The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, that is! I’ve always loved watching this parade on Thanksgiving morning. This year I am thankful for Melissa Sweet’s book, Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade.
This fun book was the winner of the Robert R. Sibert Informational Book Medal in 2012. This week I plan to use the book with all of my classes to explore character traits and textual evidence, throwing in some basic technology skills as students explore the Macy’s Parade website and look at some photographs from parades past (primary sources!).
Balloons Over Broadway is a very creative picture book that tells the story of how Tony Sarg came to create the iconic balloons that first appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in 1927. Melissa Sweet uses watercolor paintings and collage with photos from toys she created to help her tell this true tale. With all of my students I plan to discuss which traits they would attribute to Mr. Sarg and why. I also plan to show the video about the parade from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Website. I will also show some of the vintage photographs of the parade that I found online. The younger students can create a basic puppet from Houghton Mifflin’s free Balloons Over Broadway Activity Kit. Students in grades 3 – 5 can complete this ticket stating “Tony Sarg was ______________________. Evidence: _______________________.” Afterwards they may explore the Macy’s website and vintage images on their own or with a partner.
I hope you have a copy of Balloons Over Broadway in your library. If not, put it on your order list for next year! If you would like to use my Character Traits & Textual Evidence tickets, you may download them for free in my TPT store.