Return to Headlines


Have you ever heard of a totem pole?  Totem poles are monumental carvings, a type of Northwest Coast art, consisting of poles, posts or pillars, carved with symbols or figures. They are usually made from large trees.  Over time they have become a world recognized symbol of Canada, which is where the Mackenzie River flows.

Read more about Totem Poles at this link:

As you watch, begin thinking about things you would like to have on a totem pole if you were able to make one.

Maybe you can’t carve a giant tree into a totem pole, but you can make one right at home. All you need is an empty paper towel roll, some paper, crayons or markers, and your imagination.

Check out the link below to guide you in making your very own totem pole.

Materials Needed

  • Empty paper towel or wrapping paper rolls
  • Crayons and/or markers
  • Construction paper (many colors)
  • Glue
  • Scissors


  1. Cut a piece of construction paper long enough to wrap around the paper roll.
  2. You can cut the paper roll in half to make a smaller totem piece.
  3. Lay the paper out flat and draw on an animal’s face. It’s a good idea to have some examples of actual totem poles (books, photos etc.) handy.
  4. When you have finished drawing the face, glue the construction paper around the paper roll.
  5. Cut a triangular shape (for the nose or beak) out of the construction paper, crease it down the middle (so it will stick out) and glue the edges onto the face.
  6. Cut a pair of wings and glue them to your totem.
  7. If you like, you can make a few different totems and stack them on top of one another.

If you need some ideas and inspiration for what to put on your totem pole, follow this link: 

Return completed activities to campus between August 14th-23rd.

Return to Mackenzie River