After the storm, a few trees in our garden fell down, so we decided to turn them into totem poles. Natural materials are a great resource because they are all made of different textures, have different weights, lengths, colors and purposes than the materials children normally use in the classroom. These materials served another purpose before coming into our hands, and imagining how to use them for their next “life” is a great task of the imagination for a child.
In this activity, the children had to work together to help carry the logs in the garden, and they had to respect that the trees were a shared canvas, and that they needed to leave enough room for others to work. They all interpreted the activity differently, and many different totem faces and animals appeared on the finished products.