Polar Express Day

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by laf-a-lot, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. laf-a-lot

    laf-a-lot Rookie

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    Nov 28, 2007

    This year our first grade classes are having a "Polar Express Day" We are all coming to school in our pjs, reading the book, having hot choclate and watching the movie. I am going to get each student a small "Believe Bell". I want to also do some meaningful activities. Do any of you have some good ideas??
     
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  3. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Could you do something with transportation and connect it with social studies? Ask them to watch for the different types of transportation in the movie, ie train, Santa using a sleigh.

    I see you're in Florida ask how many have seen snow (connects with math for graphing) or what they would do in the snow. If you would like some webcams for snow I think I can direct you to a link, just pm me!!!
     
  4. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    OOO that's a cool idea!

    I should direct that idea to our Kindergarten & preschool teachers. They're totally into themed days.
     
  5. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2007

    We have the same theme at my school for kindergarten and first grade! It is a lot of fun. On one day we watch the movie in class. The other day we have 15 minutes in each classroom and rotate all of the classes. Last year one class read the book to the students and the students held a bell in their hand. At the end of the story all of the students held the bell in their hands and whispered, "I believe!"

    The other activities....
    -a Christmas craft- I teach a mini - lesson on 3-D shapes while putting the craft together
    - Polar Express word bingo
    - sound experiment (using whistles and bells)
    - snack (made into a cute train)
    - Graphing pictures of items from the Polar Express
    - History- the history of Santa ( I think someone did this)

    I am interrested if anyone has especially an idea for a quick craft!
     
  6. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I have a Polar Express day every year in K. It is always one of the highlights of the year. I also have a huge gingerbread man cookie that we make the week before and he runs away. The principal announces sightings of him all over our town and on the last day of school before vacation( our Polar Express day), he comes back, and we eat him with the hot chocolate. Here is a great link with some ideas for a Polar Express day:

    http://www.littlegiraffes.com/polarexpress.html
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Nov 28, 2007

    I did something last year where we made a kind of story map of the book. I drew train tracks in an oval on a poster and then we went through the book and added the events until he was back home again. You can talk about sequence of events and you could make it more interactive by laminating the poster and putting the events on index cards. Then, put velcro on the back of the cards and on the poster in various places. After you do the activity together you can make it a center until Christmas :)
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 28, 2007

    Tasha, I love that sequencing poster idea. How cute! For our field trip last year, we took our 2nd graders to ride the train in the Ft Worth Stockyards. We went in our pjs. From then until Christmas we did various Polar Express activites. I think most of the ideas we got from littlegiraffes.com. Then the day before we got out for Christmas we would read the book again, watch the movie, and do a compare/contrast venn diagram over the two.
     
  9. jwilliamson

    jwilliamson Companion

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    Nov 28, 2007

  10. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 28, 2007

    We did it last year for the first time. OH my gosh my kids thought they were actually going ON the Polar Express and they were SO DISSAPOINTED when they found out they were going to see just the movie!!!! aww!!!

    This year I am going to have them dress in PJs. We set it up on a big screen in an empty classroom. Each student got a ticket for the Polar Express, and I punched them as they came in the door. Then they sat on the floor and watched the movie. Afterwards we went back in our classrooms and I told them to sit in their chairs, and they found the bells!! (I had a teacher from another grade level put them on chairs during her prep) They were so excited!! :D

    We spent that week doing literacy activities with the book. We read the story and made a story map. It was from a Mailbox book, and each part of a train was a part in the story map. They glued it on black paper and used chalk to draw a snowy scene.

    I'm looking for any other literacy activities to go with the story too!
     
  11. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 28, 2007

    It sounds like I punched the kids as they walked in the door. I punched the TICKETS with a holepunch!!:eek:
     
  12. laf-a-lot

    laf-a-lot Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2007

    Thank you everyone for such great ideas!!
     
  13. AlliBob

    AlliBob Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2007

    I did this last year when I taught kindergarten. I hid bells in their desks and they found them after lunch. They thought Santa had dropped them off. It was so much fun. One activity we did that was not mentioned was decorate train and xmas cookies. Have fun! :D
     
  14. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Dec 1, 2007

    This might seem kind of a silly question....

    How do you make hot chocolate for your whole class??:confused:
     
  15. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    When I did it last year, I purchased the gallon chocolate milk and warmed it in a sauce pan on a hot plate in my classroom.
     
  16. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I buy the gallon of chocolate milk and bring in a crockpot and keep it warming on low all day.
     
  17. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Thats a better idea! I think I'll do that this year. :p
     
  18. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Dec 1, 2007

     
  19. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Haha, yeah, it was quite funny. :D I swear I don't punch my kids!!

    The gallon of chocolate milk in the crock pot sounds like something that I could easily do. Yay!
     
  20. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Dec 1, 2007

    It's so funny that you all have such great ideas for this book! My school is requiring all the K-5 teachers to respond to the book in their own way, sort of like a class project. We have to display our response to the book in the hallway & we only have a week or so. I've never read the book, so I am desperate for ideas and/or ways to respond to the book. The links you all provided are a great help! I can't wait to have the Polar Express PJ party!! But what would you all do to "respond" to the book if you had to? Sort of like a response to literature type thing but it has to be creative.
     
  21. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Dec 1, 2007

    For a response activity we did the story mapping, which I think I already mentioned. Maybe you could make a train and have each child write on a part of the train for a bulletin board?
     

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