Up, Up, and Away
Grade Levels: 6 - 8
OverviewStudents use a Web resource to learn about hot-air ballooning, including a recent, daring attempt to make an around-the-world balloon flight. Then they write a journal entry as a flight participant.
- Students will practice taking the point of view of another person.
- Students will practice distinguishing fact from opinion.
- Students will recognize main idea and details and apply this organizing strategy in paragraph writing.
- Tell students they are going to use the World Wide Web to learn about a
type of adventurous travel: hot-air ballooning.
- Log on to NOVA Online's Balloon Race Around
the World website. Click History of Ballooning and have students read
excerpts from this brief history of ballooning.
- Return to Balloon Race,
and click Virtual Balloon Flight to experience a four-minute balloon
flight over Nevada's Black Rock Desert. If you do not have Shockwave (or cannot
wait for a download), you can view the flight as a slide show, with or without
- Now return to Balloon Race,
and click Global Contenders '97/'98 for information on each around-the-world
crew and their particular balloons.
- Return to Balloon Race, and click
Expedition '96/'97. On the Expedition '96/'97 page, click
The Flight Team, then click the names of some crew members to learn
about their roles, backgrounds, and thoughts about the flight.
- Return again to Balloon Race.
If students wish to read some questions and answers about ballooning and the race, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Join Us/Email
and then on Balloon Race Around the World under Read Other People's
- Follow the January 1997 flight by returning to the Balloon Race
home page and clicking Expedition '96/'97. Now click Newsflashes.
At the end of the text, click (previous newsflash) to read additional
Newsflashes in reverse chronological order.
- Discuss students' reactions to the aborted
balloon flight and how the different participants might have felt. Encourage
them to think like a flight member.
- Tell students that they are going to write
journal entries for one of newsflashes they have just read. They will
write their entries from the point of view of an actual member of the flight
team or an accompanying journalist. Remind them to think about both the facts
of the flight and their opinions about the events.
ExtensionStudents might enjoy returning to NOVA Online's Balloon Race Around the World. They can click Up, Up, and How Far Away? to learn how to estimate the distance to a visible hot-air balloon using their thumbs and arms as measuring tools.
Provided by Scott Foresman, an imprint of Pearson, the world's leading elementary educational publisher. Its line of educational resources supports teachers and helps schools and districts meet demands for adequate yearly progress and reporting.