Lesson Four: The Buffalo Today

Focus Questions:

Can you think of places or things named for the buffalo in South Dakota and in other states?

Why might states, companies, or sports teams want the buffalo as a symbol? (buffalo are powerful)

Imbedded Information in the Student Lesson:

Bar graph on buffalo population; South Dakota herd numbers; state flag/seals with buffalo

Worksheet:

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Buffalo Evaluation Sheet

Classroom Activities:

     Take a field trip to a private, state, or tribal ranch that raises buffalo. If this is not possible, send for educational materials available from the National Bison Association, 4701 Marion Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80216; or call (303) 292-3833; or use their online contact from at http://www.bisoncentral.com/contact. You can visit them on the web at www.bisoncentral.com.

     To illustrate the buffalo's status as an enduring symbo l of strength and character, have students look for products that use the buffalo as a symbol. Next have them search for other animals used as symbols and determine what values they represent. One imbedded link in the student section gives some examples. When the students have gathered the information, do a bulletin board showing the various products. Or you can have the students do a scrap book with different types of companies. Ask them to comment on whether certain related types of items or companies use buffalo as symbols.

Have the students take the data from the South Dakota herd numbers chart and place it in a bar graph or on a map.  Students can locate and place the names of the ranches, parks, and reservations on an outline map of South Dakota.  They can then include the buffalo numbers for each location.

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