Lesson Plans » Up, Up & Away

Up, Up & Away


The Montgolfier brothers of Annonay, France invented the first hot air balloon in 1783. Hot air ballooning is clebrated as man’s first flight and is still showcased at festibals and ballooning events around the world.


Research the history and science of hot air balloons. Discuss the varied designs and unusual shapes that hot air balloons are constructed to resemble. You may wish to ask younger students where they would like to go on a hot air balloon trip.


  1. Have students draw a light pencil sketch of their hot air balloon(s) onto the heavy white paper. Students should also lightly sketch in any visible ground features and clouds. Discuss perspective and how this relates to objects seen in the distance.
  2. When the sketch has been finished and approved, have the students trace over their light pencil lines with a fine tip black marker. No pencil lines should be visible, if necessary, erase any lines that still show.
  3. Color in your hot air balloons. Stress the importance of using bright and bold colors. Discuss patterns and contrasting colors. Baskets should also be colored in at this time. Demonstrate the use of hash marks to make the baskets appear wicker.
  4. Paint the sky and any visible ground features. A light watercolor was is easy and quick to achieve. Be careful to leave any clouds mostly white. Remember that crayon will resist watercolor paint but the black marker is not watercolor resistant.

Age Group

Adaptable to All Ages




One to Two 45 minute sessions


  • heavy 8.5″ x 11″ white art paper
  • crayons
  • watercolor paints or pencils
  • brushes and/or sponges
  • pencils
  • fine tip black markers
  • pictures of hot air balloons
  • examples of project
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