Up, Up, and Away in a Hot Air Balloon

Project Title: Up, Up, and Away in a Hot Air Balloon

Description: Group discussion on travel and transportation. We will land our focus on hot air balloons. Students will create a hot air balloon collage and insert themselves into the picture.
Author: Dayna Ensminger
Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary Level, ages 5+

Historical Art Examples or References: Hot air balloon images, hot air balloons are the first successful human-carrying flight technology
Vocabulary: Color, pattern, collage, blend, warm colors, cool colors, blend, self-portrait, overlap
Materials: 9×12 colored construction paper in warm and cool colors, chalk pastels sorted by warm and cool, paper towels, pre-made baskets from brown paper, regular sized coffee filters (round), markers, pre-cut small white pieces of paper, pre-ripped green paper strips, glue, scissors, pencils, erasers


1. Discuss hot air balloons – what we know, what we’ve seen, what they look like. Discuss patterns and color. Differentiate between warm color and cool colors. Sort the sets of colors and identify the differences. i.e. warm colors are red, orange, yellow – they can make us feel hot, angry, mad, happy, excited, loud – we can use them to show the time of day or a sunset. cool colors are green, blue, purple – they can make us feel calm, relaxed – show emotions like sad, ill, peaceful – we can use them to show the time of day like nighttime or dusk.

2. Choose whether you want to use cool or warm colors. Select a piece of paper in that group.

3. Use chalk pastels to create the sky. Color with cool or warm colors (choice should be the same as the construction paper). Color left to right, overlap colors, and blend with fingers.


4. Wash hands

5. Flatten coffee filter and create patterns and designs with markers.

6. Glue green strip of paper to the very bottom of you paper to represent grass.

7. Teacher assists with helping students glue pre-made paper baskets to the background.

8. Glue coffee filter balloon near the top of the basket’s ‘strings.’

9. Use small piece of white paper to draw a self-portrait (that’s you drawing you!)

10. Cut out self-portrait, add some glue to the back, and insert into the basket so you’re flying high!