Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Create Your Own Story Totem Pole

Yesterday you learned about Native American totem poles. You know that Native Americans often created totem poles to tell stories. Today, create your own story totem pole.

A Note to Teachers/Parents: This is a great project to help teach kids about the parts of a story. Read a story and then have the students create a totem pole that retells the tale. Tell students that their totem pole should include all the main characters, the problem, the solution, and three plot points. In my area, 2nd and 3rd graders have been learning about the parts of a story for at least a month and they have filled out more graphic organizers than anyone should ever be made to fill out. This totem pole project is a fun way to break up the monotony and to appeal to more visual, kinesthetic, or artistic learners.

Supplies Needed:

A good story (I used Goldilocks and the Three Bears)
Paper towel rolls
Construction paper
White paper
Markers/Colored pencils/Crayons
Rubber bands

Read the story. Think about the main characters, the problem, the solution, and three plot points. All of these things should appear on your finished totem pole.
Draw and color each item. My totem pole tells the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears so I drew three bears, Goldilocks with porridge, Goldilocks in a chair, and Goldilocks sleeping in bed.

Cut out your pictures. Arrange them in the order of the story. I put the beginning of the story on the bottom of the totem pole and built each piece on top of the one before it.
Choose a color for the background of your totem pole. I chose red. A sheet of construction paper is the same length as a paper towel roll, but you’ll need to cut the paper to the correct width. You want it to be about 6 ½ inches wide. If you want your totem pole to be longer than a paper towel roll, just fit another roll inside the first and attach with a little tape. You’ll then need to cut another piece of construction paper and tape it to the first piece.
Glue your pictures, in a column, to the center of the construction paper. Let them dry.

Spread glue over the back of the construction paper. Wrap the paper around the paper towel roll. Carefully twist rubber bands around the ends to hold the construction paper in place while it dries. If you’re in a hurry, or the glue won’t hold, use a little bit of tape at the edges.
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Kids Clothing Roca Wear said...
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Mrs. P, Art Explorer said...

What a great idea! I've done "family totem poles" before with my students, but was looking for something different--this fits the bill! I'm going to have them illustrate a Native American tale, though. Thanks for sharing! Mrs. P, www.createartwithme.blogspot.com