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animal symbolism/ totem animalsI am presently working with Life of Pi, and I am asking...

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:50 AM via web

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animal symbolism/ totem animals

I am presently working with Life of Pi, and I am asking students to examine the symbolism of the animals that ended up in the life boat with Pi and to explore how each might be a reflection of some aspect of his personality.  Students are to pretend that they have been stranded in some deserted place with animals that could symbolize certain aspects of their personalities and then describe how they would relate to each.  I'm also asking them to create a totem pole of these animals to display in the classroom.

If you had to choose an animal or two to symbolize a certain aspect of your own personality, what might you pick and why?

Mine are:

wolf: teacher who follows instinct

spider: weaves webs of creativity

serpent: sheds the old and leaves whatever no longer "fits" behind

6 Answers | Add Yours

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 2, 2008 at 4:57 AM (Answer #2)

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I'm definitely a cat. I like to decide what I do and when I do it. I'm very picky about who I trust, and I love to be alone.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 2, 2008 at 9:51 AM (Answer #3)

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I would definitely be a cat, as well.  I'm very independent and like to have time to myself.  Another one I might be would be a wolf.  I also follow my instincts, as you noted in your post.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:56 AM (Answer #4)

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I would be a cat for my fierce independence and intense love of private time and also a dolphin for my free spirit, love of intelligent life, and society when I choose it. 

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted May 2, 2008 at 12:00 PM (Answer #5)

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There are a lot of cats on this topic!  I, too, would be a cat - I love to curl up in a chair, in a sunbeam, read a good book, and have quiet time to myself.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2010 at 3:26 PM (Answer #6)

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Oh gosh - isn't this one of those icebreaking questions that we all love to loathe?! Very symbolic way of looking at animals, though amethystrose. Have you read the Northern Lights trilogy by Philip Pullman? He creates a fantasy world where everyone has a familiar, which is an animal which again says something about the person's character. A really interesting read. For me, I would choose a bookworm because I love books!

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2010 at 4:15 PM (Answer #7)

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Wow!  I really am NOT a cat person, but the descriptors you have all given almost make me want to say "cat"--almost.

If I were picking an animal whose name is apt, I'd choose crab or a bear--'cause I kind of am.

If I were picking a creature whose looks are apt, I'd choose a roly poly--'nuff said.

If I were just picking creatures I'm oddly drawn to, I'd choose a vulture or a hyena--don't ask.

What was the question again?  Oh yeah, personality.  I'd actually probably just choose a dog.  They're faithful, friendly, ferocious when they need to be, and fairly uncomplicated.  Yup, that's me.  Thanks for asking!

Lori Steinbach

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