Balloons Over Broadway Lesson Plan [Free]

Hello, everyone! Today, we’re diving into the enchanting world of creativity and innovation with a fantastic book called ‘Balloons Over Broadway’ by Melissa Sweet. This delightful story unveils the magic behind the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the ingenious mind of Tony Sarg.

Now, to make our exploration even more exciting, we’ve crafted a simple lesson plan to accompany the book. Our plan is designed to not only bring the story to life but also to engage you in hands-on activities that will spark your creativity and imagination.

Free ESL Lesson Plan for balloons over broadway

Exploring “Balloons Over Broadway”


Students will gain an understanding of the history and creative process behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through reading and activities related to the book “Balloons Over Broadway.”


  1. Copies of “Balloons Over Broadway” by Melissa Sweet
  2. Whiteboard and markers
  3. Arts and crafts supplies (paper, glue, scissors, markers, etc.)
  4. Computer/tablet for multimedia resources

Lesson Plan:

Introduction (15 minutes):

  1. Begin with a brief discussion about parades and if students have ever seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  2. Introduce the book “Balloons Over Broadway” and discuss the importance of the parade’s balloons.
  3. Display images or videos of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to provide context.

Reading and Discussion (30 minutes):

  1. Read aloud “Balloons Over Broadway” to the class.
  2. Pause at key points to discuss the storyline, characters, and the role of Tony Sarg in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  3. Encourage students to ask questions and share their thoughts on the story.
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Activity – Balloon Design (30 minutes):

  1. Divide students into small groups.
  2. Provide each group with art supplies and instruct them to design their own balloon, considering size, shape, and theme. This can be a real balloon or a picture of a balloon.
  3. Ask each group to present their balloon designs to the class, explaining the inspiration behind their choices.

Discussion – Creativity and Innovation (15 minutes):

  1. Lead a class discussion on the creative process, emphasizing Tony Sarg’s innovation in creating the first parade balloons.
  2. Discuss the importance of creativity and innovation in different fields.

Extension Activity (Homework or Additional Class Time):

  1. Assign students to research and create a short presentation on the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a similar cultural event of their choice.
  2. Encourage students to explore other creative ways in which traditions are celebrated around the world, get them to answer questions about the tradition, and show what they’ve learned.

Conclusion (10 minutes):

  1. Recap the key points discussed during the lesson.
  2. Ask students to reflect on what they learned about creativity and innovation from the story of “Balloons Over Broadway.”
  3. Conclude with a reminder of the upcoming activities or assignments related to the lesson.

Why We Recommend Balloons Over Broadway

“Balloons Over Broadway” is an ideal choice for your lesson because it seamlessly intertwines history, creativity, and innovation. The book immerses students in the captivating history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, offering a real-world connection to cultural traditions.

Through Tony Sarg’s imaginative journey in designing parade balloons, the book sparks creativity and encourages students to think beyond conventional boundaries. It serves as a source of inspiration, fostering a sense of wonder and possibility.

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Balloons over Broadway - Comprehension Questions.

The narrative also delves into challenges faced by Sarg, promoting resilience and adaptability as essential skills. Students can draw valuable insights from his problem-solving strategies, turning obstacles into opportunities for growth.

With its cultural significance, the book opens avenues for discussions on diverse traditions, promoting cultural awareness and understanding among students.

As a literary gem, “Balloons Over Broadway” enhances literacy skills with engaging storytelling and vibrant illustrations, making it accessible to a broad range of students.

The lesson plan’s multidisciplinary approach, integrating reading, discussion, and art activities, ensures adaptability across various curriculum areas, catering to diverse learning styles.

In essence, “Balloons Over Broadway” is not just a book; it’s a gateway to a world of creativity, innovation, and cultural exploration, making it a valuable asset for your lesson.