Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter 1/8/10 - Building Breaks Record Heights

Grade: 1st-2nd

January 8, 2010 | Grades 1 & 2

In This Issue: World's Tallest Building; Kids' Books Ambassador; Wild Horse Roundup

Burj KhalifaWorld's Tallest Tower Opens

Soaring 2,717 feet into the sky, the building tops the former record-holding skyscraper by more than 1,000 feet. Burj Khalifa opened on January 4 surrounded by admirers and a blaze of fireworks. The tower will house apartments, offices, a hotel and a mosque, among other things. It graces the skyline of Dubai, a sheikdom that is a member of the United Arab Emirates. 


Slideshow: Building Burj Khalifa  

Activity Ideas

Together with your child, visit the Council on Tall Buildings website. Study the diagram of the World's Tallest Buildings. ASK:

  • Is Willis Tower taller than or shorter than Shanghai World Financial Center? Write your answer using each building's height and the symbol < or >. Willis Tower: 1,451* < 1,614* Shanghai World Financial Center. (*Numbers represent height, in feet.) 
  • 2,717 feet is greater than or less than 1,667 feet; write your answer. (2,717 feet  > 1,667 feet )
  • Locate the buildings that these numbers belong to. ( Bhurj Khalifa: 2,717 feet tall; Taipei 101: 1,667 feet tall) Fill in the blank: Jin Mao Building is (shorter than) Petronas Towers.  

Learning Tips: Greater or Less Than
Game: Greater or Less Than

The Queen of Kids' Books
This month Katherine Paterson begins her reign as the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Paterson authored Newbery Medal-winning books Bridge to Terabithia (1977) and Jacob Have I Loved (1981), among others. During her two years as ambassador, Paterson will work to remind and inspire parents and kids of the joys and importance of young people's literature. 


Read More: School Library Journal; The New York Times


Activity Ideas
Retelling Stories
Have your child select a favorite book. Read it aloud together.

  • Once you have finished reading, ask your child to tell you what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story. Help him or her identify which details are important and which details could be left out.
  •  ASK questions pertaining to the story, such as: Where does the story take place? Who is the main character? What happens in the story? How does/do the character(s) solve the problem or reach the goal or...?
  • Help your child write a letter to Katherine Paterson to congratulate her.   

Learning Tips: Retelling Stories; Write a Friendly Letter
Games: Questions to ClarifyThe Friendly Letter Creator

Wild HorseWild Horse Roundup

At the end of December, the Bureau of Land Management began a two-month roundup of wild horses in northern Nevada. The aim is to remove about 2,500 mustangs from public and private lands. Federal officials say the move will protect the habitat of a variety of wildlife—wild horses included. The horses will receive veterinary care upon capture and will eventually be put up for adoption.

News Watch: Video of Roundup
See Photo Slideshow:
National Geographic Magazine

Activity Ideas
Tell your child that homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. Then have him or her identify whether the homophones have been used correctly in the following sentences.

  • A group of people protested the hoarse roundups. They shouted until their voices grew horse(horse; hoarse)
  • The horses ran when they heard the helicopters. A group of mustangs is called a herd(right as is)
  • The mane reason for the roundup is to protect wildlife habitat. The hair on a horse's neck is called a main(main; mane)
  • The horse jumped over the gait. The horse quickened its gate from a walk to a run. (gate; gait)
  • We heard the horses neigh. If you vote against something, you vote nay(right as is)
Game: Word and Sentence Meaning 
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