1. We create the totem poles after studying Native Americans of the Northwest Coast. Usually we’ve seen actual totem poles at the Field Museum of Natural History here in Chicago. If you can’t visit actual totem poles, pull up online examples for your students to see. Observe the images of nature carved into the totem poles. Have students name the animals and other elements of nature they see.
3. Give students a brown sheet of 12” by 18” construction paper. You can have each student create their own image, or you can have students work in pairs. It really depends on how many totem poles you plan on creating and the number of students in your class. Then, let your kids have their paint and brushes. Schedule enough time for students to be creative and enjoy themselves. If you want, you can keep sample images of symmetry or nature on display while students paint. Walk around and make sure that students’ images are symmetrical. If they’re not, give them pointers to help them become more symmetric.