The Polar Express Lesson Plans, Resources, and Activities

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The Polar Express Lesson Plans

The Polar Express Lesson Plans and Activities

Get Over 65 Pages of Resources with the The Polar Express Lesson Plans and Activities Package

  • Reading Comprehension Strategy Lesson Plans
  • Reader’s Notebook Pages
  • Fantastic Phonics & Word Study for Two-Syllable Words
  • Vocabulary Development Activities
  • Running Record Assessment Tool
  • Step by Step Teacher Reference Guides and Notes for the Teacher

Take a Closer Look at the The Polar Express Lesson Plans and Activities Package

 

    Reading Comprehension Lessons for The Polar Express
    Title: The Polar Express
    Author & Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg
    Grade Level: Third Grade

    Summary: It’s Christmas Eve. A boy is lying in bed waiting for the sound of Santa’s sleigh. The boy expects to hear the soft tinkle of sleigh bells. Instead the boy hears a strange hissing sound. When he draws back his curtain and looks out the window, the boy discovers that a steam engine, and not Santa’s sleigh, is parked in front of his house. In a rush of excitement and curiosity, the boy throws on his robe and runs outside. There he meets a conductor who invites him to come aboard the Polar Express. The Polar Express is filled with other children who are all on their way to the North Pole. The train travels through the night stopping only when it reaches the center of the city where Santa and the elves have gathered for the giving of the first Christmas gift. The boy is chosen to receive this first gift. When Santa asks the boy what he would like for Christmas, the boy asks for one simple gift: one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. Upon receiving his gift, the boy tucks the silver sleigh bell into the pocket of his bathrobe for safe keeping. But when he returns to the train, the boy realizes the bell has fallen through a hole in his pocket. The boy is heartbroken. In the morning, after the boy comes home, his little sister finds a small box under the Christmas tree. Inside the box is the small silver sleigh bell. The boy and his sister jingle the bell and are delighted by the sound. When they share the bell with their parents, they are disappointed because their parents can not hear the beautiful sound. Because the boy traveled on the Polar Express, he believes in the spirit of Christmas and is able to hear the tinkling of the bell even as an adult. Only true believers can hear Santa’s sleigh bells.

    Reading Comprehension Strategy Lesson Plans and Reader’s Notebook Worksheets for The Polar Express

    Retelling Lesson Plan
    This book works well because the order of events is very clear and there is a limited cast of characters. The problem and solution are also clearly defined. As a result, readers will be able to retell this book with confidence. Make sure to warn readers against using the characters and events in the film when retelling. The book differs from the film. Includes a Reader’s Notebook page for students to practice writing about their reading.

    Visualizing Lesson Plan
    This is an ideal book for readers who need to practice visualizing. This book works well because the author uses descriptive language that easily supports children as they learn to identify words that can be used to create mental images while reading. Likewise beginning readers who have seen the film will be able to draw upon the film to aid in visualization. Includes a Reader’s Notebook page for students to practice writing about their reading.

    Making Predictions Lesson Plan
    This book and lesson plan will support readers as they work to make predictions in order to fully comprehend text. Readers will learn to use clues from the text to make strong predictions that lead to deeper comprehension while reading. Make sure to warn readers against using film to make predictions. The book differs from the film. Includes a Reader’s Notebook page for students to practice writing about their reading.

    Identifying the Author’s Message Lesson Plan
    It is important for beginning readers to engage with text s that have more than one author’s message. In the case of The Polar Express, readers will be able to identify messages about believing, finding contentment in simplicity and the changes that happen to people as they grow older. Readers will enjoy identifying messages within this book and will learn how to support the author’s messages with evidence from the text. Includes a Reader’s Notebook page for students to practice writing about their reading. Includes a Reader’s Notebook page for students to practice writing about their reading.

    Synthesizing Lesson Plan Lesson Plan
    This book will support readers who are working to monitor their use of reading comprehension strategies. This book works well because the author implies several messages. Therefore, readers will be required to check their comprehension through retelling and making predictions in order to fully comprehend. Additionally, the author uses a lot of descriptive language, requiring readers to visualize in order to fully comprehend the text. Includes a Reader’s Notebook page for students to practice writing about their reading.


    Fantastic Phonics and Word Study Lesson Plan

    Use The Polar Express to teach readers about Inflectional Endings
    Use The Polar Express to teach readers about inflectional endings in the context of their reading. This lesson plan includes bulletin board and anchor chart materials, interactive games, a worksheet for independent practice and a complete step by step guide.


    Vocabulary Connections

    Vocabulary Development Activities
    Pre-teach Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary words for The Polar Express with interactive games, practice worksheets and graphic organizers. This set of activities includes a vocabulary word list, two sets of flash cards (picture to word matching and picture to definition matching), an interactive game, a graphic organizer to support the use of context clues while reading a vocabulary word search and more!


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    Print everything you need to deliver balanced literacy instruction using the books that you already have in your school and classroom libraries. All of our resources can easily be used for Guided Reading Groups, Literacy Centers, Whole Group Minilessons, and Independent Practice – They’re Great for Subs and Parents too!

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