All global and national historical events have connections at a local and individual level. The local and individual stories are often the most engaging and interesting for students and adults. The two articles featured in this edition of the New York Archives Educator Guide highlight these local and individual connections. In Battle for the Elms, Joe Collea focuses on the impact of Dutch elm disease on communities throughout New York State. This year’s high school Student Research Award winner, Alan Wang, explores the relationship of two individuals and their impact on New York State history as well as the development of Marxist theory in the published version of his research paper entry, Many Legacies.
Click on the image above to access the Battle for the Elms article.
Setting the Stage
Show video Plant Plague: Sudden Oak Death to students and discuss the impact of tree disease and the current ways that scientists are trying to fight oak death. https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/kqedq11.sci.plantplague/plant-plague-sudden-oak-death/
Guided Reading Questions
1. What was Dutch elm disease?
2. What was the cause of Dutch elm disease?
3. How did Dutch elm disease affect residents in New York?
4. Why was New York State greatly impacted by the disease?
5. What role did the elm play in American society?
6. How did the disease arrive in New York?
7. How did communities attempt to treat Dutch elm disease?
8. Why was the treatment ineffective?
9. Why did communities give up the fight to save the elm trees?
10. What was the overall impact of Dutch Elm Disease on local communities in New York State?
1. How many elm trees do you see in this photograph?
2. Why would there be so many trees on this street?
3. What did the trees on this street do for the people that lived there?
4. What are the workers in the photograph doing?
5. How many workers does it take to complete this job?
Image Courtesy of The Buffalo History Museum