First, we talk about how some Native American tribes used totem poles to tell stories about their culture. For instance they might make a totem pole to commemorate a great battle or tell a family legend. Next, we talk about what kinds of figures mights appear on a totem pole. Humans? Animals? Monsters?
Next, we start the first part of the project; using acrylic paint to create the totem pole shape.
Step 1. Fold your paper in half, the long way.
Step 2. Using a popsicle stick, dab coin-sized globs of acrylic paint along the fold.
Step 3: Fold the paper in half again.
Step 4: Run your hand along the fold, so that the paint fills the entire fold, then use your fingers to squeeze the paint outward from the fold to create interesting shapes.
Step 5: Open your paper again to find your symmetrical totem pole.
Step 6: Leave your totem pole painting to dry for at least 24 hours (sometimes the acrylic paint can take a while to fully dry)
Step 7: After the paint is dry, use fine point sharpies to create details on your totem pole. Most people will quickly find interesting faces or objects within their totem pole that they can work from. Be imaginative!