Monday, December 14, 2015

The Polar Express Figurative Language Activities {Must Read Mentor Text}

All aboard the Polar Express!!! This is always one of my favorite books to read with my students in December. And I think they love it as much as I do!
This week's Must Read Mentor Text is The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. It's a Christmas classic!

There are endless possibilities for using this book in your classroom! I usually spend one to two weeks close reading and analyzing the story and author's craft with my students. And it's fun to watch the movie adaptation at the end of our unit, so we can compare and contrast.
One skill that I love teaching with this text is figurative language! I love focusing on all the figurative language and incredible word choice that Chris Van Allsburg uses to bring this story to life. Before reading the story, I review different forms of figurative language with my students. We sometimes make an anchor chart or, we look back in our reading notebooks at the notes we've taken or examples we've recorded. Click HERE to download our FREE figurative language mini book- great for note taking!
As I read the story, I ask my students to listen out for figurative language. I give each student sticky notes to record the figurative language they hear. Then, I let the students share the figurative language they've recorded. We either put our sticky notes onto a class chart or we stick then right in our reader's notebooks to refer back to later.
After you have discussed the figurative language in the story, you can have your students make figurative language posters. I let the students pick one of the figurative language examples from the book, and I give them large white paper or chart paper to illustrate the figurative language. On the poster they have to include: the type of figurative language (simile, personification, etc.), a definition of it, the example sentence from the book, and an illustration depicting the example they've chosen. Then, I put the students in small groups to share their posters and review the figurative language.  :)
I'm sorry I don't have any poster pictures....

What activities do you like to do with The Polar Express? I'd love to hear your ideas!!!  :)

I hope you enjoy this Must Read Mentor Text! Have a great week!

*We will not be posting Must Read Mentor Texts over the holidays- Monday, Decemeber 21st and Monday, December 28th but we will be back on Monday January 4th with a new text!

If you didn't enter our Merry and Bright Holiday Giveaway, please click the image below to read all about it in yesterday's post- there's still time to enter!  :)

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