Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo - The Time of Your Life: Creating a Personal Timeline Lesson Plan

The Time of Your Life: Creating a Personal Timeline

Subject Areas:

Social Studies, Family and Consumer Sciences


3, 4, 5

Student Materials:

  • Timeline of Martin House Complex below

Darwin D. Martin and his family were in the news in the early 1900s because of the unique home they were having built by Frank Lloyd Wright. This house was the “talk of the town." And in 2006, news of that house was again appearing in newspapers and on television. What happened in the last 100+ years to make this house the “talk of the town” in more recent times?

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Students will generate a timeline to transfer information.
  2. Students will gain an understanding of the use of timelines to transfer information on historical events.
  3. Students will gain an understanding of how other events in the world can shape local or personal events.

Teaching Ideas:

Using the timeline of the Darwin Martin House as an example, have students create their own timeline. They can create one for their own life, or, using the dates on the Darwin Martin House Timeline, they can replace the information with international, national or other events that occurred during those years.



FLW first comes to Buffalo


Construction of George and Delta Barton House started


Construction of main house started


Martin family moved into main house (November)


Last worker leaves house


Martin family makes changes to house (Also in 1920) (?)


George Barton dies; Delta moves


Darwin Martin dies


Isabelle Martin moves out of the Martin House; house is vacant


City assumes ownership house for taxes; Barton House sold to Gelzer family


Sebastian Tauriello buys house for $22,000, the amount of the back taxes


Pergola, conservatory, and carriage house demolished; three apartment buildings constructed on land between Martin and Barton houses


House sold to University at Buffalo


Barton House sold to Eric and Eleanor Larabee


The Barton House is purchased by The Buffalo News, M&T Bank and Rich Family Foundation and donated to the restoration effort. The Martin House Restoration Corporation purchases the apartment buildings constructed on the historic site.


Phase I of restoration: roof


Title of house transferred to Martin House Restoration Corporation


Phase II of restoration: foundation / drainage / veranda


Phase III of restoration: reconstruction of pergola, conservatory and carriage house


Martin House Restoration Corporation acquires Gardener’s Cottage through a generous gift of Stanford and Judith Lipsey


Phase IV of restoration (restoration of masonry on the exterior of the Martin House, including relocation of walls to their 1907 position) conducted.


The Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion opens. (Martin House visitor center designed by Toshiko Mori.)


Phase V of the Martin House interior restoration is under way.

Create a timeline of the important things that have happened in your life! You could include:

  • your birth
  • birth of siblings
  • first tooth
  • when you walked for the first time
  • preschool
  • kindergarten
  • a new house
  • milestones at church


 Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo - Word Cube Lesson Plan


Word Cube

Subject Areas:

English, Math, Social Studies, Art


3, 4, 5

Teacher Materials:

Word Cube (pdf)


Throughout WNED’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo there are words that might be unfamiliar to your students. Architecture, music, sociology, economics and technology, all have language unique to their discipline. Often these words mean something very different in everyday language or another word is used to convey the same meaning in everyday language.

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Students will recognize and be able to define the words from the activity wordlist
  2. Students will be able to use the word in context
  3. Students will be able to identify synonyms
  4. Students will recognize and identify homonyms
  5. Students will recognize ambiguity and the utility of words in real-life situations and problems

Teaching Ideas:

  • Cut out patterns for 2 word cubes, choose 12 words from the article “Meet the Martins!” and write them in the squares. 
  • Fold and tape the cubes with the words on the outside to make word dice. 
  • Roll the dice and give a definition for one of the words on top. Use it in a sentence. Can you name another word(s) that means the same thing as the word you rolled or another meaning for the word you rolled? 
  • If you are successful, give yourself a point for defining the word, a point for using the word in a sentence and a point for naming a word(s) with a similar meaning or giving a different definition for the word you rolled. 
  • If not, roll them again. Try to get three points every time you play, changing words regularly. Take turns with a friend, or each of you roll one die at a time and see who can get the most points and learns the most new words.






economic depression

























Monday, 22 September 2014 17:36

Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo for Educators


 Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo For Educators

More than a biography of America’s greatest architect, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S BUFFALO is a story of familyfriendship and the meaning of home in American life.

The program explores how a friendship spanning decades affected the structural aesthetic of a major American city and made a significant impact on architectural history. Buffalo, New York has the unique privilege of having more Frank Lloyd Wright structures than any other city in America outside of Chicago.

This collection of architecture is due to one man: Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin. The centerpiece of Wright’s work in Buffalo is one of Wright's earliest designs, the Darwin Martin House. Built in 1904, it precedes such masterpieces as the Robie House and Fallingwater and is considered by many as the finest example of his prairie house design. The current restoration of the Martin estate is the springboard into FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S BUFFALO. 

Contained within the walls of the estate is the extraordinary story of the thirty year friendship that developed between Wright and Martin—a friendship that has been largely overlooked by Wright historians. Through the prism of this friendship, the film explores the importance of Buffalo during Wright’s early career, the architectural significance of the Martin estate, and the development of Wright’s first large-scale commercial commission, the Larkin Building. 

Over the course of thirty years, Martin became Wright’s closest friend and confidant. He looked to Martin for support both financially and emotionally. Insightful letters between the two men dramatically tell of the architect’s motivations, his human frailties and foibles. More than a story of architecture, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S BUFFALO is a revealing and surprising look into the world of the greatest architect that America has ever produced.

Why Study Frank Lloyd Wright and Darwin D. Martin?

The creation of that which is uniquely American was a long time coming. From the American Revolutionary War to Britain’s second defeat at the hands of the Americans during the War of 1812, many Europeans believed that the upstart young nation would never survive.

Following the War of 1812, which some historians refer to as, “America’s Second War for Independence,” the new nation began to receive more respect around the world. Yet, it would take the better part of the next century before truly American business, religion, art, music, literature and architecture emerged.

Americans of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century flexed their creative muscles and were delighted to burst upon the world stage as not only artists and entrepreneurs, but as creators of an entirely new national consciousness.

The story of the Wright – Martin friendship is a microcosm of what was occurring across America at that time. It is a story of a businessman who came from nothing and an architect with a belief in his vision. It is the story of flourishing industrial cities and the expansive American landscape.

Join us, with your students, as we look at a story of family, friendship and the meaning of home in American life. Answer the question for yourself and your students, “How did the friendship between Frank Lloyd Wright and his wealthy Buffalo client, Darwin D. Martin, affect the structural aesthetic of a major American city and make a significant impact on architectural history?

Elementary Lesson Plans:

Intermediate Lesson Plans:

Commencement Lesson Plans:


Additional Resources:


Monday, 22 September 2014 15:42

Adult Education


 Adult Education



Watch programs now at

 Available programs:

  • Pre-GED Connections
  • Workplace Essential Skills
  • TV 411
  • Lifelines
  • Madison Heights
  • Crossroads Cafe
  • On Common Ground


For more information locally please contact someone at:

Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division

The Adult Education Division (The Division) of the Buffalo Public School District is the premier education and workforce skills training provider in the Western New York region. With a comprehensive service offering TASC test preparation, English as a Second Language (ESL) and Computer courses/classes, the Division offers FREE educational services either at one of its 35 sites, or via its home-based TASC distance-learning program. Registration is ongoing throughout the year for anyone aged 17 or older.  

The Division also offers waived or reduced tuition for vocational training programs in the areas of Health Careers, Customer Service/Retail Sales, Building and Construction Skills training, etc. A comprehensive community education/leisure learning program is also offered in the evenings.  

Using an extensive partnership system with area colleges and community-service agencies such as the Father Belle Center, Buffalo Employment and Training Center (BETC), CAO Harvard, Response to Love Center, Fruitbelt Leadership, Edward Saunders Community Center,  Gloria Parks Community Center, the YMCA, and the International Institute, the Division services over 6500 students per year. 

Call 716.888.7088 ext 100 



ACCES/West RAEN serves Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Orleans and Niagara counties.  It is one of seven (7) Regional Adult Education Networks established by the NY State Department of Education's ACCES Adult Education and Workforce Development Team.

Call 716.651.0560 



Monday, 22 September 2014 14:15

PBS KIDS Writers Contest


 PBS KIDS Writers Contest



The annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest is a national initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. Partnering with PBS stations nationwide, the Contest encourages children in grades K-3 in communities across the country to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original work.


The Contest is structured the same as the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest of past years. Children in grades kindergarten through third are encouraged to write and illustrate stories and submit them to their local stations, which will select winners and award prizes. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest will be a LOCAL ONLY contest in 2016.                                              

This year's local-only Contest deadline is April 1, 2016.


Entry Form                                                      Rules


Please mail your stories to:


WNED/PBS KIDS Writers Contest

140 Lower Terrace

Buffalo, New York 14202


Any contest questions, please contact Beth Fronckowiak at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 716-845-7000 ext. 373


Read stories from previous years!


Teacher, Facilitator, & Parent Resources

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is a perfect fit for exercising Core Curriculum guidelines in ELA. The contest naturally provides teachers several of the criteria in the ELA Core Curriculum Standards. Not only will teachers be meeting Core Curriculum Standards, but students will have fun in creating something special of their own with a possibility of winning a national writing and illustrating competition. What is needed in order to enter the contest is nothing outside of ordinary ELA lessons.

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Even short stories are complex, and require students to work on a number of elements: characters, plot/story structure, climax/resolution, and setting. This worksheet is intended to help your students expand upon their story idea(s) to develop a strong story.

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This worksheet is intended to help your students start to form ideas for potential stories. The activity provides your students with a blank page to freely develop story ideas through text and illustration. Serving as a precursor to the Brainstorming sheet, this is a place for the child to draw or write topic ideas for their story.

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This supplementary worksheet is designed to help children think about the relationship of images and illustrations to text, or captions. The worksheet provides a few examples of pictures and captions. You can leave the rest of the worksheet blank for your students to draw pictures and write captions for each picture, or you can pre-populate some of the spaces with images to help your student relate current lessons to the story writing project.

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This worksheet is intended to help your students practice making thoughtful, engaging illustrations for their stories. Students can practice making an illustration in the box labeled “School.” Then, they can choose seven additional words to illustrate in each of the remaining boxes. We’ve provided a few examples of words, if they need ideas. Once they’ve completed the illustrations have them review and explain their words and illustrations to a classmate.

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This worksheet is intended to help your students develop self-criticism skills so that they can refine and improve their stories.

There are two versions of this worksheet, this one has blank questions and answers for you to fill out based on the reading and writing skills of your students.

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This worksheet is intended to help your students develop self-criticism skills so that they can refine and improve their stories.

There are two versions of this worksheet, this one has the questions and answers filled out.

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