November 23, 2021
Third grade students took on roles of designers, engineers, and performers on Monday as they built their own balloons for a Thanksgiving Day parade in the Elementary building.
Their cross curricular journey began with a reading of Balloons over Broadway, a book that details the journey of puppeteer Tony Sarg, who created the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloons. The story blends science and history, telling the tale of the giant balloons introduced at the parade more than 90 years ago.
From there, the Struthers students were challenged with creating their very own balloons for a parade of their own. Each masterpiece started with brainstorming, where the students channelled their inspirations into blueprints for their balloons. The students also wrote about their designs.
Then, each student became an engineer, transforming their balloons into favorite cartoon characters, turkeys, animals, and other creations. They utilized construction paper, pom poms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, markers, and other materials to add details and bring their designs to fruition.
“The most challenging part is trying to get it in the right place,” said third grader Jaydon as he explained the difficulties presented in stabilizing the balloon and affixing the facial features of his character on its curved surface.
After lunch, the students gathered to showcase their work in a parade through the classes of their third grade peers, as well as through the first grade classrooms in the hallway below their own.
The parade included numerous animals (including dogs, cats, a crab, a pig, an elephant, and a shark), holiday icons (including turkeys, Frosty, and the Grinch), and popular characters (such as SpongeBob, Patrick, Pokemon, and the Ninja Turtle Donatello).
These students will certainly be watching the Macy’s Day Parade on Thursday morning with a new appreciation and understanding of the skills - art, science, and math - that go into each balloon that floats down Broadway.
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