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alphabet, crafts, Early Childhood Education, Homeschool, Kindergarten, Preschool, teaching ideas

Alphabet Activities – T is for Totem Pole

Totem pole, Saxman Totem Park

Image via Wikipedia

A great way for children to demonstrate their family ties is to make a family totem pole for the letter T.

Totem poles have a long history in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Native tribes carved figures in large Western Red Cedar trees to represent their clan lineage.


~ at least 5 family photos per child (parents or guardians, siblings, pets, etc.) that can be cut

~ heavy duty poster paper or foam sheets

~ glue

~ one paint stick/stirrer or ruler per child


Have each child cut out the faces only from their photographs. If the photos are too tiny, enlarge them on a copier first. Glue to pre-cut poster paper or foam circles about 1 1/2 inches around. Glue the photo circles to the front of a paint stick/stirrer with the youngest at the bottom and the oldest at the top (in the child’s best estimation).

This could also be a fun activity as a class group. A totem pole with the teacher at the top and each student below would be a great idea to welcome parents to the classroom.

About Cindy A. Johnson

I live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. I love to read, work in my flower and vegetable gardens, feed and watch the birds in the yard, sit on the front porch looking at the mountains and go camping. I also like to watch wildlife, including my cats and dog (ha!). I write online articles on a variety of subjects. Check out my book reviews at: http://readerjots.wordpress.com, wonderful nature stuff at http://mynaturenotes.wordpress.com and assorted articles on interesting stuff at http://Esmeowl12.hubpages.com. My first ebook was published in January 2012: "Alphamania: An Alphabet Resource for Teachers and Parents." Check out the blog at https://alphabetletters.wordpress.com.


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