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FREE - Follow the Buffalo

from Homestead National Historical Park

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The Homestead Act of 1862 had far reaching impacts on the United States including western expansion, immigration, and technological
innovation. The impacts of the Act also extended to those American Indians who
already called the West home. The American bison or “buffalo” was sacred to many American Indian tribes. The animals played an integral part in all aspects of
daily life. In this lesson a park ranger will use real parts of the buffalo to
examine the different ways American Indian tribes utilized the sacred animal. 

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About This Program


Multipoint: $0.00
View Only: 0.00
Point to Point: $0.00
By Request: $0.00


Homestead National Monument of America does not charge a fee for any of its programs.


40-45, but program can be modified to fit any schedule.

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learners

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

There is no maximum number of participants, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 30 students.

Primary Disciplines

International, Social Studies/History, Foreign/World Languages, Language Arts/English, Sciences, Writing, Reading, Problem Solving

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

During the months of September, October, April and May the times available for programs will be reduced as the park is heavily involved with on-site field trips during these months. However, please contact us as we may have days/times available that can work for both of us.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Homestead National Monument of America appreciates cancellations with 48 hours. If a program is cancelled, every effort will be made to reschedule it.

About This Provider

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Homestead National Historical Park

Beatrice, NE
United States

With the promise of Free Land, the Homestead Act of 1862 enticed millions to cultivate the frontier. Families, immigrants, women, and formerly enslaved people flooded 10 percent of the nation’s land to chase their American Dream. American Indian cultures and natural environments gave way to diverse settlement, agricultural success, and industrial advancement—building our nation and changing the land forever. Homestead National Monument of America interprets the Homestead Act of 1862 and tells the stories of the homesteading era.

Education Program Specialist

Program Details


1. This program begins with a brief introduction to the National Park Service for first time visitors.
2. We then discuss how the Homestead Act of 1862 affected American Indians.
3. We then move into the American Indian uses of the buffalo. This discussion goes back and forth between videos, viewing of actual parts of the buffalo, and discussion.
4. Time is allowed for questions and answers.


The participant will:
- explore the Plains American Indians' use of the buffalo.
- engage in discussion about the affects of the Homestead Act of 1862.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 through 3

As a result of their activities in grades K-12, all students should
Understand the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface.
Understand the processes,patterns, and functions of human settlement.
Understand how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface.

As a result of activities in grades K-12, all students should
Understand how human actions modify the physical environment.
Understand how physical systems affect human systems.
Understand the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.


Understands family life now and in the past, and family life in various places long ago.
Understands the history of the local community and how communities in North America varied long ago.

NSS-USH.5-12.4 ERA 4: EXPANSION AND REFORM (1801-1861)
Understands United States territorial expansion between 1801 and 1861,and how it affected relations with external powers and American Indians.
Understands how the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions.