This simple, fun, hands-on activity allows students to explore some of the beliefs of Aboriginal spirituality and make connections to their own personalities. An easy-to-use scoring evaluation is included. I use this activity during the unit on Aboriginal religions which is one of the first units in the World Religions course. Students do need to have some background and understanding of Aboriginal religion and the significance of animal spirits and totems before doing this project.
This was originally used in a grade 11 class but can be easily used for middle school grades. For older students, this activity can mostly be done outside of class with the students being responsible for doing the research on animal spirits, creating their totems and writing their explanations. This would make an excellent in-class activity for younger students as long as the students had internet access to do the research to see what animal spirit they share characteristics with. The web links in the assignment were active as of July 2013 but should be checked before the activity is given to the students.
Computers & Internet access for research, empty pop cans/empty toilet paper rolls/empty paper towel rolls (to make totems).