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Build the Tallest Building
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"Building to Extremes" portrays the complex and multifaceted undertaking of designing and constructing a skyscraper. Architectural aesthetics, protection from natural and man-made disasters, political and cultural considerations, mass appeal, and the vision and even whimsy of the designers all play significant roles in the development of the world's tallest buildings.

In this lesson, students will undertake a project to design the world's tallest building. In the process, they will learn to think critically about the elements that go into the design of a skyscraper, as well as learning to problem-solve using technology, math, and art skills. They will build models of their designs, and then create a "skyline" that incorporates these buildings.


Language Arts
Social Studies

Grade Level

Grades 6-8

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the design and construction of skyscrapers
  • Perform online research to gather information about different skyscrapers, their design, and construction
  • Apply the information obtained from the research in an original creation
  • Discuss and defend their creation

National Standards

Standard 2, Level III, Benchmark 1

Knows the location of physical and human features on maps and globes (e.g., culture hearths such as Mesopotamia, Huang Ho, the Yucatan Peninsula, the Nile Valley; major ocean currents; wind patterns; land forms; climate regions)

Standard 3, Level III, Benchmark 5
Knows ways in which technology and society influence one another (e.g., new products and processes for society are developed through technology; technological changes are often accompanied by social, political, and economic changes; technology is influenced by social needs, attitudes, values, and limitations, and cultural backgrounds and beliefs)

Standard 7, Level III, Benchmark 1

Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts (e.g., textbooks; biographical sketches; letters; diaries; directions; procedures; magazines; essays; primary source historical documents; editorials; news stories; periodicals; bus routes; catalogs; technical directions; consumer, workplace, and public documents)

Standard 8, Level III, Benchmark 6

Makes oral presentations to the class (e.g., uses notes and outlines; uses organizational pattern that includes preview, introduction, body, transitions, conclusion; and point of view; uses evidence and arguments to support opinions; uses visual media)

Standard 1, Level III, Benchmark 4

Knows how various concepts and principles are used in the arts and disciplines outside the arts (e.g., balance, shape, pattern)

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