One of my favorite ways to bring some holiday cheer into the classroom during the busy December months is with a Polar Express mini-unit! It’s a great way to bring a little bit of extra engagement to literacy and math practice when students are growing more and more excited about the upcoming holiday. In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite Polar Express activities for kindergarten that you can use to create your own fun holiday unit study!
Polar Express Literacy Activities
We all know how difficult it can be to get students to focus on academic tasks in the last couple of weeks before winter break. These themed literacy activities will definitely grab their attention!
While reading “The Polar Express” together as a class, you can create an anchor chart to map out the story elements and sequence. This will be a helpful resource for students to reference as they complete two different sequencing activities.
First, students can complete a fun lift-the-flap sequencing activity. They will color six different pictures that represent events from the story. Then they will paste them in the correct order based on the story sequence. Finally, students will love to add the correct flap to each picture! This is a fun resource for students to take home because it helps them retell the story to their families.
Another sequencing activity that is a hit with kindergarten students is creating their own Polar Express train! Each part of this foldable sequencing craft has a page with a sentence for students to complete.
After filling in the blanks, they can either draw an illustration or choose from the provided pictures. Finally, students will put these pages in order and assemble them to create a train!
The train fun doesn’t have to stop there! Your students can also practice reading CVC words with this Polar Express literacy activity. Students will read the word on each train engine and glue the correct picture to the train.
“The Best Gift of All” Writing Craftivity
After reading “The Polar Express” together as a class, it’s always fun to ask students what they would choose as the first gift of Christmas. This discussion can inspire a fun writing activity! Students will write and illustrate a sentence describing the best gift of all. They can also create a fun gift-themed craft to use as a cover for their writing. These look great on a holiday bulletin board!
Polar Express Math Activities
The Polar Express fun doesn’t have to end with your literacy block! You can bring some festive Polar Express activities for kindergarten to your math practice as well.
Polar Express Addition
Get your students excited to practice addition with these train-themed addition activities! First, students can cut and paste different addition sentences onto the train with the correct sum. This is a great way to show students the different ways that you can make numbers with addition.
You can also get your students up and moving with addition around the room. Place train cards containing addition equations around the room and have students hunt for them. Students will write and solve each equation on their recording sheets.
Hot Chocolate Addition
For even more themed addition practice, you can add some hot chocolate to your math block. Students can model addition by putting marshmallows in two different mugs. There are three different options for students to practice writing addition sentences.
Students can model addition by splitting a combination of marshmallows between two mugs. Then they will write a number sentence to model the addition they used to find the total number of marshmallows. This is another fun craft to display on a winter bulletin board!
Your students will also love this hot chocolate mini reader for addition. They will draw the correct number of marshmallows in each mug based on the equation at the bottom of the page. Then they will solve the equation. Students are always so excited to take home these mini-readers!
Hot Chocolate Taste Test and Graphing
All this talk of hot chocolate will have your students craving a taste of the real thing! You can bring some graphing practice to your hot chocolate taste test! Students can vote on whether or not they like marshmallows in their hot chocolate, then add their vote to a class graph.
After discussing the results of this class graph, students can complete their own graphing worksheet. This will help them practice creating, interpreting, and summarizing data on a graph.
Polar Express Party
The best part about this unit is that it can lead up to your holiday party before winter break! After spending time reading and discussing the book, your students will love watching the movie during a Polar Express Party!
Greet students at the door by saying “All aboard the Polar Express!” and handing them a ticket. You can hole punch their tickets before they choose a place to sit for the movie.
After watching the movie, you can surprise your students with a special delivery from the North Pole! You can add bells to string to create a necklace for each student, then place it in a box with a letter from Santa. When I did this activity with my class, our school secretary helped me maintain the magic by delivering the box to the classroom for us.
This is such a fun activity to do with students right before the holiday break!
Printable Polar Express Activities for Kindergarten
All of the activities mentioned above can be found in my printable Polar Express unit for kindergarten. You’ll find everything you need to have some holiday fun in your classroom this year! I’ve also included a Unit-at-a-Glance resource to help you map out a cohesive unit lesson plan with all of these fun activities! If you’d like to take a closer look at all of the Polar Express activities for kindergarten included in this resource, you can find it in the A Spoonful of Learning Shop or on TPT.
Save These Kindergarten Polar Express Activities
If you would like to plan a Polar Express unit for your kindergarten class, be sure to save this post! Just add the pin below to your favorite holiday or teacher board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these Polar Express activities whenever you need them! You might also like to check out these engaging gingerbread activities for even more holiday-themed fun!
Leave a Reply