In social studies we have been learning about Native American traditions!
One of the traditions we have spent a lot of time with is the totem pole. We talked about how each piece of a totem pole is meant to symbolize a particular person. Usually, they were place in front of a home to represent that particular family. We had a discussion about what each symbol means, and how the colors that are used also represent something about the person it is symbolic of.
My students were so interested! This got me thinking. I wanted to know how they would represent themselves. How do they view themselves? What colors describe them and how? What are they proud of?
I decided to make a class totem pole. I took off the Michigan projects from my park sign kiosk project and I suddenly had a blank slate!
I asked the students to represent themselves by choosing an animal. On the back of the paper I supplied, they would need to write a paragraph describing why they chose that animal and why it represented them.
They also needed to choose unique colors! In the same respect, they were asked to describe, in detail, why those colors were used on their section of the totem pole. They needed to write a paragraph explaining that as well.
When their creations were complete, I taped them on to the totem pole! I taped them as flaps so when our kindergarden friends come by, (they are our biggest fans!) they have a chance to read about our symbols. My students LOVE to watch as the little admire their creations. It warms my heart to see them learning and my students teaching.