Polar Express...!Polar Express - as soon as I saw it I loved it and I just knew it was going to become one of our family traditions. Now that might sound very strange to my American readers who have practically grown up with it, but Polar Express wasn't big over here until the film came out in 2004/5. Even now it's little known.
But for me it's as magical as the train ride the boy took to the North Pole. It's as mysterious as the train conductor. It sums up the spirit of Christmas.
When I had a permanent base I taught a week-long literacy block based on The Polar Express. The children absolutely loved it, from the moment they made their own tickets, to the poetry they created using the wonderful similes in the book, to comparing the book and film versions and playing detective to spot what was the same and what was different. Needless to say, the highlight of the week was the role play - turning the classroom into the Polar Express, and watching the film whilst eating nougat (being careful of those little darlings with nut allergies...), cookies and marshmallows, and drinking hot chocolate.
I miss it.
I wonder if I will ever be a classroom-based teacher again...
But I couldn't let Christmas pass without sharing with you some of the activities and ideas I used with the children. I have pulled them together in one huge pack (a massive 42 pages) which contains everything from a handy unit planner (there really is so much stuff that you can use with a Polar Express theme that I thought a planner would be useful) to all the activities to support your teaching. Well, I say all but in reality I probably have enough to make up a second pack! If you're interested, check it out and let me know what you think.