mile in Their Boots
Discover the Explorers
All About Columbus
Always Say Never Sometimes
Speech Writing
Puppets
Picture Frames
Bring Your Own Tale
Survey Says
Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink
Paint by Title
Halloween Word Search