Mini Paper Roll Totems

Summary:

Students will learn about totem poles as they create a small version using cardboard paper tubes.

About Totem Poles

Totem poles are tall, carved posts that were created by important men among certain tribes of British Columbia and Alaska. The carved and painted faces on a pole represented the animals or birds. The designs were carved to represent human and animal faces rather than to look exactly like them.

Background

Totem poles are tall, carved posts that were created by important men among certain tribes of British Columbia and Alaska. The carved and painted faces on a pole represented the animals or birds. The designs were carved to represent human and animal faces rather than to look exactly like them.

Northwest Coast Native Groups

Tlingit, Kwagiutl, Haida, Tsimshian, Coast Salish, West Coast

What You Need:

  • Empty paper towel or wrapping paper rolls
  • Crayons and/or markers
  • Construction paper (many colours)
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Reference Material/Handouts:

Totem Theme (includes): How to “read a totem pole”, Animal symbols, Northwest art animals, Totem coloring page
Totem Poles (description)
The Alphabet of Northwest Coast Art

What You Do:

  1. Cut a piece of construction paper long enough to wrap around the paper roll.
  2. You can cut the paper towel roll in half to make a smaller totem piece.Mini Totems
  3. Lay the paper out flat and draw on an animal’s face. Its a good idea to have some examples of actual totem poles (books, photos etc.) handy.
  4. When you have finished drawing the face, glue the construction paper around the toilet paper roll.
  5. Cut a triangular shape (for the nose or beak) out of the construction paper, crease it down the middle (so it will stick out) and glue the edges onto the face.
  6. Cut a pair of wings and glue them to your totem.
  7. If you like, you can make a few different totems and stack them on top of one another.

Image: What’s Happening in the Art Room.

To see lots of great examples, visit: http://greenbayartroom.blogspot.ca/2010/04/4th-grade-totem-poles.html

 

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