Balloon Trees

Balloon Trees

written by Danna Smith; illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

2013 (Sylvan Dell)

Source: Orange County Public Library

Try this out with a group of kids. Ask them where they think balloons come from. One student will probably tell you the store. Most will shrug their shoulders. Then tell them that balloons come from trees. This will blow their minds. They will ask, “Is there some special tree where you pluck balloons?” You will look smartly at them, pull out a copy of Balloon Trees and proceed to teach your class about rubber. It starts with tappers going out at dawn and tapping rubber trees. They slice the bark, add a spout, and out comes a milky white latex. After going through a machine for cleaning, the latex is shipped via tanker ship to a factory. The latex is dropped into a tank filled with color. Forms in the shapes of balloons are dipped in the color latex mixture quickly to make the color stick. Then these forms are dipped and brushed with water and cooked in an oven. After a dunking in powder, the balloons are filled with air and pop off the forms where they are carried away on a conveyor belt for more washing and testing. Soon after the balloons will be boxed and shipped so you can purchase it from your favorite store.

Check out NC Teacher Stuff for some ways you can use this in your classroom.

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