Our 5th grade students are participating in a virtual field trip with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Wyoming. The educators shared the story Iktomi and the Buffalo Skull with the students, then held up a buffalo head for students to see the huge size of the animal head.
The educators talked about the animals and traditions of the Plains Indian Tribes and showed students pictures of the different animals and how they lived. The buffalo is one of the animals that the tribes used for hunting and survival. Buffalo were heavily hunted and the population dropped dramatically from 30-60 million to just 100 in 100 years. The Buffalo weigh 2000 lbs. each; and were used to create bowls, storage bags, shields, drums and more.
The Plains tribes did not use the word tipi, but called it a lodge. Students shared their understanding of the word nomadic, and the tribes would move often.
The winter count was created on a buffalo hide and each year a symbol was added to tell a major event of the year. Students asked some great questions about the tribes, including how the weather affects them and how we learn so much about them.