Thursday, December 18, 2014

Polar Express Activity Idea

The Polar Express is one of my favorite Christmas movies to share at school because it really expresses the magic of Christmas.  It doesn't matter how many times my students have seen the movie, every single time they watch in awe of the singing and dancing during "Hot Chocolate", gasp as the train skids across the ice, and exclaim with surprise when the bell is found on Christmas morning.

The Polar Express is all about Christmas wishes, and every child has a wish.  For as long as I have been teaching, my favorite activity to do with this movie has been to make secret wish bells with my students.  They are very simple to make, I just cut bell shapes out of gray card stock.  Then I ask each child to whisper their wish in my ear and I write it on the back of their paper bell.

After writing the wishes on the back of the bell, I use a red ribbon to hang them to a garland in the classroom, making sure that the backs of the bells are facing the wall so that none of the wishes are revealed.  It's a great way to build trust with my students because they tell me their secrets, and I show them that I can keep the secret. It is also a great way to remind myself of all of the truly wonderful things about the holiday season.  The wishes that little ones share can melt my heart, and give me some much needed perspective during a somewhat crazy time of the year.

When I send home parent gifts and cards before break I make sure to include the wish bells.  Parents love to have this little keepsake of their child's most important wish.

I've put together a printable version of my wish bells so that you can do this with your class (or your own children), just download, print, and cut!



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