Skip to main content
The PBS on-demand streaming service, WNED PBS Passport, is available in Canada! Learn More
Filer image

The Kirkbride Plan

Grades 7 & 8
2 Class Periods

In this lesson students will analyze the Kirkbride Plan using multiple sources, and understand Kirkbride’s impact on mental health as well as the creation of the Richardson Olmsted Campus.

Program Segment

Program Segment for Lesson PlaNReimagining a Buffalo Landmark - Evolution of Treatment

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


Students will be able to:

  • Read and analyze information about the Kirkbride Plan.
  • Identify different aspects of the Kirkbride Plan.
  • Summarize the purpose of the Kirkbride Plan.

Instructional Resources



  1. The teacher will distribute copies of “The Kirkbride Plan” Chapter from the Historic Structures Report. Students may be paired up or work individually.
  2. Students will be given time to read (this may be done individually or out loud as a class) and examine the document.
  3. The teacher will distribute the Document Worksheet.
  4. Students will complete the worksheet. The teacher can offer guidance if necessary.


  1. The students will watch the Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark video segment.
  2. The teacher will distribute the The Kirkbride Plan Worksheet.

The students will be given time to reread the chapter on their own and answer the questions about the Kirkbride Plan.

Assessment Task

  • Students will turn in a completed Document Worksheet and The Kirkbride Plan Worksheet.

Extension Activities (optional)

  • Have students create a list of 3-5 words, from “The Kirkbride Plan” Chapter of the Historic Structures Report, which they do not know the meaning of. Students will look up the words and write out the definitions.

Adaptations (grades 9-12)

  • Students should write a persuasive essay for or against the statement “physical environment affects mental health.” Students should be given time to research the thoughts of Kirkbride – or other research that would help their arguments.
  • Students should think about how architecture and focus to details such as sound, light, and air can affect the quality of life – or academic success. Students should write an essay on what architectural features a school should have to create an environment conducive to learning. Students can (optionally) create drawings, blueprints, and/or models based on their school concepts.

New York State Learning Standards

Learning Standards for Social Studies (Intermediate)
Standard 1: History of the United States and New York – 3, 4
Standard 2: World History – 1, 2, 3, 4

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

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

Filer image

Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark is funded by the Peter C. Cornell Trust, The Zemsky Family and the Members of Buffalo Toronto Public Media.