In anticipation of an upcoming trip to Alaska, we've been reading up on totem poles. We've talked about why they're made (to tell stories, show status and keep record of families, clans and tribes) What they're made of (generally red cedar) How they're put up (with great fanfare and strong men) and read some of the stories behind these Native Pacific Northwesterner's works of art.
Then, of course, we had to make some of our own. (Fun size!)
Reese picked out her favorite animals from the stories we read. We Googled some totem versions of the animals, then I drew them, Reese colored them, we cut them out and glued them on paper rolls.
Then we made up stories about the animals on our totem poles. Well, I made up stories because Reese isn't comfortable showing off her ideas yet. She gets timid like she's afraid I might think her ideas are silly or something. It's too bad because I would love to hear her make up stories.
Liam wasn't terribly interested in the drawing and coloring of totems, but he was very interested in the gluing them on to the poles and wanted his picture taken even though he didn't make one.
Reese's pole (left): Thunderbird, squirrel, chipmunk. Mama's Pole (right) Bear, frog, salmon (with fly showing in tummy)