Our second hot air balloon art project was for sketching practice and pattern design. When I was planning this, I drew my balloons free-hand, but I realized the smaller kids would be frustrated trying to draw balloons and not enjoy the design aspect of it. I made a printable template with dotted lines (which are hard to see in the small image) for hot air balloons that they can trace and then fill in with any designs they can dream up.
My goals for the project were to help them develop their drawing skills and to practice drawing patterns. They all had to work hard to trace the ballon shapes carefully and enjoyed making designs for them.
What I did not expect was that they would want to be so creative with their hot air balloon designs that they would abandon the pattern idea almost completely. Most of their designs do not incorporate any pattern at all, unless I suggested it.
And for the younger ones, I made copies of my black and white hot air balloon designs for them to color.
I decided to color mine, and Lydia did as well. Though I didn’t end up doing any more teaching this time, coloring the designs would be an excellent opportunity to teach analogous and complementary colors for upper elementary students. Understanding and applying color theory can enhance the hot air balloon patterns and designs.
Overall, this was successful for drawing practice and creativity for the lower elementary level. I think the pattern design aspect would be better suited to older elementary or even middle school students. (Or adults for that matter, since I enjoyed making designs of my own.)
If you use the template, we’d love to see your designs!