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All Aboard the Polar Express!

Note: Completely new and expanded product!

Long, long ago (read: 2000) in a land far, far away (read: New England) my husband and I were on a downtown adventure to the new Border’s bookstore (read: now out of business) when we saw a large crowd. We shoved our way through the people to see what the hullabaloo was.

It turns out that a children’s author/illustrator was in the store signing books. I only recognized one of his books, so I grabbed it and stood in line. One person after me the line was stopped (she had to hold a sign saying, “I am the end of the line.”!!) and we waited for our signature.

Little did I know that the author, Chris Van Allsburg, would become one of my favorite authors of all time! The book that I had signed, (affiliate links) Polar Express, became a favorite of my future children. I now quite a few of his amazing books and use The Stranger every fall for speech therapy activities with my older students.

Around the time that my son turned two, he became obsessed with trains. Obsessed. It was all about Thomas, Toby, Duncan, etc. We bought him a train table and shelled out obnoxious amounts of money on those wooden trains. And, I admit, I loved it. I loved his adorable chubby face yelling “Choo choo!!!!!” and he zoomed the little blue wooden train around the tracks.

The Flash’s 2 year old bday invite

Not surprisingly, he also was delighted by the movie Polar Express. Which I was not. The animation and scary hobo character creep me out. When we flew to my parents’ home for Christmas and she bought the movie, I forbade her from letting The Flash bring it home with us.  I said it was “a special treat for grandma’s house”.

Alas, my son no longer plays with his trains. But I just couldn’t get rid of them. They are (no joke) the only toy(s) that I have kept from toddler days. Maybe one day I can pass them onto his children. And I hope they adore them…because they will be the only toys I will have saved for all those years!

To bring back the memories of the train-days, I created a bunch of Speech/Language Activities that can be used with elementary-aged students. Why use Literature in Speech therapy? Check out my post here.

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Don’t own the book? Well, you probably should! You should have plenty of time before the holidays to order it, or get it from the library. Another alternative is that you can read/listen to it being read online for free at storylineonline (just click “more stories” until you find it).

Get the entire Speech/Language unit here.

Enjoy! And always believe!  
(Which is quite hypocritical for me to say since we decided to tell our kids from day one that Santa was a fun myth but not to spoil other kids’ fun.)

Check out other Speech/Language holiday-themed activities that I have created (click on the pictures to go the blog posts):  


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  1. How cool to snag your autographed book that way!
    My boys still enjoy trains, I do fantasize about taking them through the Canadian Rockies on one.

  2. Very neat unit CC! Looks like it took a lot of time. Thanks for sharing!
    Nicole at allisonspeechpeeps.blogspot.com

  3. I too love to use literature units and I love all the great stuff in your units. Since I spend HOURS scavenging the web looking for already made stuff, I am sure I will opt for purchasing some of yours (lots of bang for the buck). Your last comment about believing made me smile because I did the same thing with my two boys.

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