Polar Express Activities


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Collection of 4th-grade classroom activities based on The Polar Express.

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Polar Express Activities

  1. 1. Polar Express ACTIVITIESHave groups work together to answer these math problems. Read them aloud,allow groups to work together, then raise their hands when they think they havethe answer. Option: Give points to the team who gets the correct answer first.Winning team gets candy canes or other candy.1) When Kelly got on board the Polar Express, there were 31 seats available. Thetrain has a total of 159 seats. How many seats were already filled?

2) Theconductor looked at his pocket watch to see what time the train would be leaving.It read 8:37 p.m. If it takes the Polar Express 3 hours and 15 minutes to get tothe North Pole, what time will it be when it arrives?

3) On the train we had 41different kinds of cookies, 3 different flavors of cocoa, and 122 candies.Mmmmm! How many treats did we have in all?

4) On our way to the North Polewe noticed 15 lean wolves and 32 white-tailed rabbits hiding from the train. Howmany more rabbits were there than wolves?

5) As the train climbed the mountainsto the North Pole we saw 1,124 different mountain peaks. If half of them werecovered completely with snow, then how many were not completely covered?

6)The distance from Johns house to the North Pole is 4,202 miles and the distancefrom Alexs house to the North Pole is 5,329 miles. How many more miles is itfrom Alexs house than from Johns house?

7) At the North Pole, Adrian shouted,"Look, the elves!" We then noticed a massive crowd around the train. Weestimated there were about 627 elves. If this is rounded to the nearest ten howmany would that be?

8) The clock struck midnight as the elves roared withapproval for Santa to give his gift to Chelsea. How many hours would pass by ifSanta could give out another gift tomorrow at midnight?

9) As Santa and hisreindeer took off into the sky, they were traveling at 431 miles per hour. Thefarther away they got the faster they would go. The Sky Officer measured Santatraveling at the speed of 900 miles per hour. How much faster was Santatraveling than when he first took off into the air?

10) Santa left presents forAubrie, Justin, Neil, and Ross. Those presents totaled 28. If each child receivedequal amount of gifts, how many gifts did each child receive?

The Polar Express- Story Sequencing StripsCut these statements into strips. Give each group 2-3 strips. Start with onegroup: Have one student read their strip aloud and tape it to the chalkboard.Have another student from another group read their strip aloud then tape itbefore or after the original strip, according to the sequence of events in the story.Continue until all strips are in the correct order.On Christmas Eve, as a young boy looked out his bedroomwindow, he saw a train standing perfectly still in front of his
  2. 2. house.The book took the conductor’s outstretched hand andclimbed aboard the train. On the train, children sang carols,ate candies with nougat centers, and drank hot coca.As they traveled northward through the cold forests thechildren saw wolves watching the train as it traveled by.The train climbed mountains so high it seemed as if theywould scrape the moon.When the train arrived at the North Pole City, Santa and hiselves were waiting for all them.The boy chose first gift of Christmas. It was a silver bell froma reindeer’s harness.After their exciting visit with Santa and his elves, the PolarExpress took the children home.The young boy was so disappointed to find out that the bellSanta had given him had fallen through the hole in thepocket of his bathrobe.On Christmas Day, the boy discovered a package from Santaunder his tree. Inside the boy found the silver bell Santa hadgiven him with a note attached to it. The note told the youngboy to get the hole in his pocket fixed.Though the boy grew up, the bell still rang for him, as it doesfor all those who believe.Print page found at:http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/worksheets/literature_activities/polarexpress_imagery.pdfImagery - The author uses lots of imagery to help set the setting and action.Download the set of cards at the URL link above, cut into cards, and distributeone card to each student. Have each student draw a visual of phrase on their card
  3. 3. to illustrate what the author is trying to say. Remind students to practice usingimagery when they do their own writing.Print page found at:http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/worksheets/literature_activities/polarexpress_game.pdfMetaphors/Similes - The author uses metaphors and similes to make the storymore exciting instead of using plain and boring language. Remind students to usemetaphors and similes in their writing to make their stories pop!Hand out cards to each group and have them organize the examples into“Similes” or “Metaphors.” Engage students in a discussion about the differencebetween similes and metaphors and go through all the examples to ensure thestudents know which belongs under which category.