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Flying in the Sky

Ever wonder how a hot air balloon rises in the sky? Discover the facts and paint a beautiful balloon. Could it circle the world without stopping?

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Hot air balloons are found in many parts of the world. Their colorful designs dot the skies in many festivals during the warmer months. Design and draw your own hot air balloon using Crayola Washable Watercolor Paints.
    2. Start your painting by drawing a large tear drop shape. This will form the main part of your balloon. Decorate as you wish. Make sure to rinse the brush after each color to keep the palette clean.
    3. Underneath the balloon is a firebox used to make the hot air that fills the balloon, causing it to rise. The firebox is usually square in shape. Paint that next.
    4. Add a basket that is used to carry people. Attach it to the balloon with a series of ropes called flying lines.
    5. Add a background to the painting. Imagine flying over the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. What would it look like? Draw a desert or mountain landscape. Students can be their own travel guide and send the balloon wherever they want to go.
    6. Always wash the brush in clean water when finished.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman; Flying in a Hot Air Balloon by Cheryl Walsh Bellville; A Rainbow Balloon by Ann Lenssen

    Students investigate the make-up of a hot air balloon. Students sketch a typical hot air balloon and label all its working parts. A short description of each of the working parts is included in the sketch.

    If possible, organize a field trip to a hot air balloon festival. Have students interview owners of hot air balloons. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the interviews. After the trip, students post learning to a class blog.

    What is helium? Students investigate the answer to this question. Where do we use helium? Why does helium rise just like hot air?


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