A few years ago I went to Alaska and was in awe of the totem poles I saw there. I have been looking for a way to incorporate totem poles into my art classes ever since. Today, I had the kids make their own personal totem poles out of clay. Family, personal interests or pets inspired their totem poles. They rolled, pinched, pulled, and molded the clay. Pieces were attached by scoring (scratching the surfaces of the pieces being attached) and adding slip (a clay paste). Students carved into the clay to add detail. Wings, turtle shells, ears, elephant tusks emerged from the clay giving them dimension and life.