Hot Air Balloons

I’ve never ridden in one of these soaring giants, but I have gazed into the sky to see them passing by. Today I finished reading the book, The 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois. It is kinda embarrassing when the hotel team asks me what I’m reading… However, I’m in the process of reading classic early reader novels and developing science experiments, history lessons, writing assignments, hands-on activities, snacks, and other such  things to go along with the book for kids ages 3 – 11. Who knows if I’ll ever use these lesson when I’m teaching our kids at home, but I sure am having fun planning them in my free time.

This book is based in the 1800s – part on fact and part on fiction. Professor Sherman attempts to take a year long hot air balloon trip. However, he ends up crashing close to the island in the Pacific Ocean named Krakatoa. On the island he is amused to find 20 families and caves full of diamonds. But, the island is known for its super dangerous volcano. The island ends up exploding and all the families survive due to their exquisite planning and escape plan.

So, what are the kiddos going to learn during the week or two of this read aloud? They’ll read other books about volcanoes, do the normal volcano experiment, write letters to different characters in the book, create plans of how to reunite all the families after their escape, eat and create their own hot air balloon snacks or meal, build a house a balloon can carry out of popsicle sticks, and much more!

Wondering how I’m planning to teach a 3 yr old all of this? I’m not, don’t worry. But, I figure I may as well have some activities for them when I’m teaching their older siblings. And, when I just have a three year old, well… we can just learn about hot air balloons without reading The 21 Balloons. And, we’ll sing this song a lot.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrd0TiER_J0

I sure hope I have lots of energy when I’m a mom 🙂

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