Before I get into sharing this activity, I should probably start out by saying that I sort of have this thing for hot air balloons. I’ve always loved them and what they represent: adventure, travels, hopes, dreams. If anyone happens to be a thirty-something like me, they might vaguely remember this movie from childhood in the 80’s about a race around the world in balloons. If not, it was basically the Chipmunks cartoon version of “The Amazing Race.”
I must have watched it a hundred times as a kid. Maybe that’s where my hot air balloon obsession first started, I don’t really know. It was always the #1 thing on my bucket list to get to ride in one, and my husband’s clearly a keeper since he made it happen a few years ago (even though he’s not a huge fan of heights)! To say I was excited was an understatement. If you’ve ever seen that old clip of Kirsten Bell on The Ellen Show when her dream of seeing a sloth in person comes true, I may or may not have had the same level of a reaction. Here we were!
Total dream come true! Now I’m sure you don’t need any further proof of my infatuation, but just in case- here’s how I decorated my daughter’s nursery a couple years back:
Okay, okay, so you clearly get it…I like hot air balloons! So much that I’ve even found a way to bring ’em to my classroom. My students really enjoyed getting to make their own balloons with this writing craftivity. I love that they’re the first thing I see when I walk into my room.
It makes for a great display at Open House during Back to School season, especially with a bulletin board heading like, “We’re Going Places!” These balloons would also be a fun addition at other times of the year (first week of school, an extension of a read aloud, paired with a Growth Mindset lesson, etc.). From the fall to the spring and any time between, you can’t go wrong with this writing activity.
Here’s what’s on each side of the balloon:
Students write down some personal goals (school-related or unrelated to school…up to you, boss)! This particular student chose a goal for school:
How I’ll Get There
I have the kids make a plan as to HOW they will specifically work to achieve their goals.
When I Grow Up
Pretty self-explanatory, but here is where my little go-getters write what they hope to be when they grow up.
Students draw an illustration of how they visualize themselves achieving their goals.
In the past I’ve always used mini plain white cups for the baskets, but this year I tried these new designed Dixie cups with fun designs and positive messages. They fit the theme perfectly, and I wasn’t mad about the fact that they cost less for twice the amount of cups!
As far as the templates go, there are 3 different options for students to write their responses so that you could customize for your grade level or individual students: regular lines, dotted lines, or no lines.
If you want to jump on my hot air balloon-lovin’ bandwagon, you can get the templates and detailed directions for assembly by clicking right here. And thanks to requests from my bilingual teacher friends, these same templates are now available in Spanish too! Both English and Spanish versions can also be found in my TPT store.
And just in case you feel like you didn’t get enough hot air balloon images in one blog post, I can’t help concluding with this one. Keep lifting up those students of yours!