What’s Happening in Eighth Grade?
The eighth graders at Lincoln Middle School recently finished reading their first classroom novel, Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikalsen. It is about a troubled teenager named Cole, who develops anger issues due to the emotional and verbal abuse of his parents. This problem of Cole’s leads to an unfortunate incident with one of his classroom peers. As a result, it is decided that Cole will be banished to Alaska to learn to “heal” himself through the guidance of two Tlinget Indians, Edwin and Garvey.
All of the eighth graders were required to write a totem pole essay and construct their own personal totem, just like Cole in the novel. They learned that the Tlinget Indians carved totems to communicate family stories. The symbols were selected carefully, as they had much meaning behind them. The creative totem poles are decorating the hallways at Lincoln.