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We're Going on a Bison Hunt

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Summary

Students will examine the significance of the Louisiana Purchase and of the journey of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. Students will compose a journal entry to demonstrate their knowledge of the use of the American bison as a resource to both the Corps of Discovery and the American Indians.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will examine the significance of the Louisiana Purchase and of the journey of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery.
  • Students will compose a journal entry to demonstrate their knowledge of the use of the American bison as a resource to both the Corps of Discovery and the American Indians.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The term “resource”
  • The term “explorer”
  • Concept of journal writing

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Explorer
  • Reverse (back)
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Lewis and Clark
  • American bison
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • American Indians
  • Corps of Discovery
  • Nickel
  • Resources Journal
  • Quills
  • Hunt

Materials

  • Images of Lewis and Clark
  • 1 overhead projector
  • “Louisiana Territory Map” from the Resource Guide
  • “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page from the Resource Guide
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that provides basic historical information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as:
    • Lewis and Clark: Discover the Life Of An Explorer by Trish Kline
    • Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West by Steven Kroll
    • A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark by David Adler
    • Going Along with Lewis and Clark by Barbara Fif
  • Chart paper, markers
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that provides basic information about the bison, such as:
    • Why Buffalo Roam by L. Michael Kershen
    • Buffaloes by Marianne Johnston
    • Sioux: Nomadic Buffalo Hunters by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack
    • The Buffalo Nickel by Taylor Morrison
  • “A Use For All Parts, Key” sheet
  • “A Use For All Parts” sheet
  • Envelopes
  • Markers, crayons, and pencils
  • Glue
  • 11" X 14" piece of construction paper (1 per student)
  • Brown paper lunch bags (1 per student)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tempra paint
  • Small containers to distribute paint to students

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “A Use For All Parts” sheet (1 per student)
    • “Name That Part” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make an enlarged copy of the “A Use For All Parts” sheet.
  • Make an overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • “Louisiana Territory Map” from the Resource Guide
    • “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page from the Resource Guide
    • “A Use For All Parts, Key” sheet
  • Gather images of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
  • Locate an appropriate text that provides basic historical information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate an appropriate text that provides basic information about the bison (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Cut out the pieces of the enlarged copy and the students’ copies of the “A Use For All Parts” sheet to use in Session 3.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/159.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display an image of the explorers Lewis and Clark and explain that these men are very important to our country’s history. Ask the students to brainstorm ideas about what these men may have done. Explain to the class that these men were explorers and were named Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
  2. Engage the students in a discussion about “explorers” and the meaning of this term, directing them to realize that an explorer is a person who goes to a new place to find new things. Have the students brainstorm the names of other explorers with whom they may be familiar, such as Christopher Columbus.
  3. Display the overhead transparency of the “Louisiana Territory Map” and show the students the area that Lewis and Clark explored. Note the area’s position in relation to your school’s location. Explain that the territory was explored a long time ago. Explain to the students that Lewis and Clark traveled over land and water and saw many things they were not very familiar with.
  4. Display the overhead transparency of the “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page and introduce the students to the Westward Journey Nickel Series™. Explain to the students that, when exploring this new territory, the explorers came across different types of animals, including the one portrayed on the nickel reverse. Explain to the students that the American bison is not really a buffalo—no species of buffalo is native to North America. But people have used the term “buffalo” to describe the American bison since before Lewis and Clark’s time, so the terms are virtually interchangeable in common usage.
  5. Introduce the term “resource.” Explain to the students that a resource is something that can be used when it’s needed. As an example, have the students discuss some things they use that are found in nature (such as trees, plants, and water).
  6. Introduce the students to the selected text about Lewis and Clark. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what is occurring in different parts of the text. Before reading the text, ask the students to pay attention to resources that Lewis and Clark may have used during their journey.
  7. Read the text aloud. During the reading, discuss the resources in the text. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  8. Explain to the students that Lewis and Clark also kept journals that documented their journey. In these journals, they told about the things that happened along the way and the resources they used and discovered.
  9. After reading the story, ask the students to recall the resources mentioned that were used during the journey. Record all responses on chart paper and add a simple sketch next to each event to help non-readers remember these resources. In this discussion, guide the students to mention the bison as a resource in their responses.

Session 2

  1. Display the “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page overhead transparency. Ask the students to review what they see in the nickel reverse image.
  2. Have the students discuss what parts of the story and journal entry from the previous session they remember when looking at the coin.
  3. Ask the students to recall the definition of “resource.” Refer to the examples of things that they have used from nature, if necessary.
  4. 4. Introduce the students to the selected text on the bison. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what is occurring in different parts of the text. Before reading the text, ask the students to pay attention to how Lewis and Clark used the bison during their journey.
  5. Read the text aloud. During the reading, discuss how the bison was used as a resource. Also explain to the students that, because the American Indians had such a respect for nature and they had no stores where they could buy things, they had to use all parts of the bison. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  6. After reading the story, ask the students to recall how the bison could be used as a resource. Record all responses on chart paper and add a simple sketch next to each to help non-readers remember these resources.
  7. Explain to the students that the American Indians knew many uses for the bison. Also explain to them that Lewis and Clark learned many of these uses by observing the American Indians.
  8. Display the overhead transparency of the “A Use For All Parts, Key” sheet.
  9. Discuss the many uses of the different parts of the bison.
  10. Explain to the students that, on the following day, they will be going on their own bison hunt to find the parts of the bison to complete a puzzle. Note: Before the next session, cut out the six sections of the enlarged copy of the “A Use For All Parts” sheet. Display the pieces, hidden in manila file folders, in various parts of the room so they act as “hunting” stations. Also cut out the pieces from the students’ “A Use For All Parts” sheet. At each “hunting” station, place the matching smaller part for the students to pick up.

Session 3

  1. Display the “A Use For All Parts, Key” overhead transparency from the previous session.
  2. Discuss again the connection between the American Indians, Lewis and Clark, and the bison.
  3. Split the students into six groups of “hunters” and explain to them that they are going to go on a bison hunt just like the American Indians did. Explain to the students that the American Indians hunted in groups and had to be very quiet so as to not scare away the bison.
  4. Explain that each group of hunters is responsible for using the “Name That Part” worksheet to find the parts of the bison to complete a puzzle. They may use the “A Use For All Parts, Key” transparency, which will remain displayed during the activity, in order to figure out which “hunting” station they need to visit to get their part.
  5. Explain to the students that they are to “creep” on their hunt as the American Indians would have. Remind the students that they also need to be very quiet on their hunt so they don’t scare away the bison. Also tell the students that no more than one group of hunters can be at a hunting station at one time. Once they are at a hunting station, they are to check the folder to see if they have found the correct part to match their clue.
  6. Distribute an envelope to each student and a copy of the “Name That Part” worksheet to each group. Direct the students to work as a team and complete their individual puzzle. Allow the students about 15 minutes to complete this activity.
  7. When the students have gathered all the parts, have them confirm their “Name That Part” sheet with the teacher. Distribute a large piece of construction paper to each student and have the students assemble the parts and glue them onto the paper. Direct the students to draw a picture showing one use inside each part.

Session 4

  1. Discuss again the activity from the day before. Have the students share with a partner some of their favorite parts of their hunt and figuring out how the parts of the bison could be used.
  2. Revisit the idea that Lewis and Clark kept journals of their journey. Share with the students that both Lewis and Clark and the American Indians wrote down things that happened to them, but in different ways. Explain that Lewis and Clark kept written journals of their journey, and that the American Indians drew pictures on the tanned skin of the bison.
  3. Display the brown paper lunch bag, paintbrush, and paint to the class. Explain that each student now will write a journal of his or her own hunting experience. The students will use their own paintbrush and “canvas” to record their thoughts. Their thoughts can include information such as naming the parts of the bison they found, mentioning items made from bison parts, and creeping quietly during the hunt. Explain that they may use inventive spelling as well as pictures to complete their journal entries.
  4. Demonstrate how the students will use the paintbrush and carefully write on their bags. Explain to the students that the American Indians may have used parts of the bison to make the paintbrushes they used to create some of their pictographs. Distribute the materials to the students. Allow the students an appropriate amount of time to complete the activity.
  5. Share a few of the journals with the class and hang them for viewing.
  6. Display the “American Bison Nickel Reverse” overhead transparency. Summarize why the bison was an important resource for the American Indians and the Corps of Discovery.
  7. Distribute a copy of the “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page to each student and allow them to color the picture and take it home.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide illustrations for the “Name That Part” worksheet for struggling students.
  • Allow students to work with partners in order to complete the puzzle or journaling activity.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • As a class, create a larger illustrated journal entry of the skills that may have been needed to use all these parts of the bison.
  • Keep theme-related books about Lewis and Clark, the Louisiana Purchase, and the bison in the class library so that students may read them at their leisure.
  • Assemble the student journal entries into a scrapbook or take digital pictures of them to create a slide show using computer presentation software.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions, ability to follow directions, and ability to work as a team.
  • Evaluate the puzzles and the pictures drawn in each part of the bison.
  • Evaluate the journal entries of the students.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.K Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.K.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
    • Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
    • Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
    • Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
    • Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.
  • L.K.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
    • Recognize and name end punctuation.
    • Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
    • Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.K.4. begins in grade 3.
  • W.K.5. With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • W.K.6. With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.K.4. Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RL.K.5. Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).
  • RL.K.6. With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RL.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).  
  • RL.K.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.K.9. With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.K.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
  • W.K.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.K.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Personal health
  • Characteristics and changes in populations
  • Types of resources
  • Changes in environments
  • Science and technology in local challenges