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Bison Benefits

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Summary

Students will be able to identify the role of the American bison in the life of the American Indians. Students will identify animals as natural resources.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the role of the American bison in the life of the American Indians.
  • Students will identify animals as natural resources.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Grades

  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Internet research skills
  • Natural resource
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • American Indians

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Environment
  • Reverse (back)
  • Nickel
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Bison
  • Louisiana Territory

Materials

  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that explains how the parts of a tree are used, such as:
    • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
    • Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber
    • Trees, Leaves, and Bark by Diane L. Burns and Linda Garrow
    • Nature’s Timekeeper, the Tree by Gaud Morel
  • Chart paper/markers
  • “Uses for a Tree” worksheet
  • 1 overhead projector
  • The following pages from the Resource Guide:
    • “American Bison Nickel Obverse” page
    • “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page
    • “Western United States” map
    • “Lewis and Clark Route” overlay
    • “American Indian Tribes” overlay
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that provides basic historical information about the Lewis and Clark expedition, such as:
    • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark: Soldiers, Explorers, and Partners in History by David Peterson and Mark Coburn, Ch. 3
    • World History Series: The Lewis and Clark Expedition by Eleanor J. Hall
    • The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark by Rhoda Blumberg
  • Web sites that include basic information about the importance of the bison to the American Indians such as those available at:
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that provides basic information about the American Indians and their respect for the environment such as:
    • Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: a Message from Chief Seattle by Chief Seattle
    • Keepers of the Animals: Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac
    • Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac
    • The Trees Stand Shining: Poetry of the North American Indians by Robert Andrew Parker
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that provides basic information about the American bison such as:
    • American Bison by Ruth Berman
    • Wildlife of North America: The American Bison by Steve Potts
    • Buffalo Sunrise: The story of a North American Giant by Diane Swanson
    • Buffalo: with Selections from Native American Song Poems by Beverly Brodsky
  • Computers with Internet access
  • “Bison Benefits” worksheet
  • Web sites that include basic information about bison such as:

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Uses for a Tree” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Bison Benefits” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make an overhead transparency of the following from the Resource Guide:
    • “American Bison Nickel Obverse” page
    • “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page
    • “Western United States” map
    • “Lewis and Clark Route” overlay
    • “American Indian Tribes” overlay
  • Locate an appropriate text that provides basic information about the bison (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate an appropriate text that provides basic information about Lewis and Clark and their encounters with the American Indians (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate an appropriate text that provides basic information about the importance of the bison to the American Indians (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate an appropriate text that explains how the parts of a tree are used (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab or find copies of appropriate texts that provide basic information about the bison (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Bookmark appropriate Internet sites (see examples under “Materials”).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/174.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Show the students a copy of an age-appropriate text that explains how the parts of a tree are used. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what is occurring in different parts of the book.
  2. Read the story aloud to the class. Have the students recall the different things the tree was used for in the story. Make a list on a sheet of chart paper. Note that every part of the tree was used.
  3. Distribute the “Uses for a Tree” worksheet. Have the students fill in the blank spaces with words or drawings of the different things that were made from the tree.
  4. Display the transparency of the “American Bison Nickel Obverse” page. Ask the students to examine it and tell you what they know about this picture. The students should be able to identify this as the obverse (front) of a nickel and identify the man as President Thomas Jefferson. Tell the students, “The obverse design for the 2005 nickels will bear, for the first time in 67 years, a new likeness of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson and that the ‘Liberty’ inscription on the coin is based on Jefferson’s own handwriting.”
  5. Display the overhead transparency of the “Western United States” map with the “Lewis and Clark Route” overlay on top. Explain to the students that, when our country was very young, President Jefferson bought some new territory for our country. After he had purchased the territory, he sent a group of explorers led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore this new territory. The Westward Journey Nickel Series™ commemorates this important expedition.
  6. On the map, follow Lewis and Clark’s route and point out that the group traveled over both land and water. Explain that an important part of the mission for Lewis and Clark was to record information about the plants, animals, and people they met or saw during their journey.
  7. Add the transparency of the “American Indian Tribes” overlay on top of the other transparencies. Explain to the students that Lewis and Clark met American Indians from more than 40 different tribes.
  8. Read a selection from an appropriate text that refers to the American Indians that Lewis and Clark met during their journey.

Session 2

  1. Review the “Uses for a Tree” worksheet from the previous session. Lead a class discussion on the importance of the journals that Lewis and Clark kept during their expedition.
  2. Read this quote from their journals: “The buffalo boats were used wherever there were buffalo to ferry people and goods across rivers; they could be easily made in a day on a framework of sticks, usually willow sticks.” Tell the students that this passage was written by William Clark on October 9, 1804.
  3. Read this quote: “We saw immense quantities of game in every direction around us as we passed up the river, consisting of herds of buffalo, elk and antelope with some deer and wolves. We proceeded about four miles. When falling in with some buffalo I killed a yearling calf, which was in good order; we soon cooked and made a hearty meal of a part of it, and renewed our march.” Tell the students that this passage was written by Meriwether Lewis on April 17, 1805.
  4. Ask the students to visualize what Lewis and Clark are referring to in the quotes. Discuss the quotes emphasizing the number of bison and how they used the bison. Review with the students the term “natural resources” and ask them to name some examples, guiding them to the answer that animals are examples of natural resources.
  5. Ask the students if they know what is on the reverse (back) of the 2005 nickel. After hearing responses, display the transparency of the “American Bison Nickel Reverse” page. Ask the students if they know what animal is on the coin. Students should respond that the animal is a bison or buffalo. 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.
  6. Read a selection from an age-appropriate text or Web page from the “Materials” section that gives information about the importance of the bison to the American Indians. Discuss the idea that the bison was important in many aspects of the Native Americans’ lives. Guide the students to understand that the bison was an important natural resource.
  7. Discuss how the American Indians felt about the bison: that it gave freely to the American Indians to help them survive. Relate this to the text about the uses of a tree and how a tree also gives freely.

Session 3

  1. Review the importance of the bison to the American Indians. Read a selection from an appropriate text that gives information about how the American Indians made use of their environment and its natural resources.
  2. Discuss the idea that the American Indians made good use of everything in their environment and that they did not waste anything. Review the text about the uses of a tree and guide the students to see the relationship between the uses of the parts of the tree and the American Indians not wasting resources.
  3. Explain to the class that their task is to find information on how the American Indians used the bison. Refer back to the journal entries from October 9, 1804, and April 17, 1805, from Session 2.
  4. Distribute a “Bison Benefits” worksheet to each student. Explain to the class that they will be researching the American Indian uses of the different parts of the bison. They will be drawing pictures or writing words in each of the ovals that show the uses of that part of the bison.
  5. Give the students time to research either by using the Internet sites you have bookmarked or by using some other resources such as books made available by the teacher (see “Materials” list). Direct the students to begin gathering information to complete the worksheet. Remind the students that they do not have to use just the Internet.
  6. Collect the worksheets when finished.

Session 4

  1. Complete a class diagram identifying the parts of the bison and what they were used for.
  2. Have the students write a paragraph summarizing the class diagram.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students work in pairs.
  • Have pictures of bison-based objects for the student to match to the parts from which they were made.

Enrichments/Extensions

Compare the American Bison Nickel with the Indian Head/Buffalo Nickel at www.usmint.gov/kids/index.cfm?fileContents=coinNews/cotm/2001/06.cfm.

  • Use the “Bison Benefits” worksheet for assessment.
  • Use the student-created paragraph for assessment.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.3 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.3.3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.) 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • RI.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: History and Nature of Science
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Science as a human endeavor

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Print/Non-print Texts
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. 

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features