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New York, NY
PK - 12
Class Size:
Less than 10
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  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg


Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; and for personal fulfillment.

Resource Instructions

Allow time to discuss the illustrations, calling attention to the perspective of where the viewpoint is.

The students write and illustrate their wish for the first gift of Christmas. Discuss and list the word choices that Chris Van Allsburg used to make the story more interesting. Have the students retell the story of The Polar Express. The students can record a podcast using GarageBand on a computer. Enhance the podcast by adding photos, scanned drawings or KidPix illustrations. If a computer isn't available, a recording could be made with a tape recorder or with an iPod and a voice recorder attached. The podcast can be shared online through iWeb on a Mac or shared with other classes through the school server. Consult with your technology support person about how to do this.


Using the blog feature of iWeb or a word processor, the students could write about each segment of the little boy's special day using their own words. The students could write new versions of the story using the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, The Black Snowman, etc.

Related Resources
Polar Express links to ideas and activities -
Polar Express math -
Technology resources:
GarageBand video tutorial -
Audacity for Windows or Mac -
Audacity Tutorials -

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