Native American Totem Poles

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Some interesting facts about totem poles: Indian tribes of the Pacific Northeast Coast—Washington state in the USA, British Columbia in Canada, and some tribes in Alaska shared in an ancient tradition of totem poles. Totem poles may depict legends, historic persons or clan lineages. Vertical order of the images denoted the importance of the representation. The higher on the totem pole, the more significance; of less importance and further down comes the “Low man on the Totem Pole.” After watching a Powerpoint presentation on Native American totem poles, the fourth grade class drew totem poles of their own. I have included the Powerpoint in the supplies list, but it takes a few seconds for it to load. Google images has a wealth of totem pole pictures.


  • American Indian Totem Poles (Powerpoint)
  • 12″ x 18″ white construction paper (cut to 6″ x 18″)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Crayons, colored pencils or colored markers
  • Black Sharpie


After watching the power point presentation, draw a totem pole using up the whole sheet of paper. Color the totem pole the bright colors shown in the power point.

4th Grade Projects Gallery:


2 Responses to Native American Totem Poles

  1. JOE says:

    I like unicorns

  2. GlitterQueen says:

    I love your idea about using totem poles as a clay project. Not only would the kids like making the totem poles, I can imagine how they’ll love painting them. Thanks for the invitation, I will be visiting you at Dream Painters.

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