Balloons Over Broadway Activities

Soar into a sensational learning adventure with our Balloons Over Broadway activities! With this Thanksgiving activity pack, you can teach literacy and STEM skills at the same time. Make read-alouds as lively as a Macy’s Day Parade!

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54 pages

Grades 1-5


Get ready for Thanksgiving with our whimsical Balloons Over Broadway activities. Get swept up in the magic of the Macy’s Parade this holiday season and add an extra layer of fun and fascination. Our Balloons Over Broadway activities marry STEM marvels and literacy joys and classroom creativity abounds with these Thanksgiving activities.

Students will design eye-catching ads and create whimsical parade balloons. They’ll code robots to mimic parades while diving into computer science. As they design their own balloons, they’re not just having fun; they’re learning collaborative skills that engineers and designers use every day.

Sequencing and summarizing the story helps students understand the text and organize information logically. To dive deep into critical thinking and textual interpretation, they’ll also analyze story quotes, determine the author’s purpose, and write about the story’s lesson.

From researching the ingenious Tony Sarg to developing a problem-solving pulley system inspired by him, your students will get a taste of engineering and history.

As a result of the included activities, students will be able to:

  • design an advertisement. 
  • brainstorm new parade balloons.
  • sequence and summarize the story.
  • analyze a story quote.
  • determine the author’s purpose.
  • write about the story’s lesson.
  • define story vocabulary.
  • demonstrate reading comprehension with included discussion questions for beginning, middle, and end of the book.
  • engage in social skills with included whole group prompts and activities.
  • develop fine motor skills with included coloring, tracing, cutting, and gluing activities.
  • brainstorm a new parade balloon, along with materials needed.
  • research and write about Tony Sarg. 
  • sequence a new problem solving system, similar to Tony’s pulley system.
  • code robots to simulate a parade procession. 
  • work collaboratively to design a balloon.
  • use digital tools to assess and demonstrate comprehension. 

This cornucopia of activities not only make learning fun, but also cover a full parade route of literacy and STEM skills. 

💙 Craving more literary lift-off? Elevate your classroom festivities with these activities that promise sky-high engagement!

💙After downloading the Balloons Over Broadway activities, bring your read-aloud to buoyant heights with the soundscape in your Novel Effect app!

About the Book

Meet the master puppeteer who invented the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. Melissa Sweet tells the inspiring story of the puppeteer who invented the giant balloons. This Caldecott Honor winner captures the essence of Tony Sarg, a self-taught immigrant with a fascinating imagination. Combined with Sweet's storytelling, the collage illustrations capture Sarg's joy in his childhood inventions and his ingenious balloon creations that still delights readers of all ages. 

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