Full of Hot Air

Celebrating the First Balloon Flight

In just two weeks we planned to study the first hot air balloon flight in 1783. Our study (part of our Tapestry of Grace journey) was to focus on the exhibition in Versailles in September. At this demonstration the Montgolfier brothers launched a balloon with a small crew of barnyard animals.

Google alerted me this morning that today, June* 4th, is another historic date for balloon (and Montgolfier) firsts–being the anniversary of the first public demonstration–smaller than the Versailles event, and without any live cargo.

The September flight of the barnyard animals–with Marie Antoinette and Benjamin Franklin among the prestigious spectators–makes for a more fascinating study, but the April June 4th date is important, and a great excuse to bump the balloonist portion of our “Tapestry Time” up a few weeks. Sometimes breaking stride is fun.

Always interested in the scientific angle behind our studies, we watched an online “How Stuff Works” video about hot air balloons, and are planning an experiment for our celebration week at the unit’s end!

While the children colored their own hot air balloons, we read Hot Air, a hillarious book from the perspective of the first living creatures known to fly in a hot air balloon!

Of course, this would all have been more helpful if I’d planned in advance and posted about it before June* 4th!  Fortunately, I’ve never made any claims to usefulness.

But we had fun ballooning!

*Edited.  I’m so grateful that  someone “somewhere” is looking out for me.

Somewhere posted a helpful note in the comments alerting me to the fact that I’d typed April instead of June!  Evidently I had the wrong month deeply imbedded in my brain because I typed it not once, but twice. Indeed the present month, and the month of the first hot air balloon demonstration (without cargo) is, and was, June.  

Perhaps the wrong date got imbedded in my head because of all this rain! Our weather has certainly been of the “April Shower” variety this week, and it doesn’t seem “Junish”.  And perhaps the wrong date was imbedded because my brain should have been bedded. ( Late night posts are accidents waiting to happen.)  Or perhaps it is just that I tend to be confused–certaily true!  Whatever my excuse, please know that it is June.  I’m likely to not fully absorb that June is here until August sometime.

Thank you, Somewhere!

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8 thoughts on “Full of Hot Air

  1. Oops! Thanks, Somewhere, um.. yes… it is indeed JUNE 4th isn't it. And the balloon flight was June… Why is my brain stuck in April.

    I'm going to go edit and laugh at myself. 😉

  2. quote:
    "but the April 4th date is important,"

    Not once, not twice, but THREE times dear, lol. But I still love you!

    And if it's any consolation to you, I can barely keep track of the days of the week to make it to church on time, let alone other inconsequentials like dates and months! 😀

  3. I do not know if I told you…the day I read your note on the gift of a tree…you remember the leaf the tree gave to your daughter?
    I wrote a poétic storie with it , in french…I haven't found an editor yet, but an illustrator fell in love with the storie…
    I am so happy !She wants to put pictures on my words…
    That's fun!
    I will have to do a big effort and translate it in english for you one day!

  4. That is wonderful, Nicole! Kaira still has the leaf the tree gave her. We pressed it in a book.

    I'm sure you made it into a charming story! Translating is hard work, so I'd fully understand if I never get to read it in English, but Oh! How I would love to read it!

  5. I don't know if you've ever read 21 Balloons, but it is a fun book that would go well with a study of hot air balloons. Also with a study of volcanoes, Krakatoa in particular.

    Have fun with the balloons!

    Peace and Laughter,
    Cristina

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