Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Totem Poles !

Third graders learned about totem poles carved by Native Americans of the Northwest Coast. We really looked at the shapes, patterns, and colors the woodcarvers used. Here's a terrific site to explore with your child! 

Each class became a "tribe"- Tribe 3A and Tribe 3B.  
Within each tribe, students formed three clan groups.
Each child acted as one family in the clan, and selected an animal spirit to represent them. In Native American culture, an animal can symbolize a quality or way of life.  All clan members reviewed paper sculpture skills and began the creative process of designing their animal.

Our raised totem poles:
Fire Clan, African Animals Clan, Northwest Clan
Clan Impossible, Adventure Clan, Clan of the Thunderbird
Discovered foreshortening and perspective all on his own! 
Here's a photo of his mask from the front.
And here's the side view!


  1. Very are the carpet tubes attached to base...and what are they made of? Love what you do with your students!

  2. The bases are made of plywood squares and the cardboard tubes were attached using "Liquid Nails". Liquid Nails comes caulking tubes for use with a caulk gun. My kind husband held the cardboard tubes in place while I caulked. I have reused these poles in various artistic ventures and they're holding up beautifully!