Joining the Preservationists

Grades 7 & 8
3 Class Periods

In this lesson students will understand the roles that community members had as preservationists and develop their own persuading presentation for preserving the Richardson Olmsted Campus.

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

Reimagining the Richardson

4:36
Published:

Explore the history and reuse efforts of an architectural gem designed by H. H. Richardson

program segment for lesson plan

Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark - Preservation and the Future

3:28
Published:

Understand the current challenge of further development across the rest of the campus.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • Identify roles that community members had in preserving the Richardson Olmsted Campus.
  • Describe what steps may be necessary for community members to save a landmark.
Create a persuading presentation for preserving the Richardson Olmsted Campus.
Instructional Resources
  • Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark videos or DVD
  • Poster board
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Markers
Procedures
CLASS PERIOD 1
  1. Prior to viewing the Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark segments, the teacher will ask these Focus Questions:
    • What do you know about the Richardson Olmsted Campus?
    • Why do you think community members would not want the Richardson Olmsted Campus to be sold or destroyed?
    • What do you think community members had to do in order to save the Richardson Olmsted Campus?
  2. Students will watch the Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark segments and take notes.
  3. After watching the video segments, the teacher will ask the same Focus Questions:
    • What do you know about the Richardson Olmsted Campus?
    • Why do you think community members would not want the Richardson Olmsted Campus to be sold or destroyed?
    • What do you think community members had to do in order to save the Richardson Olmsted Campus?
  4. Some topics the teacher might choose to focus on for discussion are:
    • the talented architects that created building and grounds
    • the value of a historical landmark and why preservation is important
    • the Richardson Olmsted Campus’s significance in the history of mental healthcare
    • the economic benefit of a hotel/conference center, restaurant and architecture center in the community
    • other benefits of the hotel/ conference center, restaurant and architecture center for the neighborhood and to Buffalo as a whole
    • the actions taken to gain community support of preserving and repurposing the building
    • the actions taken to hold the government accountable for preservation of the building
 
  1. Students will be split into groups of 4-5 and given the following task:
    • You are joining the preservationists and attending their next presentation to the community. The purpose of the meeting is to persuade community members and government representatives to support current and new reuses for the Richardson Olmsted Campus. You are given the task of creating a poster and presenting it at the event.
       
    • Work with your group to design and create your poster using the paper and markers provided. It should help convince community members to join and support the preservation efforts. Then you will present your poster to community members (classmates and teacher) to kick off the meeting.

CLASS PERIOD 2
  1. Student groups will use the class period to finish their posters and plan how they will present to the community members (classmates and teacher).
  2. The teacher will visit groups giving advice as students plan their presentations.

CLASS PERIOD 3
  1. Student groups will present their posters as if they were one of the preservationists.
  2. Teacher and students will watch the presentations and ask questions, as if they were community members, as the presentations are taking place.
Adaptations (grades 9-12)
  • Students could research the future goals and challenges of the preservationists in continuing work on the Richardson Olmsted Campus (Teachers should direct students to the Richardson Olmsted Campus site to begin research: https://richardson-olmsted.com/support/donate/)
  • Students could then incorporate this research into
    • a newspaper article that will gain the support of community members and persuade them to donate to achieve preservationist goals OR
    • a compelling letter to local and state politicians to get support for preserving more of the Richardson Olmsted Campus
Assessment Task
  • Students will be assessed on their group work on the poster and presentation as well as how effective they were in persuading “community members” to support the Richardson Olmsted Campus.
Extension Activities (optional)
  • Students can identify a part of their school or community that they think needs to be preserved or repurposed. They can then create a poster or campaign plan to persuade others to support their cause.
  • Students can imagine what they would reuse the Richardson Olmsted Campus for. Then write or draw to persuade others to support their new idea.
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, 3, 4, 5, 6
Language Standards – 1, 2, 3, 4
Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies – 7
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies – 4

Learning Standards for the Arts – Visual Arts (grades 7 & 8)
Creating – Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3
Responding – Anchor Standard 7
Connecting – Anchor Standards 10, 11

Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (Intermediate)
Standard 2: A Safe and Healthy Environment – Health Education - 1

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