City Architecture at Night

City Architecture at Night lesson plan

A comparison of two world cities leads to a pictorial and written report.

  • 1.

    Investigate customs, traditions, child-rearing practices, ways of making a living, education and socialization practices, gender roles, foods, natural resources, weather, religious and spiritual beliefs, and other distinctive characteristics of two cities anywhere in the world. Find pictures of both historic and contemporary architecture from these cities. Organize your information in a comparative written study.

  • 2.

    Make two nighttime skylines, one for each city. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut colored construction paper into shapes resembling historic and modern buildings.

  • 3.

    Place buildings on a large piece of black construction paper. Overlap and stagger the buildings in both skylines. Use Crayola School Glue to attach. Dry.

  • 4.

    Add details to buildings using black Crayola Markers for a darkened, nighttime effect.

  • 5.

    With a partner, identify similarities and differences in your skylines.


  • Students research the social, economic, and architectural characteristics that distinguish different cultures and civilizations in two different cities of the world.
  • Students prepare a comparative pictorial and written report on the two locations.
  • Students design two city skylines at night that include both modern and historic architectural elements that are authentic to these cities.


  • Start by making a city skyline for a familiar city, then expand the study to others in the world.
  • Work together as a class to make a large comparison table. List names of cities across the top. List topics down the left side, such as jobs, schools, foods, religion. Fill in the table, then discuss similarities and differences.
  • Gather news articles from the cities studied to become familiar with current events in both modern and long-standing cities. Discuss how the cultures of cities flavor current events.
  • Younger students and those with special needs may enjoy arranging different colored angular shapes (pre-cut or cut themselves) on black paper and on sky blue paper to create night and day city scenes. Talk about cities visited by students and determine the defining characteristics of a city.