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Old 11-28-2007, 11:56 AM
laf-a-lot laf-a-lot is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 44
1st Grade Teacher
Polar Express Day

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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Old 11-28-2007, 12:31 PM
DizneeTeachR's Avatar
DizneeTeachR DizneeTeachR is online now
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,140
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!!!
Praying for Sam & his family!!!
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:37 PM
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LakeSophie LakeSophie is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 252
Southeast TX now, was FL
Experience in K, 1 & 4-now 8th MATH
OOO that's a cool idea!

I should direct that idea to our Kindergarten & preschool teachers. They're totally into themed days.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:32 PM
firstgradeteach firstgradeteach is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 450
1st Grade Teacher
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!
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:00 PM
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kinderkids kinderkids is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7,636
Kindergarten Teacher
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:

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Old 11-28-2007, 03:57 PM
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Tasha Tasha is online now
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,393
Kindergarten Teacher
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
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:09 PM
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smalltowngal smalltowngal is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,269
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.
'It is today we must create the world of the future.' Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:14 PM
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jwilliamson jwilliamson is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 115
2nd Grade Teacher
Found this neat website that may prove helpful in your search for activities.

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Old 11-28-2007, 06:37 PM
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Miss Kirby Miss Kirby is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,699
2nd Grade Teacher
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!!

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!
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:38 PM
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Miss Kirby Miss Kirby is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,699
2nd Grade Teacher
It sounds like I punched the kids as they walked in the door. I punched the TICKETS with a holepunch!!
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