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Spring 2019 Educator Guide - Battle for the Elms

Spring 2019 Educator Guide - Battle for the Elms

Local Connections

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.

Compelling Question: How do local and individual histories contribute to a better understanding of national and global events?

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.

Link to Full Article: Battle for the Elms

Document Analysis

Battle for the Elms Article

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?