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Recreate a Famous Skyline

Inspired by Carmen Sandiego Episode 1, kids research famous city skylines and recreate them with construction paper.

Collaborate to Create a Skyline

Have your kids work together to research and draw famous buildings to create their own version of the city’s skyline. They’ll boost their teamwork skills as they discover more about architecture and the world’s greatest cities.

Activity Instructions

Using construction paper, kids create a two-dimensional skyline of a famous city.

Estimated Time: 45–60 minutes
Materials Needed: Construction paper, scissors, glue, pictures of city skylines and buildings

  1. Explain that as we follow Carmen’s travels from Poitiers to Casablanca, we see a variety of city skylines. The shape of a city is created by architectural style and the visual impact of great landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower.
  2. Ahead of time, create groups of four or five kids. Assign each group a city such as New York, Seattle, Sydney, Singapore, Cairo, Dubai, or Paris. Give each group a list of important or iconic buildings in the city. Some examples are provided below.
  3. Tell each group to create a skyline of the city out of paper. Each person should choose one important building to draw and cut out.
  4. Have each group of kids arrange their buildings to form a skyline. They can fill the space between the buildings with building-shaped silhouettes that mimic the city’s architectural style.
  5. If time allows, ask kids to research the buildings they created and how they connect to the city’s history.
  6. Have groups present their skylines to the class or display them in the classroom.

Examples of Cities and Buildings

Cairo: Great Pyramids of Giza, Cairo Citadel, Nile City Towers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Cairo Tower

Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Princess Tower, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Cayan Tower, Atlantis, The Palm Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Marina 101

New York: Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building, Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center), Rockefeller Plaza, Met Life Tower, 15 Hudson Yards, Woolworth Building

Paris: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Tour First, Tour Montparnasse, Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre

Seattle: Space Needle, 1201 Third Avenue, Columbia Center, F5 Tower, Pacific Science Center, Smith Tower

Singapore: Marina Bay Sands, The Sail, Esplanade Theatres, Singapore Flyer, ArtScience Museum, The Colonnade, National Gallery Singapore, Fullerton Hotel

Sydney: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower, Deutsche Bank Place, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Queen Victoria Building, Greenland Centre Sydney, Sirius Building