Totem Poles

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Period 8 Computers. Totem Poles. What are you going to do?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Totem Poles

Totem Poles

Totem PolesPeriod 8 Computers

What are you going to do?In this project you will interview your family members about your family's history, find symbols that represent different parts of your family history, and build a totem pole in Publisher that you explain in a Microsoft Office Powerpoint.You will also include specific colors and animals that represent yourself, to place on the totem pole. Student OutcomesStudents will visit web sites related to animals, animal totems and totem poles. Students will create personal totems that reflect their own characteristics and spirituality.Students will create a multi-media presentation explaining their personal totemsStudents will develop a "family" or "clan" totem pole.

Where to startStep 1 Answer the questions on the data sheet before creating your own totem pole. Use Only the websites given to you to find answers to the questions.Next..Step 2Talk with your parents, and find out as much as you can about your family history. Ask lots of questions. Take notes on interesting elements of your family history.Decide which symbols you are going to use to represent the different elements of your family history. Think about including totems other than people and animals (for example, a type of food or a national flag). Select four to five symbols. How does each of your symbols represent your family? Is there anything important about your family that is not represented by the symbols you have chosen? If so, find another symbol to represent it.

Lastly..Step 3Create your totem pole in publisher and then put it in an Office PowerPoint 2007 presentation with the symbols you have collected. Experiment with stacking the pictures in different ways to form a totem pole that tells the story of your family in the way and the order you want to tell it.Show the completed totem pole on the first slide of the presentation, along with your name.Create a slide for each of the images on your totem pole that shows the symbol and explains what it means.

Helpful Tips/hintsDesign your presentation by choosing a theme, font, and more. You may want to add audio clips (, too.Save your presentation.Practice talking about your slide show so that you can share it with your classmates and your family.

Pictures of TOTem Poles

Totem pole handout This handout includes:The meaning of the colorsSome animals and what they representSeveral interesting facts about totem polesTotem pole sites and facts - Animal cut outs - Animals and characteristicsMore safe sitesAn Exploration: A Brief Introduction: Totem Poles of the North American Northwest Coast Indians: Types of Totem Designs:

Myths about Totem Poles

ToTEm Pole FactsHistoryThe phrase "totem pole" comes from a "totem," or symbol, of a northwest Native American tribe. Early missionaries believed that the poles were false deities or objects of worship and told their followers to burn the totem poles. However, totem poles are not religious artifacts, but more like tombstone markers or signs. They are built to tell stories through the totems carved upon them and to honor those who have passed.

GeographySouthwest Alaska has a high concentration of totem poles, but the majority are found in Sitka National Park, in the southeast panhandle of Alaska, Saxman Native Village, located in Ketchikan, Alaska, and Totem Bight State Historical Park, also located in Ketchikan. You also can find authentic totem poles in such museums as the Smithsonian or in artifact collections in Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.

ToTem Pole Facts.FunctionThe northwest Native American tribes raised totem poles for various reasons. Modern totem pole carvers writing at Native-Online explain that some poles were built to honor a deceased elder who was of great importance to the tribe, while others were erected to display the various names and titles a person earned during his life. Totem poles also were used to record important occurrences, such as communication with a god or supernatural being. They were carved and raised during Potlatch ceremonies, important spiritual family gatherings held during the winter months by northwest native tribes.

FeaturesTotem poles are carved with various depictions of supernatural beings and important animals. Each figure represents something for the clan: It either means "this animal/being represents who we are" or it depicts an important encounter with that animal or being, often spiritual. Some common totem pole figures include the following: the wolf, who can heal human beings at a price; the brave Sea Serpent, a strong warrior who protects the families that follow him during war; and the Thunderbird, lord of the sky, who usually appears at the top of the totem pole with his wings spread.Facts ContinuedSizeTotem poles come in a range of shapes and sizes. After contact with Europe, the Native Americans had access to better tools, and these monuments were built even higher. Totem poles range from the size of a walking stick, 5 feet high and a few inches wide, to well over 10 feet high and several feet wide. Totem poles traditionally were carved from a single tree trunk by an expert carver and his apprentices; the expert carved the first 10 feet of the pole, because he knew this was the part his viewers could examine closely, and the apprentices were allowed to carve the higher figures at the top.

MisconceptionsA number of myths exist concerning totem poles. For example, some people claim that totem poles were used as talismans to ward off evil spirits or that the construction of totem poles was once a magical practice. This is not true; the carving of a totem pole is a logical process, one that has evolved mostly over the past 200 to 300 years, since native tribes acquired Western tools. It is true, however, that it shows bad manners to exactly replicate a family or tribe's totem pole without permission