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Picture my world
An ACT REsearch network project

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The red balloon
A record of pre-kindergarten’s journey with The red balloon | Canberra Grammar School Early Learning Centre

The children were fascinated with the mix of both coloured and black and white photographs in The red balloon. Discussions arose about the way the black and white photos could create a feeling of 'the olden days' and also help heighten feelings such as joy, loneliness, anger and sadness.

Each child was photographed with a helium balloon at different locations around the school. The children were asked to remember a particular feeling that Pascal had with the balloon — some children are happy with the balloon, others are feeling lonely with the balloon, while others are talking to it.

After their initial drawing response to The red balloon a small group of children were asked more specific questions around the themes and plot of the book. Below are some of their photos, and their answers:


The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon

If you were feeling lonely would you like to have a balloon as a friend? What are the good things or bad things about having a balloon as a friend?

  • Oliver, 4 years
    The good thing is you can play with it.
  • Robert, 5 years
    The bad thing is that it could fly away.
  • Eve, 5 years
    Balloons can pop but persons can’t
  • Oliver, 4 years
    You can hug balloons but not really tight because they might burst.
  • Eve, 5 years
    Balloons have no mouth to talk or eyes.
  • Sophie, 5 years
    The bad thing is if they stay for a while — the balloons — then they pop and then you don’t get to have fun.
  • Lizzie, 5 years
    It’s fun to throw them around.
  • Dylan, 5 years
    The balloon doesn’t talk and it doesn’t really do what you say.
  • Sophie, 5 years
    Balloons can’t understand what a real person would say.


Tell me about the boys who were being mean to the balloon and Pascal.

  • Caitlin, 5 years
    The boys tried to pop the balloon — they weren’t kind.
  • Sophie, 5 years
    Pascal felt a bit nervous with all those boys. Those boys wanted everything — like gold and stuff!
  • Lizzie, 5 years
    They were jealous — jealous can mean feeling left out.
  • Lachlan, 5 years
    They gathered in a circle and threw rocks at the balloon and it burst. It was so sad.
  • Georgia, 4 years
    They were nasty boys — they snatched it off that good boy.
  • Akash, 5 years
    Maybe they didn’t like the balloon.


Pascal was really sad when the balloon burst wasn’t he?

  • Cecilia, 5 years
    He wanted a friend.
  • Lizzie, 5 years
    It was his friend and he did lots of things for him.
  • Logan, 4 years
    Maybe he wanted to keep it forever.
  • Sophie, 5 years
    He didn’t have any more friends — just the balloon.
  • Dylan, 5 years
    It was his only friend.