Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Totem Poles (4th)

Hallway Display
EQ: What is a totem pole?

To begin this project I began by showing my 4th graders a powerpoint that I put together that explored the totem poles created by the Pacific Northwest Native Americans. We talked about how the totem poles were typically stylized images of animals that often represented people, events, or even whole communities! We also talked about how animals often have associated human characteristics - for example a dog is loyal, an owl is wise, a fox is sly, etc.
After viewing the powerpoint, I had students figure out which animal they thought best represented themselves and practice sketching stylized versions of it on a worksheet I created. I emphasized repeatedly that students should avoid just drawing the outline of their animal, and instead just use the shape of the posterboard itself as the body (this took A LOT of reinforcement for some students). Once students were pleased with their sketch, they were given a piece of 14"x12" white posterboard and redrew their animal onto the board in pencil. This was then traced over in black sharpie. Once the drawing was completed, students used tempera paint to add color to their animals. Once the painting was finished, I used strips of posterboard stapled to the back of their boards to make their pieces 3-dimensional. Students that finished early had the opportunity to use construction paper to add more detail.

Teacher Sample
Teacher Sample
Once the entire class was finished I assembled the totem poles by stacking the individual components together and taping them.














14 comments:

  1. Thanks so much!
    The kids did such a good job on them! :)

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  2. hey you won... you need to stop over at my blog to see what you won...
    Mr. R From My Messy Art Room

    http://mymessyartroom.blogspot.com/

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  3. beautiful! if you want to have a look at our school blog:
    www.pekearteleno.blogspot.com
    thanks

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  4. Wow! What a great way to turn a 'concept' into a real life/hands on experience for the kids ... without having to carve the wood! Heehee.

    Would you be able to share your powerpoint presentation that you used for this lesson?

    :)

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! If you shoot me an email at melinda_gram@gwinnett.k12.ga.us I would be more than happy to share it with you!

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    2. I just sent an email also. I am doing this project with my son's 4th grade peers that are studying Native American's right now and am so excited to share this project with them!

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    3. I'm sending an e-mail as well....2 years later, I hope I'm not too late!

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    4. Is it too late for the power point??

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  5. Hi! Did you send these home with students? How did you disassemble easily? If not, did you permanently display them somewhere or store away? Thanks! :)

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    Replies
    1. All the parts were stacked up and taped together.. so once I removed it from the wall it was as simple as cutting the tape that was holding them together! :)

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  6. Thank you very much for this lesson idea! We just completed our totem pole project which was largely inspired by this post. We also used your presentation so thanks a lot for that, too. Here are the results if you're interested :) :
    http://bricksandwood.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/totem-poles.html

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  7. If anyone wants the PPT:
    http://www.slideshare.net/iheartgsu29/totem-pole-powerpoint

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    Replies
    1. I went to the link but I didn't have any luck accessing the powerpoint or any other the treasures mentioned. Can you send it to my email? erica.ellison@glynn.k12.ga.us

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