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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Gord Hardman (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 4
Lesson 1: Virtual Museum Tour of Totems
Time: 50-60 minutes

Topic: Totem poles

Rationale: By focusing in on specific sites (using computer technology) and identifying characteristics of totem poles, students will critically examine why Northwest Coast totem poles are similar and/or different.

Materials and Resources

  • School computer lab – with Internet access
  • Tour of totem poles worksheet
  • Class set of pencils
  • Vocabulary words

Vocabulary

  • Welcome pole
  • House frontal pole (frontal, portal)
  • Memorial pole
  • Mortuary pole
  • Commercial pole

Main Concept
To establish an awareness of First Nation’s history and culture, using the symbolic power of the totem pole; to establish an awareness relationship between First Nation’s history, and present day descendants of that history.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Locate and record information from a variety of sources
  • Demonstrate awareness and appreciation of various Aboriginal cultures in Canada
  • Demonstrate understanding of contributions of Aboriginal people to Canadian society

Planned Learning Activities

  1. Display and discuss vocabulary works. Have students predict/reflect on different totem pole types.
  2. Students receive the tour of totem poles worksheet, and begin Web search. As students begin, the teacher engages in a visual assessment, using the summative criteria web search assessment sheet.
  3. Students note and record interesting characteristics of totem poles, from each of four sites.
  4. Close the Web search down, and the class holds an informal discussion of observations recorded.
  5. Teacher collects student worksheets for assessment and lesson feedback.

Assessment/Evaluation

  • Visual assessment of student’s web search – criteria rubric included
  • Evaluation of recording worksheet - criteria rubric included

Extensions

  • Display pictures of totem pole in the classroom
  • Display the following library resources in the classroom as further reading:
    1. Spirit Transformed: A Journey from Tree to Totem by Roy Henry Vickers (1996)
    2. Totem Poles by Hillary Stewart (1990)
    3. Totem Poles: An Altitude SuperGuide by Pat Kramer (1995)
    4. Haida Monumental Art: Villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands by George MacDonald (1994)

Integrated Opportunities

  • Art – there are a multitude of possibilities related to drawing, coloring and/or creating totem poles. Students might create a class or a family totem pole. Web sites abound with how-to-make totem pole projects
  • Language Arts – students can research the stories that accompany totem pole figures, and create or reenact a story based on the student’s interpretation of the figures. This project might be made more personal by including family and/or friends in the interpreted writing.
  • Math – it seems possible, using totem poles, to play counting or shape calculation games. The creativity and/or rules for the game are left to the student’s imagination - create your own math game using a specific totem pole, define the rules of the game, and test the game on others in class!
  • Social Studies – students can research and identify locations in British Columbia that contain or have a history related to totem poles.

Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available

  1. Spirit Transformed: A Journey from Tree to Totem by Roy Henry Vickers (1996)
  2. Totem Poles by Hillary Stewart (1990)
  3. Totem Poles: An Altitude SuperGuide by Pat Kramer (1995)
  4. Haida Monumental Art: Villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands by George MacDonald (1994)
  5. rbcm1.rbcm.gov.bc.ca
  6. www.bcarchive.gov.bc.ca
  7. www.bcarchive.gov.bc.ca
  8. www.everythingalaska.com




Virtual Museum Tour of Totem Poles: Worksheet

Vocabulary

  • Welcome pole



  • House frontal pole (frontal, portal)



  • Memorial pole



  • Mortuary pole



  • Commercial pole



Web Sites:

  1. rbcm1.rbcm.gov.bc.ca
  2. www.bcarchive.gov.bc.ca
  3. www.bcarchive.gov.bc.ca
  4. www.everythingalaska.com

Characteristics of totem poles Picture (optional)
Site 1:  
Site 2:  
Site 3:  
Site 4:  



Summative Criteria: Web Search

Criteria Ratings Comments
Student demonstrates an understanding of the important ideas of the task (via interaction and activity) 4 3 2 1  
Student works diligently, staying on task 4 3 2 1  
Student demonstrates competency, using computer technology 4 3 2 1  
Summative Criteria: Characteristic Worksheet

Criteria Ratings Comments
4 3 2 1  
The student submits a total of 4 characteristics/features of totem poles (1 per site) 4 3 2 1  
Examples, ideas, and details were included which show some deeper understanding of the topic 4 3 2 1  
Useful accurate and relevant information is included 4 3 2 1  

Key:
4 – Powerful
3 – Good
2 – Basic
1 - Beginning