It’s Wednesday, December 10, 2014, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!
The Polar Express
Age Range: 4-10 (Grades K-5, with parental supervision)
One of the best-loved holiday books is The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg. The timeless story captures the imagination of children everywhere. We thought it would be fun to explore learning language arts through this magical tale of a boy who takes a night-time train ride to the North Pole
The author’s website offers an overview of the book and samples of the outstanding illustrations that earned a Caldecott Medal. You can also read the author’s bio, see a timeline of his work, and access resources and interactives themed around his books.
When you get to the site you’ll find a picture of each book cover/title. If you click on them – you will be directed to purchase the book. There is no requirement to purchase anything in order to use the free resources. Scroll past those covers to the bottom of the page to find a link titled “Teachers: Discussion Guides for all of Chris Van Allsburg books.” When you click you’ll find additional curriculum connections for the Polar Express.
Creative Writing/Language Arts:
* Brainstorm winter words.
* Ask children to imagine their own magical midnight train ride and write about what they see on their journey and what their final destination looks like.
* Go through the book together and pick out all of the adjectives and list them on a large sheet of paper. Do the same for the verbs and nouns.
* As a way to begin using the book as the basis for a unit or simply as a treat for the children, host a Polar Express Party. Click the link to download a complete party kit.
* Have children locate the North Pole on a globe or map. They can research and write a short report on the landscape, climate, and other characteristics of the North Pole
* Topics for Further Research
o Polar ice cap
o Northern lights
o Weather and climate – what are the average high and low temps?
* Have children draw what they would see out the window of the Polar Express on its way to the North Pole.
* Give each child a bell. Play holiday songs to which they can ring the bells.
* At your party, break the kids into groups of four. Give each group a song and have them come up with a way to accompany it with their bells.
When you think you’ve done everything you can, find the link to “More Games & Fun” to discover activity sheets, games, recipes, and more AND discussion guides for all of Chris Van Allsburg’s other books!
Return to this site often!