White Buffalo

Grade: 1, 2, 3

As a group, listening to a reading of the story Buffalo Dreams at least twice, students will use comprehension strategies to help them understand the importance of the White Buffalo Calf and be introduced to the White Buffalo Woman.

Essential Question

Why is the White Buffalo Calf important?

Big Idea

Students will be able to explain the significance of the White Buffalo Calf by reading a simplified version and relating it to modern day children.

View Complete Lesson Plan

Lesson Outline

1.  Learning about the Gifts from the Buffalo
2. Extension – how can we apply this knowledge?

This is a modern story that includes a retelling of the White Buffalo Calf Woman which is sacred to the Dakota people. In order to further incorporate curriculum lessons, use the story to talk about family relationships, what students would do for their family and what parents do to help us.

Possible Outcomes to incorporate when using this lesson
Grade 1 Saskatchewan Curriculum Social Studies
Outcome: IN1.1
Outcome: IN1.2
Outcome: IN1.3
Outcome: DR1.1

Grade 1 Saskatchewan Curriculum English Language Arts
Outcome: CR1.1 a, b, d, e , f
Outcome: CR1.2 a , b , h

Grade 2 Saskatchewan Curriculum Social Studies
Outcome: DR2.4
Outcome: PA2.2

Grade 2 Saskatchewan Curriculum English Language Arts
Outcome: CR2.1
Outcome: CR2.2 b

Grade 3 Saskatchewan Curriculum Social Studies
Outcome: IN3.1

Grade 3 Saskatchewan Curriculum English Language Arts
Outcome: CR3.1

Students either alone or in pairs, will demonstrate an ability to orally retell the short story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman using the picture magnets at the wall or on another source such as a white board or other choice as suitable for printed images.

Students will use a variety of comprehension strategies to fully understand the events in the story. The teacher will ensure students are able to use the key sentence stems for making connections such as
“That reminds me of…my connections help me to understand the story because…”

Students will draw pictures to demonstrate what they are visualizing or inferring

Students will complete the Venn diagram of Sarah Bearpaw and themselves.

Share the following short videos of white buffalo. Explain to students that the white buffalo is sacred to many First Nations people and that by listening to the flowing story they will learn more about why it is so important.



See Buffalo Dreams comprehension lessons attachment.


Now that we have learned about the importance of the White Buffalo Woman and calf, we need to find ways to share our learning with others.

Brainstorm with students how they can share Kim Doner’s Explanation.

Kim Doner explains the Buffalo Calf Story at the beginning of her book Buffalo Dreams.

A beautiful spirit named White Buffalo Calf Woman came to a dying tribe. She gave them a sacred pipe and said its smoke would carry their dreams up to the heavens, or she would hear them and answer. As she left their camp, she rolled on the ground stood as a black buffalo. Three more times she rolled, and each time she changed colour, from black to brown, to red, and to white.
They smoked her pipe and slept. She heard their dreams and answered. The next day, when the tribe awoke, the village was surrounded by a herd of buffalo. They were never hungry or cold again.

As explained in Buffalo Dreams
by Kim Doner


• Make a dream catcher as explained on the back of the Buffalo Dreams book
• Share stories that are important to the cultures of other students in the class