Magical Polar Express Experience

What I am about to share will forever change how you teach The Polar Express! The first year I watched The Polar Express with my second graders, I was thrown at how engaged they were with the movie. Many had never seen it and it was MAGICAL!


The second year I decided to transform the room and really surprise them. Well, the surprise was 100% for me! What I am about to share became a tradition, even with third and fourth graders.

My precious Mother-in-Law gave my own children a hardbound copy of the Polar Express with a red and white striped box and a bell inside. My kids loved it! The second year, I decided to line the chairs up in rows like a train and read the book to them.

This bell goes for $50+ on eBay now! It was from Hallmark.


We went on a restroom break and I had a parapro watch them in the hall while I made the transformation. Nothing fancy or Pinterest worthy, I simply laid out the room with two chairs on either side of the aisle. When I relieved the parapro, I passed everyone a ticket that said POLAR EXPRESS. Then I went to the door and collected the tickets as they entered the room. I let them pick where they wanted to sit and they thought that was glorious! (It is the small things that make a huge difference!)!!

I would sit at the front of the room and begin to read the book. They were very attentive, even if they had seen the movie, few had heard the book read to them. Meanwhile, the parapro I had relieved went to the front office to get a PACKAGE that had been delivered to me. The package was a box wrapped in brown craft paper addressed to Mrs. Patton’s Second Grade Class.

Meanwhile, in the classroom, I was finishing the book. The tear-jerker moment for me was after I finished reading, I would lean behind me to open the Red and White Striped Box with the First Gift of Christmas inside – a Silver Bell. I would ring the bell and ask who could hear the bell. They were always so excited, raising their hand, thrilled they could hear it❤️! I would pass the bell around and each of them would have a chance to ring it!!! Magical!


But wait there is more. Remember the parapro, I had asked her not to come in with the package until I had passed the bell around. Then she would knock and announce I had a package from the front office. So, I took the box, held it up, and then began to open it. When I opened it they all gasped AGAIN because it was filled with small bells.

I would walk down the aisle and let each child pick out their own bell. You can only imagine their excitement when they felt the bell. The box had been in the freezer and the bells were ice cold – FROM THE NORTH POLE.

YA’LL! EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. I would tear up because they were so blown away! Best Christmas gift to myself!!! The magic of Christmas and children!

The girl on the far right is holding the red and white stripe box with the bell inside! The following day the school showed the movie on the network. We would wear PJs, move all the desks, and drink hot chocolate with cookies!


I love making things easier in the classroom! I have a Christmas unit that is filled with many activities to keep them busy working on standards during the month of December! One of my favorite books, Olive the Other Reindeer, is super cute and the kiddos love it! I have also included Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, The Snowmen at Night, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas in this jammed-packed unit!

Here is a sample of my Christmas Math Activities for second Grade

Christmas Math: Fraction-Lights and Multiplication-Santa Beard

Practice Text Features with The Legend of the Candy Cane Story

Christmas Reading Activities including How the Grinch Stole Christmas activities second grade!!!

Looking for Christmas 2nd grade math worksheets: Christmas Math and Reading Activities

Christmas Crafts Second Grade

RELATED: Celebrate the Holidays

Mrs. Patton

Welcome! I am Kim Patton and have been a second grade teacher since 2010. I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mother, teacher, blogger, and TpTer. I love traveling, spending time with my family, creating classroom materials, pizza, Peloton, and playing in the camper! I am glad you're here!

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I am Kim Patton and have been a second-grade teacher since 2010. I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mother, teacher, blogger, and TpTer. I love traveling, spending time with my family, creating curriculum, pizza, Peloton, and playing in the camper! I am glad you're here! Read More

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