Native American Unit Study - Lesson 10: Northwestern Indians

Lesson 10: My daughter made a clothespin totem pole.

Before creating her totem pole we read several picture books to learn more about Native American tribes of the north.

Very Last First Time
Eskimo Boy ~ Life in an Inupiaq Eskimo Village
Kayuktuk: An Arctic Quest

In addition we read the book Water Sky, a chapter book which tells the adventurous story of a whale hunt.

Totem poles were made by the whale hunting, fish eating tribes of the Northwest extending from Washington into Alaska. Much like a coat of arms from medieval Europe is a family specific symbol, a totem pole represents a specific family. Animals on the poles tell stories which may tie to personality traits or events involving the family's history.

They were traditionally carved from cedar trees, but my daughter's totem pole was miniature sized and simply painted onto a wooden clothes pin.

She used acrylic paints to create images of several animals.


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