The neat thing about homeschooling is that you can run with it. Out of the blue (I think, though I’m sure I’m not seeing the whole picture yet) my daughter wanted to know about totem poles. Where are they? What are they? How do they make them? Now she’s 5 so we mostly did a hands-on exploration. And some really excellent library books with pictures of Native Canadians out in the Queen Charlotte Islands and Victoria Island carving giant ones. For months and months at a time. With hand tools. It was a great way to have some conversations about Native Canadian cultures.
(above – gorgeous night photo at Stanley Park, Vancouver, via Flickr here)
We learned that there are different layers of wood in a tree, and that the trees used for totem poles are so huge that even when the outer layers of wood are stripped away to reveal the beautiful, smooth and strong heart wood… the circumference of the totem pole is still enormous.
I guess when you’re 5, it makes absolutely perfect sense to honour animals. And to see them as connected to us. And to make art about your family and what is important to you. I wonder when that disconnect with nature happens and why it does so frequently. So she used toilet paper rolls covered in construction paper to build her own paper totem pole. Making sure to show the animals on the back and sides of the pole tool.
And then she sat on one still-nearly-hot fall day and carved her own little totem pole. In the sunshine. With some shish-kebab sticks and the end of the metal letter-opener, which proved to be the best tool of all. Well, that and her giant 5 year old heart & loving energy.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend. And if you feel inspired, please join our brooch swap. Thank you to everyone who has signed up so far!
Linking up today with Natural Suburbia’s Creative Friday here.