The Polar Express Literature Train Craft

Teach With Me
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“All Aboard! “

“The Polar Express is now leaving for the North Pole!”

Do you read this classic Christmas story by Chris Van Allsburg?

It’s a personal favorite of mine, especially because Chris is from my home town here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so you can imagine how popular this book is with the teachers in my school.

With that in mind, I decided to make a train craftivity that would reinforce some language arts standards.

Teachers can make the train, laminate & then do this as a whole-group discussion activity with preschool and kinders, writing their answers down with a dry erase marker, then reviewing the story.

Older students can make their own Polar Express.

I suggest doing this over a few days, making several cars each day, or sending part of the project home to be completed there, and then returned.

Not enough time, but still want to give this cute craft a whirl? Simply have students do just the engine along with the “stat” car, or a -3-piece train with the engine, stat car and caboose.

Check out the PREVIEW for lots of samples.

Completed projects make an absolutely adorable, hallway wall border.

I’ve included an “All Aboard” poster for your display as well.

Gluing a child’s school photo peeking out the Engine’s window, makes them the conductor, and adds to the “awww” keepsake factor.

Later, the entire train accordion-folds, making the project small and flat, which easily tucks in a backpack, then unfolded, one car at a time, to retell the tale of The Polar Express to their family.

The project helps reinforce the parts of a story: Author, Illustrator, Setting, Characters, Problem & Solution, as well as practicing the ”sequencing & retelling” a story standards, via the “Beginning, Middle & End” writing prompt train cars.

I’ve also included a “Here’s What Happened” worksheet, should you opt for a shorter train.

So that you can quickly and easily make an example to share, I’ve included the templates of my completed samples, plus plenty of photographs, with step-by-step directions.

I’m Diane from Teach With Me, wishing you a fun-filled ride and a very Merry


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Total Pages
48 pages
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