Wednesday, 24 September 2014 18:15

Curriculum Resources

 

 

 Curriculum Resources 

 

Find quality resources that accompany our local and national broadcast television programs. 

Demystifying Dyslexia is hosted by Olympic champion Bruce Jenner. By focusing on personal stories, educational best practices, and the latest scientific research, the program illuminates important issues surrounding dyslexia.

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The wealth of themes explored in Elbert Hubbard: An American Original offer an extraordinary educational opportunity for your classroom in multiple subject areas. The lessons developed around the film focus on the history of America at the turn of the 20th century, Hubbard’s rebellious life, and the Roycroft artisans and campus. Activities examine the rise of the Industrial Revolution, the wavering Victorian ideals and the Reformers, particularly with the Art and Crafts movement.

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Join us, with your students, as we look at a story of family, friendship and the meaning of home in American life - in Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo.  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?

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Frederick Law Olmsted's contributions to communities across the United States are well documented in the parks and landscapes that we play in or have visited during our lives. However, his interests and skills go beyond that. Olmsted was an advocate for green space, a journalist, a committed anti-slavery reformer and a believer in urban health. Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America highlights his varied experiences and contributions.

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These educator resources are designed to be used with the program If Our Water Could Talk. They are recommended for teachers in elementary, middle and high schools. Included are activities designed to enhance the understanding of Buffalo Niagara waterways, as well as broader, relatable themes to be used in your classroom.

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The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. It 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.

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A major goal of The Shaw Festival: Behind the Curtain is to introduce audiences to this unique approach to theatre at one of North America's longest-running, most distinctive and exciting theatre companies, first through the documentary and then through a collection of "beyond broadcast" elements and classroom activities for educators.

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Find valuable educator resources based on the WNED production Tragedy and Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction. An essential component of combating this recent epidemic is awareness and education.

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These resources are to be used with Underground Railroad: The William Still Story explore hidden message in songs and hymns of the time, uses of records and writings, public and private, as well as a deeper meaning of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. We also provide educators with some ideas to have students re-create an Underground Railroad trail of their own and come to realize that travel in the mid-1800’s was at best not a clear pathway to freedom for those enslaved.

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Through the lessons presented here teachers and students can examine not only the causes, battles and results of the War, but also delve into the very “human stories of the war, including those of ordinary citizens and eminent historical characters.” 

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Find resources, activities and lesson plans to help young adults overcome financial challenges and learn money basics. Our Facilitator's Guide provides meaningful activities and the Young Money Magazine: Special Edition Guide for Your Life, Your Money features stories and helpful tips written for young adults. Whether you're a teacher, facilitator, or parent, you will find useful ways to get someone's financial life on track.

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Published in Outreach & Education

 

 

 

 

Architects and Architecture

Subject Areas:

ELA, Math/Technology, Social Studies, Art, Career Development & Occupational Studies

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12

Student Materials:

magazines, newspapers, internet access

Teacher Materials:

Related songs to play for students

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will develop a working definition of architecture based on observation, interviews, and research
  • Students will will recognize the different forms buildings have

Teaching Ideas:

Have students work as architectural reporters. They should ask their fellow students, family members, and teachers the question “What is architecture?” and record their responses. Back in the classroom, write their responses on the board. Keep a tally of repeated ideas. Ask the class to summarize their findings and state their definition of architecture based on their interviews. Compare this definition to one in a dictionary. Compare their definition to Wright’s ideas about architects and architecture:

“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill, belonging to it. Hill and house should live together, each the happier for the other.”

“A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart.”

“The mother art is architecture. Without architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.”

“True ornament is not a matter of prettifying externals. It is organic with the structure it adorns, whether a person, a building or a park.”

“Buildings, too, are children of the Earth and Sun.”

“Every great architect is—necessarily—a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.”

“Architecture is life, or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived.”

Within the classroom create a display with two headings—Homes and Public Buildings. Ask the students to clip magazine and newspaper photos or print internet images that illustrate buildings and pin them under the correct heading. Using the images, lead a discussion about what is valued in each kind of building.

Make lists of what is liked and disliked by focusing on surface textures, patterns, colors, materials, lines, and human scale. Notice the details of the building.

For example:

  • Where is the front door located and does it allow easy access?
  • Is a clock tower high enough to read the time from a distance?
  • Does the color of the building make it take root in the landscape or stand out?
  • What’s the scale of the building to surrounding buildings?
  • What decisions are made using aesthetic judgments and what decisions are rooted in their personal memories?
  • Focusing on a building, what was important to the architect—the building’s function, its aesthetics, or both?

How does a home and a city sound? Explore songs written about cities and homes. (For example, Home Sweet Home, Buffalo Gal, St. Louis Blues, NY NY, Take Me Home Country Road, Shuffle Off to Buffalo, I’ll be Home for Christmas, Beale Street Blues, Memphis in June, Davenport Blues, Chicago, Penny Lane, The Long and Winding Road, Spanish Harlem, New Orleans, 52nd Street Theme, and Back in Your Own Backyard ) Have the students compose music for their home, the Martin House, Graycliff, or Buffalo.

Make a list of the geometric shapes found in the Martin Estate and Graycliff. Make a reference book or bulletin board that includes the mathematical description of each shape.

Using the Martin estate or their neighborhoods, continue their work as architectural reporters.

 

 

 

 

Published in Outreach & Education

 

 

 

Friend or Patron?

Subject Areas:

ELA, Social Studies, Economics, Art, Career Development & Occupational Studies

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12

Procedures:

What would you do for a friend? We need friends. Friends provide us with more than shoulders to lean on. Friends make our worlds better.

Frank Lloyd Wright was more than an architect to Darwin Martin and Darwin was more than a client to Frank. They began as businessmen interested in constructing a new office building in downtown Buffalo. Over the years, they became friends. Wright admired Martin’s business acumen—even asking him to be his partner. Martin offered Wright encouragement and helped him pay his bills.

In a letter to Wright, Martin wondered if other people would see him as an angel or a sucker but Darwin Martin was neither. He was a special kind of friend—he was a patron. Darwin celebrated Frank’s achievements, gave him hand up when he needed money, and comforted him during family tragedies. He offered a helping hand without any regrets.

The word patron is from Latin and means father—one who protects and is responsible.

Patrons have been popes, business men and women, upper class families (like the Whitneys, Rockefellers, and Carnegies), kings and queens, and everyday people who ask, “When can I help?” Sometimes patrons help individuals—like Darwin helping Frank. Sometimes they find ways to help lots of people by setting up foundations, scholarships, and prizes. Patrons help scientists, writers, artists, architects, musicians, filmmakers, scholars, historians, teachers and curators create and discover. If you have a family member who is in college on a scholarship, there was a patron that provided the money to pay their tuition. If you go to a public library chances are it exists because Andrew Carnegie gave money to build libraries all across the United States. If your family buys artwork at local arts festivals or galleries, they are patrons. If you are a Girl Scout, regularly visit a Boys and Girls Club, or are on a sports team, you have patrons. How can you become a patron—how can you extend a helping hand?

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will identify and examine what it means to be a friend and to help and encourage others
  • Students will recognize the need for patrons
  • Students will become aware of the importance of friendship and patronage

Teaching Ideas:

Ask: How do you help a friend? Ask your students to think of a friend who needs encouraging words. Their friend may have a family member who is seriously ill or they may have a friend who needs help celebrating.

Lead a discussion or have your students write a short essay about a friend they have right now. They can mask the friend’s name to keep secrets. Create an art book that will be a gift to that friend.

Wright and Martin became friends because they shared common interests. Have your students create artworks that celebrate an activity they each do with a close friend.

Who are the patrons at your school? Have your students research the names and backgrounds of individuals that have made your school a better place. Have your students interview patrons, creating an oral history for your school. If possible, create a patrons’ wall of thanks or create artworks that represent the patron or his or her good work.

Published in Outreach & Education

 

 

 

Graycliff: Summer Solace

Subject Areas:

ELA, Math/Technology, Science, Social Studies, Art, Family & Consumer Sciences, Career Development & Occupational Studies

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12

Procedures:

If you could choose to be anywhere in the summer, where would you go? Would you climb a tree to your private tree house, find a beach house close to sand dunes and the ocean, build a cabin in the mountains near a lake, or find a slow-moving lazy river and fish off of your houseboat?

Darwin Martin decided to spend his summers in Derby, New York not far from Buffalo on the top of a tall gray cliff that overlooks Lake Erie. He hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design and build his summer home—Graycliff.

Graycliff is different than Darwin Martin’s regular home in the city. It has lots of green grass—a huge lawn for playing sheltered under big fir trees. There are gardens to pick flowers and steps that lead down the side of the cliff to the lake. The house sits low hugging the land. Imagine waking up with the lake breezes and looking out the windows watching sailboats and seagulls, eating lunches outside, decorating your house with big bunches of summer flowers, and taking the night chill off with a warm fire in the living room. Darwin Martin’s granddaughter, Margaret, remembers Graycliff as a place filled with sunshine. She liked the lake breezes that filled the house and remembered playing in the stone fountain and sitting in the shade created by the big stone overhangs.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will identify and examine familiar and favorite summer vacation destinations
  • Students will recognize the need for architects to build homes that satisfy human needs
  • Students will become aware of the natural environment and how it affects home building

Teaching Ideas:

Ask: Where would you build your summer home? What is it about that place that makes it special for you?

Have the students write a story that describes their dream of summer home and illustrate it with drawings, family photos of vacations, and images from the internet and magazines. Make sure that their drawings capture their needs in the way they have planned their homes.

While Graycliff sits on top of a seventy-five foot cliff, it is only two stories tall. Wright used big local stones and many clear glass windows. He created places to observe the lake—from sunsets to gathering storms. While big French doors open out onto the lake views on the back of the house, the front door is sheltered under a stone overhang. Wright also used a lot of horizontal lines when he drew up his plan. Wright used horizontal lines to make the house seem quiet and restful. He also wanted to connect the house with the land so instead of building the house up into the sky, he followed the curves of the hilltop.

Have your students draw their plans for a summer home. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, take the lay of the land into consideration and decide whether or not to hug the earth or soar up into the sky. Use visual resources that offer lots of different shapes and materials they might use in their designs. Have them think about approaches to their homes and where they will put the doors. Make sure they can describe the interior and exterior of their creations and how it satisfies their needs for a summer home.

Vary the above lesson by creating teams of two—an architect and a client. The student architect should interview their client about their dream home and the two of them should create drawings together and present their plans to the class.

Published in Outreach & Education

 

 

 

 

Destined to be an Architect

Subject Areas:

ELA, Math/Technology, Social Studies, Art, Family & Consumer Sciences, Career Development & Occupational Studies

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12

Procedures:

What makes a house a home?

What makes a group of people a family?

A family shares the same bloodline—you see your Dad’s nose when you look in a mirror. Your sister has your Mom’s curly hair. Your uncle has long legs like his brothers.

Yet, it’s more than the color of your eyes that connect you to your family. It is closeness and love you have that make you a part of a family.

In Frank Lloyd Wright’s book "The Living City" he wrote about the importance of filling your heart with “the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries… [and] songs of…loved ones.”

Imagine having your sister next door, your brother across the way—all of your cousins sharing the same yard. You’d smell food from the kitchens and laughter from the living rooms. You’d never feel alone. This is what Darwin Martin wanted when he created his family home and estate in Buffalo. Home was his favorite place to be.

So, what makes a building a home? A family of buildings, the Martin complex houses are connected by their looks—they all have the same warm colors, long horizontal bands of windows that look out on gardens and trees, and beautiful light that sparkles through green and gold stained glass windows. And like your family, they are more than how they look. What makes them more is Mr. Martin’s family. He had them built to have his sister and brother across the way and next door.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will identify and examine familiar and favorite places within a home
  • Students will recognize the need for architects to build homes that satisfy human needs

Teaching Ideas:

Ask: What’s your favorite place at home? (It might be their bedroom, a closet, the backyard, under the kitchen table, in the garage…) Examine that place. Make a list of why that place is their favorite. For example, it might be the security of having their parents nearby, the secret place they share with their best friend, memories created with their grandparents, a place to listen to great music, breathing in a beautiful view, a place that’s filled with their “stuff,” or just a sense of play and freedom.

Make a list of what makes that place unpleasant. It might be mosquitoes, rude brothers, messy sisters, parental interruptions, loud music or too many strangers.

Have them imagine themselves without their favorite place. What would they do? Have the students write a short story or paragraph and draw or paint a picture about their favorite place. Tell the readers where it is, who goes there, when they go there, and what is there. Most important, why is it their favorite place?

Create a family oral history project. Record their conversations with older family members discussing their favorite childhood places.

Divide the students into small teams. Using their drawings and writings as their inspiration, build model homes and landscaping using scrap mat board, cardboard, paper, pencils, markers, glue, tape, scissors, and rulers. Challenge the teams to create a home that has good function, aesthetics, and allows the family members to have favorite places.

Create a reading list of favorite books about neighborhoods and home

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