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Worlds Tallest Building Opens in Dubai


Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
--Visual Arts
--Applied Math
Social Studies
--Current Events


Grades 2-up

News Content

A new building in the growing emirate of Dubai is the worlds tallest skyscraper.

Anticipation Guide

Write these words on a board or chart.

  • United Arab Emirates (say EM-ur-its)
  • Persian Gulf
  • Dubai (say doo-BUY)
  • Muslim
  • mosque
  • Arabic

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

Inform students that this weeks News for You article takes place in a country called the United Arab Emirates. Point out the location of the United Arab Emirates on a world map. Ask students to help you identify the countries that border the UAE (Saudi Arabia and Oman) and to point out the body of water (the Persian Gulf) on which the UAE is located. As the United States comprises 50 states, so the United Arab Emirates comprises seven emirates. The second largest and most highly populated of those emirates is Dubai. Most of the people in Dubai are members of the Muslim faith who worship in buildings called mosques. The national language of the people is Arabic.

After sharing this information with students, review the words by randomly pointing to them and asking students to define them.

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: engineering, concrete, maintain, occupied, observation, and worship. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • It costs a lot of money to _____ a car in good shape. (maintain)
  • Jewish members of our community _____ at the synagogue on Maple Street. (worship)
  • The Cherokee Indian statue was carved from a giant block of _____. (concrete)
  • My uncle wants to study _____ when he goes to college. (engineering)
  • So many people are coming for the convention that every single hotel room in town will be _____. (occupied)
  • The top of White Mountain is the best _____ point in our region. (observation)

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Worlds Tallest Building Opens in Dubai.

    More Facts to Share

    Welcome to Dubai
    You might use the information in this video to give your students a sense of life in Dubai.

    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.

  • The tallest skyscraper in the world, which opened on January 4, 2010, is located in the emirate of Dubai. Formerly referred to as Burj Dubai, the new skyscraper is now called Burj Kahlifa, or The Burj" for short. The burj stands as a symbol of progress in the region and a new and prosperous Middle East.
  • The Burj holds many records in the world of architecture. It is the tallest building in the world (see a visual comparison to other skyscrapers) and the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It has the highest number of stories, the highest occupied floor, and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. It also includes the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world.
  • Construction of The Burj began on September 21, 2004. The exterior structure was completed on October 1, 2009. A huge fireworks extravaganza celebrated the grand opening of The Burj on January 4, 2010.
  • The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea, the same company that built the Taipei 101 and Petronas Twin Towers. The tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, which also designed the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago, Illinois, and 1 World Trade Center in New York City, among numerous other famous high-rises.
  • The park that greets visitors to The Burj offers a record-setting fountain system designed by California-based WET Design, the same company that designed the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel Lake in Las Vegas. The system is illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors; it is 900 feet long and shoots water almost 500 feet into the air to a background of classical and contemporary Arabic and world music.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. The capital and second largest city of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi. It is also the country's center of political, industrial, and cultural activities.
  • The emirate of Dubai the second largest in area and has the largest population; it is home to 2.3 million people (2008). The makeup of that population is largely Indian (42%), Arab (26%), and Pakistani (13%). Dubais main sources of revenue include tourism and financial services. Although its economy was originally built on the oil industry, revenues from petroleum and natural gas currently contribute less than 6% of the emirates economy. The emirates climate is hot and arid. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy and dry; winters are warm.

    Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News printable activity page for students. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Answer Key
    Comprehension Check. For many years, Dubai has been an active port city and a popular vacation spot. But Dubais skyline has changed a lot in the past 30 years. Many new buildings constructed of glass, steel, and concrete tower over the land. Dubai is a truly international place too. People from around the world make their home in the emirate of Dubai. As a matter of fact, more than 80 percent of the people who live there were not born there. Most people who live in Dubai are Muslims who worship in mosques, but churches and temples can be found in Dubai too. All kinds of foods -- from fast food to Chinese and Indian food -- can be found in hundreds of restaurants along Dubais busy streets. But the thing about Dubai that stands out most is the towering skyscraper known as The Burj." More than anything else, I would like to visit The Burj and catch the view Dubai from its observation deck. The Burj is an engineering wonder that would be well worth a visit!
    Vocabulary Builder. 1.b, 2.b, 3.d, 4.c.
    Main Idea. The growing emirate of Dubai is home to a new and most amazing skyscraper.


    Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News question on the news story page.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
    GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics
    GRADES K - 4
    NSS-EC.K-4.8 Supply and Demand
    NSS-EC.K-4.18 National Productivity
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NSS-EC.5-8.8 Supply and Demand
    NSS-EC.5-8.18 National Productivity
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NSS-EC.9-12.8 Supply and Demand
    NSS-EC.9-12.18 National Productivity

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
    NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
    NSS-G.K-12.3 Physical Systems
    NSS-G.K-12.4 Human Systems

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
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