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Art Integration Lesson Plan Template 1

Art Integration Lesson Plan Template

LTC 4240: Art for Children
Lesson Title & Big Idea*: Identity: Meaning and Purpose of Totem Pole
Lesson Overview/Summary*: Through discussion and creation of a Totem pole, students will gain the knowledge of how
totem poles have been used to express individual and clan identity.

Grade Level*: 2nd

Class Periods Required:

Key Concepts: What you want the students to know.*

1. Visual Art:
An artist can express identity through artwork
Artwork means something different to each person who views it this
helps us to find our own unique identity
2. Literacy:
Identity can be portrayed through story the way the author describes
a certain character
Certain characteristics of a character make up the identity of that
3. History
There are many different types of people and cultures in our world
with unique beliefs and ways of life
Different cultures have unique ways of expressing identity

Essential Questions.*
1. Why is it important for each person to have his or her own identity?
2. How do people express their identity every day? (Clothes, hair style,
3. What are some ways groups express their identity? (Flags, crest,
4. What are some ways we have seen identity be expressed
throughout history?

Lesson Objectives: (Excellent resource at *

1. Visual Art: The students will be able to express their identity through a specific animal commonly found on a totem pole made by indigenous people by
creating their own self portrait. The students will pick a specific animal that they believe has personality characteristic that mirror their own.
2. Literacy: The students will be able to identify how their choice of animal was perceived from an indigenous standpoint through the reading of Totem
Tale By Deb Vanasse.
3. History: The students will be able to connect how they themselves see the animal to how the animal was seen throughout history by this specific ethnic
Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) (
1. Visual Art:
Strand I: Product/ Performance:

Common Vocabulary:
1. Identity
2. Portrait
3. Totem Pole

Art Integration Lesson Plan Template 2

AManipulate paper to create low relief (e.g., curling, folding,

tearing, and cutting)
CCreate an original artwork that communicates ideas about
the following themes:
_Places (e.g., school, home, stores, neighborhood,
Strand II: Elements and Principals: (EP)
CIdentify and use geometric forms: sphere, cube, cylinder, and
Stand III: Artistic Perceptions (AP):
AExplain different responses you have to different art-works
Strand IV: Historical and Cultural Contexts (HC):
AExplain the connection between American Indian culture and
2. Literacy:
Follow an Inquiry process to construct new understandings, draw
conclusions, and create new knowledge:
AFollow an inquiry process to:
a. Identify an information need
b. Access prior knowledge relevant to the needed information
c. Identify what additional information is needed, with
d. Recognize relevant information within a source, with
e. Recognize the value of feedback
f. Evaluate whether the need was met, with assistance
g. Develop critical thinking skills to adapt process, as
necessary, to fulfill purpose.


Indigenous people
Short Story
Native People

Art Integration Lesson Plan Template 3

Contribute to the construction and exchange of ideas through
independent, cooperative, and/or collaborative work
3. History
3a. Knowledge of continuity and change in history of Missouri and the
United States
GCompare and contrast the habitats, resources, art and daily
lives of native American peoples, Woodland and Plains
Content Areas Integrated*:
1. Visual Art (Inspiration Artist: Robert Davidson)
2. Literacy (Inspired Author: Deb Vanasse)
3. History

Lesson Activities & Procedure(s) (please be very specific):

1. I will begin this lesson by asking my students to come up to the front
carpet. There on the smart board I will have pulled up a picture
Thee Variations of the Killer Whale Myth by Robert Davidson I will
then VTS on the picture. I will ask questions such as:
2. After the VTS, I will ask some questions based on their observations:
Has anyone ever seen a statue such as this one?
Does anyone know what this statue is called?
Why do you think it was created?
What purpose does it serve?
What do you think the different animals represent
3. After the students and I have thoroughly discussed the image on the
screen I will read Totem Tale by Deb Vanasse to the class
4. After I have read this book I will ask the students how each of the
different animals in the story had their own personality. I will ask
questions such as:
What were some of the animals characteristics?
How did the author describe the animals?
How did this description give the animal a unique identity?
5. After we have discussed the animals from the book I will ask the
students to give characteristics of other animals. For example:
What are some characteristics of a dog? To that students
would most likely say something along the lines of friendly,
happy, or loyal
What are some characteristics of a cat? Again, students
would answer with things such as graceful etc.

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6. After we go through some examples as a class I will send students
back to their seats. I will then instruct them to take out their writers
notebooks and begin brainstorming different animals and their
different characteristics. I will allow them about 10 minutes to think
of all kind of different animals.
7. After students have a sufficient list of animals and characteristics I
will have them choose an animal they believe matches some of their
own characteristics. I will give them another 5 minutes to choose an
animal or come up with a new animal they believe matches their
8. I will then have the students sketch out on a piece of paper the
animal they have chosen. This will then give them an idea of how
they the animal will look on paper.
9. I will then show a premade example of my own animal. This will be
done on a piece of construction paper. To make this I will have
taken different colors of paper cut them out and pasted them onto
the construction paper to make the animal of my choice. I will
explain to the class my process in cutting out the paper and gluing it
onto my page.
10. I will have already set up a table with all the material the students
will need. I will have a helper pass out plain white construction
paper to each student. Students will be able to come up in table
groups (four or five at a time) to get scissors, glue, and colored
pieces of paper.
11. While the children are working I will play music in the background.
The album Ah Nee Mahs Native Visions, would be a nice way to
incorporate the cultures music into the lesson. This type of music is
calm and will help students focus on the task in front of them
12. After the students have finished their totem pole animal I will have
them go around and tell the class what animal they chose and why
this represents their identity. I will ask the following question:
Why did you choose this animal?
What characteristic do you have in common with this
13. After each student has shared their artwork I will take the animals
and display them outside in the hallway. I will stack the animals on

Art Integration Lesson Plan Template 5

Anticipatory Set:*
1. Visual Art: VTS of Robert Davidson Thee Variations of the Killer
Whale Myth
2. Literacy: Read to Students Totem Tale by Deb Vanasse
3. History: Students answer and discuss these questions:
What are totem poles?
How were they used?
Why were they used?
Who used them?

top of each other just as it is with an authentic totem pole.

14. I will take the class out to look at the complemented totem pole. I
will start a discussion with:
What do we see?
How has your individual identify changed when they are all
your portraits were put together?
15. We, as a class, will be able to discuss how indigenous cultures used
totem poles to identify different clans. Each individual animal, or
student, represents a whole of our clan, or classroom. This will help
the students use real and modern examples of how and why
indigenous cultures used totem poles.
16. The next day students will begin brainstorming and drafting a short
story of their animal and what life is like in their clan.
Have students write a short story of his or her animal and what life is like in
their clan

Formative Assessment:
Summative Assessment *:
1. Visual Art: Is the students identity represented in his or her chosen
1. Visual Art: Students artwork has an aspect of their unique identity
totem pole animal?
2. Literacy: After hearing the book Totem Tales be read to them,
2. Literacy: Do students understand the how the book Totem Tales is
students will understand how different animals are given different
being incorporated into the assignment they are doing?
3. History: Do students understand why totem poles were created and
3. History: Students will understand the connection of indigenous
what they represented?
cultures use of the totem pole to how they themselves have created
and used their representation

What student prior knowledge will this lesson require/draw upon?

1. Students will have done VTS on different images prior to this lesson

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2. Students will be familiar with how to write a short story
3. Students will be familiar with writing in their writers notebook
4. Students will have had previous assignments using scissors, glue, and paper
How will you engage students in imagining, exploring, and/or experimenting in this lesson?
1. The VTS done at the beginning of the lesson will have gotten students to start thinking creatively.
2. They will then be able to explore and experiment with different animals and how characteristics fit with this animal and then how the characteristics
fit with themselves personally
3. A short story will allow the students to be creative with how they tell the story and in what setting
How will this lesson allow for/encourage students to solve problems in divergent ways?
1. Hopefully by the end of this lesson the students will see themselves as more than just students in a classroom but as a clan. Seeing all their individual
animals together to make this great big pole will make a sense of unity amonst them. This will hopefully promote a good sense of values within the
2. This will also get the students to look at things in a different way. Just as they looked at an animal in a way they had not before.
How will you engage students in routinely reflecting on their learning?
1. Throughout the lesson, I will keep the picture of the totem poles on the smart board so it is the background of their learning. Also the music I will
play in the background will help them to continually focus on this culture
How will you adapt the various aspects of the lesson to differently-abeled students?
1. I will inform these students beforehand of the activity
2. If they fell they will be overwhelmed with so much activity I will allow them to work in a different classroom or somewhere where they feel safe and
3. If these students want I will also let them work with a partner or with myself
What opportunities/activities will students be given to revise and improve their understandings and their work?
1. Students will be able to revise and improve upon their short stories
2. After students have brainstormed different animals and then hear the assignment of a self portrait they will be able go back and change or add
animals and characteristics they think better suit their identity
What opportunities/activities will you provide for students to share their learning in this lesson?
1. Students will share his or her finished product to the class
2. They will share what animal they chose to represent them and why
Lesson Resources/References:
1. Vanasse, Deb. (Feb 7, 2006). Totem Tale a tall story from Alaska. Sasquatch Books.

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2. Ah Nee Mah, (2013). Native Visions (A Native American Music Journey). full Album
Retrieved from
3. Davidson, Robert. (1985) Three Variations of The Killer Whale Myth.
Retrieved from

* Include this information during the Popplet presentation.

Silverstein, L. B. & Layne, S. (n.d.). Defining arts integration. Retrieved from