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An exciting story in two levels: one for newcomers ELLs that is just the right length for their fledgling English skills and one for beginners to intermediate which is more of a challenge.
The two texts are the same story, but the higher level contains more details and a greater language challenge, meaning you can differentiate in your classroom. The higher level text is split into Part 1 and Part 2, both with its own sets of writing activities and multiple choice questions. The newcomer text is one part, with writing and multiple choice questions.
An old man gives Sonia a balloon and encourages her to race it. Despite this being a "crazy idea" she enters the race with her mother and the old man. After some adventures, including getting lost in the clouds and a close encounter with "The Creepy Clown" balloon, Sonia wins. In the higher level text, readers can draw the inference that Sonia buys the old man medicine with their winnings.
Across 2-4 pages of story (depending on the level) students mark up vocabulary, hunt for conflicts in the text, work with tenses and make predictions. Total student handout size is 12 pages.
Balloon Race Poster
Teach your students the ordinals, by finding the balloon finishing order. Students then cut the balloon pictures out to assemble their own poster of the race. Having fun and using their imagination is obligatory!
Detailed Notes for Teachers
Both levels contain possible aims and teaching notes. They also come with suggestions for spin off projects and further research for your high fliers.
Fiction, Conflict, Plot, Sequence, Ordinals
Included Graphic Organizers (non-specific -- can be reused for any texts):