Skyscrapers of the World

Santa Barbara does not have any skyscrapers--not yet, anyway! First graders begin this unit by researching existing famous skyscrapers and their locations around the world. In teams, students pick a skyscraper to research, write a report, and then present their findings to the class.

Students explore questions like: who designs and who builds these structures, and how do engineers design and construction workers make the skyscrapers? Integrated with the science and math curriculum, students learn what materials are used to make skyscrapers and how to measure a skyscraper. 

In studio art classes, first graders design their own skyscraper and think about design decisions regarding structure and aesthetics. First graders then set out to build 5 of the 10 tallest skyscrapers of the world out of cardboard boxes. These skyscrapers end up towering over all of us, creating a mini-city in the classroom. Parents come and help paint these tall towers, and then students present them to the entire Crane community at a daily assembly; each first grader announces a fun fact about the different tallest buildings in the world.