Alaskan Tales of Sea Ice and Totem Poles

ravenDo you know that the raven, a massive bird, is extremely smart with complex problem solving skills? We have been learning about ravens and other animals especially valued by Northwest Native Americans. While looking at totem poles, we noted that the ravens were frequently on them. To the Northwest Native Americans, the raven symbolizes intelligence, heroism and the “bringer of light” (creation). Totem poles usually  tell a story, perhaps about a family, an event , etc. Students assembled traditional totem poles and then created their own totem poles that reflect their lives.

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In addition, we read an exciting book about Inuit Indians, A Promise is a Promise by Munsch that tells a tale about the Qallupilluit, mythological creatures who live under the sea ice. The students loved this story and were amazed at how a serious problem was so cleverly solved! They enjoyed drawing Qallupilluit.

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