November is packed with many great themes and units and great learning. It’s also packed with great read-alouds for the classroom. One of our favorite November read-alouds is Balloons Over Broadway. This book tells the story of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a highly engaging book that has great comprehension lessons. Balloons Over Broadway also brings in great social studies themes.
Balloons Over Broadway has excellent opportunities for reading comprehension such as character traits, problem/solution, retelling, and many more. We use our all-inclusive Read It Up! resource to retell the story using a story map and for making predictions about the story.
STEM Project: Design Your Own Balloon
The highlight of our Balloons Over Broadway week is our STEM project to design our own balloons! The students choose what they want their balloon to be. They choose the color of the balloon and choose what paper or supplies they use. When they share their ideas we briefly discuss the details that they might include on their balloon. This helps them visualize what their finished project will be!
For this project, we use REGULAR latex balloons. We use the 12″ size balloons from Amazon. No special balloons are required.
If you have latex allergies or sensitivities, you can EASILY modify this activity. You can use foil/mylar balloons or you can provide students a balloon-shaped cutout to decorate!
The balloons are just filled with air from my lungs. True story. I just blow up the balloons. Nothing special. The trick is to make them big enough for the kids to decorate but not TOO big or they can pop.
Students use construction paper and glue to create their balloons. They use their regular glue sponges to glue their pieces onto the balloons. We have no issues with the paper sticking or the balloons popping. Glue sponges are pretty amazing!
As the students are working I am walking around talking to them about their designs and helping them think of ways to make their designs come to life. But they do the work on their own.
Students are free to design whatever balloon they like. Animals, superheroes, food, etc. When they finish their balloons, we tape them onto a straw using masking tape! This allows the kids to hold the balloons just like the people in the Macy’s parade!
Poppy from Trolls!
Mr. Greg (who was wearing a green shirt this day…)
Pizza, tiger, and clown!
We also take pictures of each child with their balloon using a backdrop of the actual Macy’s parade!
Green Screen Idea
Another great idea for this story is to do a green screen picture that puts the kids into the parade! After we create the pictures, I print them at Walgreens. We hang a copy in our classroom and we send a copy home to the families!
For all of the details on how we make our green screen pictures, visit the blog post linked at the end of this post!
For more information, check out these posts:
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