Polar Express Reading Celebration
Have you seen this website for the Polar Express?
There is a section for a “Polar Express Reading Celebration” which you can adapt if you would like to do a “Polar Express” storytime. If you want to make it a party, serve Hot Chocolate like they do in the movie. At the conclusion, hand out a bell to each child. These are available at Oriental Trading and at various craft stores like Michael’s.
For a craft, have teen volunteers cut out gingerbread people out of sandpaper (I used a cookie cutter for the pattern). Then, kids can glue on eyes, draw on the mouth, etc. Finally, rub the sandpaper with a cinnamon stick and you get a great-smelling ornament that also works as a car freshener! The website has lots of other great craft ideas, coloring pages, puzzles, and reproducible projects. If you want to make it a multicultural holiday storytime instead of just a Christmas storytime, you could add some Hanukkah and Kwanzaa picture books as well.
- Van Allsburg, Chris. THE POLAR EXPRESS. The Caldecott winning picture book about a boy’s late night train trip to the North Pole.
- Kimmelman, Leslie. HANUKKAH LIGHTS, HANUKKAH NIGHTS. In this rhyming story with counting, an extended family celebrates Hanukkah.
- Rojany, Lisa. THE STORY OF HANUKKAH: A LIFT-THE-FLAP REBUS BOOK. Useful as a brief introduction to the story of the Maccabees.
- Chocolate, Deborah. MY FIRST KWANZAA BOOK. A simple but clear explanation of Kwanzaa, the audience will yell out the repeated verse, “It’s Kwanzaa time!”
- Katz, Karen. MY FIRST KWANZAA. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are explained in this brief story appropriate for preschoolers.