Causes and Effects of the Asylum

Grades 7 & 8
1 Class Period

In this lesson students will explore cause and effect relationships that occurred throughout the timeline of the Buffalo State Hospital – from the Civil War, to the creation of an asylum, and its decay and preservation.

Program Segments
Program Segment for Lesson Plan

Richardson Olmsted Campus History

2:37
Published:

The history and origin of the Richardson Olmsted Campus as the Buffalo State Asylum.

Program segment for lesson plan

Evolution of Treatment

4:24
Published:

Discover Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride’s contribution to the Richardson Olmsted Campus.

program segment for lesson plan

Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark - Saving a Landmark

7:28
Published:

Witness the impact of the Buffalo climate when the campus is abandoned for over 40 years.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • Identify the causes of the development of the Buffalo State Hospital.
  • Identify the effects of the Buffalo State Hospital (in terms of size and cost of project, eventual decay of campus, and its current preservation effort).
  • Understand the cause and effect relationships that occurred throughout the historical timeline of the Buffalo State Hospital - from the Civil War, to the creation of an asylum, through the decay and preservation stages.
  • Recognize the economic, social, and historical changes Buffalo has experienced.
Instructional Resources
Procedures
CLASS PERIOD 1
  1. Prior to viewing the video segments, the teacher will explain that Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark tells the story of the Buffalo State Hospital, now referred to as the Richardson Olmsted Campus in Buffalo, New York. The teacher will ask the Focus Questions:
    • Why was the asylum created in 1872?
    • What else was going on in Buffalo and the nation as a whole at the same time?
  2. Students will watch the video segment and take notes.
  3. After watching, the teacher will ask the same Focus Questions:
    • Why was the asylum created in 1872?
    • What else was going on in Buffalo and the nation as a whole at the same time?
  4. The teacher should be sure that some of the topics discussed are:
    • Mental health of soldiers and the creation of the asylum to support them
    • The pride of Buffalo having been a part of a revolution in mental healthcare
    • The impact that they decay of the buildings had on the community of Buffalo
    • The impact that a historic landmark and its preservation can have on a community
 
  1. Students will be partnered and given the following task:
    • Begin by asking each other “Why was the asylum created?” Then consider the consequences of the asylum’s creation. Your graphic organizer should include causes and/or effects from the 1800s, 1900s and today.
       
    • A single event can have multiple causes—and multiple consequences— some consequences are intended and some are not. Work with your partner to complete the herringbone graphic organizer. You should show how the Civil War, or another factor, triggered positive and/or negative results for Buffalo, its community members, and even the nation as a whole.
       
  2. The teacher will visit pairs, facilitating discussions and completion of the herringbone graphic organizer.
Adaptations (grades 9-12)
  • Students could write their analysis, using the herringbone graphic organizer as an illustration.
  • Students could also write their analysis as a letter to a newspaper editor or other audience, persuading them to continue work on the Richardson Olmsted Campus, using the impact it has had on the community and nation as support.
Assessment Task
  • Students will be assessed on their graphic organizers and how they demonstrate their understanding of multiple causes and effects.
Extension Activities (optional)
  • Students can brainstorm new uses for the Richardson Olmsted Campus that would have a positive impact on the community.
New York State Learning Standards
Learning Standards for Social Studies (Intermediate)
Standard 1: History of the United States and New York – 2, 3, 4

Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy (grades 6-12)
Speaking and Listening Standards – 1, 2, 4, 5
Language Standards – 1, 3, 4
Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies – 7

Learning Standards for the Arts – Visual Arts (grades 7 & 8)
Responding – Anchor Standards 7, 8

Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark is funded by the Peter C. Cornell Trust, The Zemsky Family and the Members of WNED | WBFO.