English | Introduction

Historic Landmarks: Research and Writing

Seagram Building


In this lesson, students will research and write about a historic landmark, the Seagram Building, describing why the building is considered a landmark and discussing its positive and negative influence on the local community and/or the community at large.

Grades: 6-12
Time: 3 class sessions, plus independent student work

Standards & Objectives

This lesson addresses selected standards from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. These can be found in the section titled “English Standards.”

In addition to the English Language Arts Standards, students will be able to:

  • Define the characteristics of a historic landmark.
  • Justify the decision to call a building a landmark or not.
  • Analyze the impact of a landmark building on the local community and/or the community at large.

Teach This Lesson

Preparation and resources for teaching this lesson are found in the section titled “English Preparation and Resources.”

Instructions for teaching this lesson are found in the section titled “English Instruction.”

Interdisciplinary Connections

The PBS television program, 10 Buildings that Changed America, provides lesson plans in four additional subjects: Art, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. All five lessons are combined in an interdisciplinary unit: One Building to Change My Community.

This English Language Arts lesson can be paired with another10 Buildings that Changed America lesson plan to create interdisciplinary connections.

  • Art: After researching how historic buildings have influenced communities and culture, students should consider positive and negative impacts of the buildings they design in the Art lesson.
  • Science: During student research on the Seagram Building, ensure they learn about the structure and materials of the building. As an extension of the Science lesson, explore steel framing or reinforced concrete.
  • Social Studies: The research process is similar in the Social Studies and English Language Arts lessons. The influence of zoning and financial incentives can also be considered with the Seagram Building.