Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts
Time Required: 3–5–Part Lesson
5 class periods
Author: Soojin Kim, Alma Mijango, Liset Noriega, Ann Park, and Iris Verbera, Madison Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District


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Lesson Plans

Lesson Overview

Students will discuss the lines, shapes, and patterns used to decorate a 19th-century chandelier that was made to look like a hot-air balloon. They will create a papier-mâché sculpture of a hot air balloon and decorate it with a pattern, and write about where they would go on a hot air balloon.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• discuss lines, shapes, patterns, and color used to decorate a work of art.
• understand that repeated shapes can form a pattern.
• create a papier-mâché sculpture inspired by a 19th-century chandelier.
• write about a journey using descriptive words in 2–3 sentences


• Image of Chandelier by Gérard-Jean Galle
• Butcher paper
• Balloons, inflated prior to class
• Newspapers torn in strips
• Bowls of liquid starch
• Tempera paint
• Sponge brushes
• Scissors
• String
• Clear plastic cups
• Hole puncher
• Assorted decorative materials such as stickers of assorted shapes, gold ribbon, gold wrapping paper
• Glue
• X-Acto knife
• Paper clips (two per student)
• Fishing line (24 inches per student)

Lesson Steps

Sessions 1–2
1. Display an image of Chandelier by Gérard-Jean Galle. Instruct students to take the time to look closely at the work of art, then ask them the following questions. Chart the responses on a graphic organizer (i.e., Thinking Maps® such as a Circle Map) on butcher paper.
• What do you notice about this work of art?
• What kinds of lines do you see? What descriptive words can you use to describe the lines? (i.e., curvy, droopy, gold, straight, horizontal, vertical, diagonal)
• What shapes do you see?
• What colors do you see?

2. Ask students what the chandelier reminds them of. Point out that the work of art was made to look like a thing that people traveled in during the 19th century—a form of transportation—a hot air balloon. Inform them that the hot air balloon was invented in a country called France, where the artist who made the chandelier came from. Tell students they will be making models of hot air balloons out of papier-mâché.

3. Pass out balloons, strips of newspaper, and bowls of liquid starch. Model how to dip the strips of newspaper into the starch and apply the strips to the balloon. Instruct students to follow what you are doing and continue this process until the whole balloon is covered twice. Let the balloons dry completely over two days.

4. When dry, the balloons should be covered once more with newspaper dipped in starch, so that they become sturdy. Let the balloons dry completely over two more days, and then pop the balloon inside.

Session 3
1. Distribute sponge brushes and paint. Model how to apply paint gently over the balloon using a sponge brush, and then give students time to paint their own balloons using one solid color.

2. Let the balloons dry completely over one day.

Teacher Preparation
Before the next session, prepare for the last part of the lesson with the following steps:
1. Cut two small holes at the top of each of your students' balloons. Insert string in the holes at the top of each balloon and make a loop with the string. The string will be used to hang the balloons from the ceiling.

2. Cut a three-inch circle at the bottom of each balloon.

3. Use a hole punch to make two holes next to either side of the bottom opening, 180 degrees across from one another.

4. Use the hole punch to make two holes on either side of the lip of plastic cups, one for each balloon in the class.

Session 4
1. Display the image of Chandelier and revisit the graphic organizer created by the class in Session 1 on butcher paper. Review the different kinds of shapes and lines the class saw. Ask students if they see anything new they could add to the list. Inform students that the repeated star shapes form a pattern. Explain that pattern is the repetition of lines or shapes. Point out that the artist who made the chandelier wanted the king of France to buy it so he included fancy decorations fit for a king, such as the curvy gold lines and star shapes.

2. Distribute scissors, glue, and assorted decorative materials, such as gold ribbon, strips of gold wrapping paper, and stickers of assorted shapes. Instruct students to each decorate his or her balloon so that it is fancy enough for a king. They should form patterns on their balloons by repeating shapes, using paint, drawings, or stickers.

3. Walk around the room and help each student insert ribbon into the holes in their cups and tie the cups to the bottom of the balloons through the holes on either side of the opening in the bottom of the balloon.

Teacher Preparation
After students complete their balloons, use the following steps to hange the balloons:
1. Use an X-Acto knife to cut a small X at the top of the balloon.

2. Tie a paper clip on both ends of a 24-inch piece of fishing line. Insert one paperclip through the X at the top of the balloon and fasten it to the balloon.

3. Use the other paperclip to hang the balloons from the ceiling or on a wall.

Session 5
1. Ask students to imagine they are going for a ride in their hot-air balloons. Where would they like to go? Chart responses using your favorite graphic organizer (i.e., a Circle Map).

2. Pass out paper and pencils and instruct students to write 2–3 sentences about where they would like to go on their hot-air balloons. Inform them that they must use at least one descriptive word per sentence.

Chandelier / Galle
Chandelier, Gérard-Jean Galle, about 1818–1820


Assess students' hot air balloons based on whether their decorations include patterns. Assess students' language arts skills based on their participation in class discussions, whether their 2–3 sentences relate to the topic of a hot-air balloon ride, and whether they included one adjective per sentence.

Standards Addressed

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts

Grades K–2

K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and text with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
K.4 Describe familiar people places, things, and events, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
1.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
1.4 Describe familiar people places, things, and events, with relative details expressing ideas and feelings more clearly.
2.4 Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audible in coherent sentences.
2.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)

K.3 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
1.3 Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
2.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
2.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Visual Arts Content Standards for California State Public Schools

Grade 1

Artistic Perception
1.1 Describe and replicate repeated patterns in nature, in the environment, and in works of art.
1.3 Identify the elements of art in objects in nature, in the environment, and in works of art, emphasizing line, color, shape/form, and texture.

Creative Expression
2.3 Demonstrate beginning skill in the manipulation and use of sculptural materials (clay, paper, and paper mâché) to create form and texture in works of art.
2.8 Create artwork based on observations of actual objects and everyday scenes.

English—Language Arts Content Standards for
California Public Schools

Grade 1

1.0 Writing Strategies
1.1 Select a focus when writing.
1.2 Use descriptive words when writing.
1.3 Print legibly and space letters, words, and sentences appropriately.

2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
2.1 Write brief narratives describing an experience.

Written and Oral English Language Conventions
1.0 Written and Oral Language Conventions
1.6 Use knowledge of the basic rules of punctuation and capitalization when writing.