National Bison Day is an annual commemoration of the ecological, cultural, historical, and economic contribution of the American bison to the United States.
Observed the first Saturday in November, 2016 marks the first National Bison Day with the bison’s elevated status as Official National Mammal.
Video, Grades K-5
President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law on May 9, 2016, and designated the bison as America’s national mammal. Learn more about this important American symbol.
Audio, Grades 6-12
The pre-colonial range of the American bison stretched from Canada to Mexico. From 1820 to 1880, the population dwindled from 30 million to just over 1,000. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore how bison were brought back from the verge of extinction.
Audio, Grades K-5
The bison roamed the grasslands over two hundred years ago. What happened to the bison population as the grasslands of North America have greatly reduced in size, and what are the characteristics of grasslands that support the many life forms that are found there?
Video, Grades 3-12 (Note: please preview this video before showing to students)
Two wolves struggle to separate a young bison from the protective herd. Faced with the tough winter conditions, the pair have no choice but to attempt to take down an animal over fifteen times their size. The program discusses the strategy of predator and prey and the features that allow them to survive and hunt. (Related: watch the making of this video.)
Instructional Strategy, Educators
There are stories of indigenous peoples from around the world using talking sticks to ensure equity of voice. A talking stick provides everyone in the group with a visual signal as to who has the floor, and helps everyone to share equally in the discussion. Using a talking stick in the classroom can help students learn to self-monitor their participation in group discussions, leading to more purposeful contributions and better listening.