People and their Environment
Humans and the environment have always had a reciprocal, although not necessarily balanced, relationship. “Dazzling White” by Dave Northrup discusses the effects of human progress on the natural landscape. Terence Young emphasizes the impact of the physical environment on people in his article, “Murray’s Rush.” The relationship between people and their environment is an important theme throughout history and one that deepens our understanding of historical events.
Click on the image above for access to the Murray's Rush article.
This resource includes supporting questions to guide students in the reading of the article and analysis questions for understanding the primary sources. All educational materials are aligned to the New York State Social Studies Framework. The learning objectives are taken directly from the Social Studies Practices and the content fits within the framework.
Compelling Question: How does the relationship between people and their environment shape history?
Setting the Stage
Show this video from pbslearningmedia.org and discuss the impact of humans on their environment.
Guided Reading Questions
1. What event is seen as the beginning of recreational camping in America?
2. What activities did William Murray enjoy?
3. Who did Murray bring with him on his camping trips?
4. What effect did Murray’s book have on the Adirondack region?
5. Why was Murray given the nickname “Adirondack” Murray?
6. What technological advancements improved access to the Adirondacks?
7. What practical information did Murray give in his book?
8. Why were some people critical of Murray’s book? Were their concerns valid?
9. How did Murray’s book impact the lives of women?
1. What natural items do you see in this photograph?
2. What man-made items do you see in this photograph?
3. What is the woman in the photograph doing?
4. What effect does the woman have on the environment?
5. What effect does the environment have on the woman?
Image Courtesy New York State Archives