Grade: 1, 2
In small groups and then as a class, using colourful illustrations on magnets for visual support, students will discuss and learn about the gifts the buffalo gave to the Dakota people and other Plains First Nation people who lived in the area.
In what way was the buffalo used to provide a way of life for the Whitecap Dakota First Nation?
Students will be able to discuss how the buffalo is sacred to the Dakota People. The buffalo supplied everything the Dakota people needed to survive.
View Complete Lesson Plan
TIME DURATION: 2+ LESSONS
1. Learning about the Gifts from the Buffalo
2. Extension: how can we apply this knowledge?
Social Studies DR 1.3 Demonstrate awareness of humans’ reliance on the natural environment to meet needs, and how location affects families in meeting needs and wants.
F) Identify ways in which use of resources to meet needs and wants of individuals affects the natural environment, and recognize individual and group responsibility towards responsible stewardship of the natural environment.
Students will be able to explain how the objects were used – a minimum of 6 objects of the 13 that were discussed in the lesson. Students will be able to draw their assigned picture(s).
Share the Cree perspective by reading the book:
HONOURING THE BUFFALO – BY JUDITH SILVERTHORNE
Explain to the children that while the Cree and the Dakota are different nations, the way they used the buffalo was very similar.
(**be sure to count the magnets before you hand them out and return the same number to the container)
Start by placing the buffalo magnet on the wall and explaining to the students that you will be discussing why the buffalo is sacred to the Dakota as well as other Plains First Nations. Discuss how every part of the buffalo was a gift for the people.
In small groups (2 or 3 students per group) students will study their magnetic image. Have the students look at each magnetic image, draw it and discuss what it is and which part of the buffalo they think it came from.
As a large group, discuss each image before placing it on the wall. Discuss any misconceptions.
Pages 11 on, from HONOURING THE BUFFALO will be very helpful in the discussion.
Be sure to connect the lesson to the Stonebridge area. Refer to the link Stonebridge Discovery Walking Tour for more information. Children must understand that the buffalo were processed (butchered) in the community starting more than 1500 years ago through to the 1800s.
POSSIBLE ADAPTATIONS, DIFFERENTIATIONS OR EXTENSIONS:
- Have a hot lunch and serve bison burgers
- Contact the FNIM department at Saskatoon Public Schools Central Office and invite a consultant to bring the buffalo fur and other artifacts
- Paint a class mural of the buffalo roaming the plains
- Retell what students have learned and present it to other classes or to parents
- Thank you letter to the buffalo
- Thank you letter to someone or something else that gives a lot to your life
Read the following poem Tatanka By Darren M. Grine. Play the music in the background as you read.
HONOURING THE BUFFALO BY JUDITH SILVERTHORNE
MAGNET SET OF IMAGES OR PRINT OUT OF THE IMAGES