Today, I’m excited to share my new favorite Thanksgiving read-aloud, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet, along with some ELA activities you can incorporate into your kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classrooms. (PS. I definitely think you could use them with your third graders, too!)
I’ve talked a lot recently about the library of read-aloud activity sets that I’ve been working on since earlier this year. I began creating standards-based activities that paired with popular picture books used in the primary classroom because I’ve always felt that exposing our students to authentic children’s literature is incredibly valuable. The language, vocabulary, storylines, illustrations, feelings and moods they conjure, the movement of words across a page, and exposure to experiences and cultures that they might not interact with elsewhere – should I go on?! They are hugely important to our littlest learners (and far better than any basal, ahem).
When I came upon this book, I just knew it would fit in great with series. Just take a look at the cover art. Incredible! The illustrations and artwork within are just as charming. It tells the story of the original puppeteer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Tony Sarg.
One of the first things I like to do when I receive a new book is to read through it, noting strong vocabulary words and questions I’d like to ask my students when we read it together. I then flag the pages with sticky notes, so that I won’t forget to ask them while I’m reading. The text is full of rich vocabulary and the story is inspiring and thought-provoking.
Typically, I’ll share the vocabulary words during the pre-read and then keep them posted in a pocket chart while we work through the read-aloud over the course of a few days. Prior to reading, I might ask the kids if they’ve heard the words before, if they have any knowledge of their definitions or how they’re often used in text or conversation. During the reading, we’ll note how they’re used in the context of the story and students will be expected to define them or use the terms appropriately in a sentence that shows their understanding of the word.
After we’re finished reading, I’ll ask a variety of questions that align to Bloom’s Taxonomy (see the purple question cards above for examples). This helps me remember to ask basic recall and comprehension questions, along with more challenging questions that move into analysis, application, and evaluation.
Further, we’ll work together as a class to work on a standards-based skill, such as identifying the problem and solution (could easily be accomplished on small groups, as well). Journal prompts are another great way to give kiddos and opportunity to engage with the text.
For this particular book, in addition to all of the activities you see pictured above, I also added a few activities that are unique to this set. I thought Balloons Over Broadway lent itself well to students applying to have a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, designing a balloon, and then writing a persuasive letter to the parade officials to convince them to include his/her design. How fun, right?!
If you’re interested in adding this book to your library, you can purchase it from Amazon HERE.
If you’re interested in the set of printable activities pictured above, go HERE.
Additionally, you can purchase this set as a part of a bundle option. Click either graphic below to learn more.
To read more about the books paired with activities in my Thanksgiving set, including Balloons Over Broadway check out THIS post!
This post uses affiliate links for the convenience of the reader. Should you make a purchase via one of the links shared within this post, I will make a commission. This will not affect the price of your purchase and helps support The Inspired Apple.
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