I provided the children with a few photos of totem poles and we had a quick chat about their origins ... the photos were to provide the children with some inspiration and ideas but as always it's all about them creating their own work rather than simply copying what they see.
First of all I got them to build the basic structure using the pole, card, bits of egg box, some small card cups I had lying around in my art room and lots of masking tape! We used masking tape to attach the pieces rather than normal clear tape as masking tape can easily be painted over. It was sometimes a bit of a challenge to attach the pieces really securely though!
Next we got the paint out and started painting - bright colours, some metallics and black to highlight. A couple of the group didn't want to paint theirs and used some crayons and oil pastel instead for detail.
I think they turned out really well - and it was a great one-lesson activity to kick start the new autumn term! It's something that could easily be replicated at home too on a smaller scale if you don't have any large tubes like we did - using kitchen roll inners