Hey there, ESL teachers and enthusiasts! Are you ready to embark on a magical train ride to the North Pole? In today’s blog post, we’ll be diving into the whimsical world of “The Polar Express.” This beloved children’s book, written by Chris Van Allsburg, has not only captured the hearts of kids everywhere but has also become a popular tool for ESL teachers. With its enchanting story and captivating illustrations, “The Polar Express” provides endless opportunities for engaging language activities in the classroom. So, grab your ticket and get ready for an unforgettable journey that will ignite your students’ imagination and language skills!
ESL Speaking Questions About The Polar Express
Beginner ESL Questions about The Polar Express
- Have you ever watched the movie or read the book “The Polar Express”?
- What is the name of the train in “The Polar Express”?
- Do you believe in Santa Claus, like the children in the story?
- How do the children in the story get to the North Pole?
- What is the boy’s ticket made of?
- What happens when the boy first arrives at the North Pole?
- What does Santa Claus give to the boy before he leaves the sleigh?
- What gift does Santa Claus give to all the children on the train?
- What sound does the bell from Santa’s sleigh make?
- How does the boy know it wasn’t a dream?
- What do you think is the most exciting part of the story?
- What would you like to do if you were on the Polar Express?
- Who is your favorite character in “The Polar Express”?
- What do you think are some lessons we can learn from the story?
- Would you like to take a train ride to the North Pole?
- What would you ask Santa Claus if you had the chance to meet him?
- How do you feel when you hear the story or watch the movie?
- What is your favorite part about the holiday season?
- Do you have any special traditions during the holiday season?
- Would you like to have a magical adventure like the children in “The Polar Express”?
Intermediate ESL Questions about The Polar Express
- What is The Polar Express about?
- Have you watched The Polar Express movie? What did you think about it?
- Do you believe in Santa Claus? Why or why not?
- Can you describe the main character in The Polar Express?
- What is your favorite scene from The Polar Express? Why?
- Have you ever read the book The Polar Express? What did you like about it?
- Do you like the theme song from The Polar Express movie? Why or why not?
- What does the train represent in The Polar Express story?
- Would you like to take a train ride to the North Pole? Why or why not?
- What lesson do you think the main character learns in The Polar Express?
- What would you do if you found yourself on the Polar Express train?
- If you could have one magical experience like in The Polar Express, what would it be?
- Which character from The Polar Express do you relate to the most? Why?
- Why do you think the author chose a train as the mode of transportation in The Polar Express?
- What is your favorite part about the Christmas holiday season?
- How do you feel when you hear the sound of jingle bells?
- What do you imagine the North Pole looks like?
- What do you think passengers on the Polar Express feel when they arrive at the North Pole?
- Would you recommend reading or watching The Polar Express to your friends? Why?
- If you were on the Polar Express, what gift would you ask Santa for?
Advanced ESL Questions about the Polar Express
- What is the main theme or message of the story?
- Describe the journey of the Polar Express train.
- How does the protagonist’s belief in Santa Claus change throughout the story?
- Explain the significance of the silver bell in the story.
- What role does the hot chocolate served on the train play in the story?
- Discuss the character development of the Hero Boy throughout the book.
- How does the author create a sense of mystery and wonder in the story?
- What role does the conductor play in the story? How does he contribute to the plot?
- What do you think the author is trying to convey about the importance of belief in magic and imagination?
- How do the illustrations in the book enhance the story? Give examples.
- Do you think the Polar Express is a fantasy or a reality? Explain your answer.
- What are some similarities and differences between the book and the movie adaptation of the Polar Express?
- Why do you think the author chose to title the book “The Polar Express”?
- What effect does the setting of the North Pole have on the overall atmosphere of the story?
- Discuss the role of friendship in the story. How does it impact the main character?
- What lessons can be learned from the various characters encountered on the train?
- What emotions did the story evoke in you? Why?
- If you could rewrite the ending of the story, what changes would you make? Why?
- How does the story of the Polar Express connect to the holiday season?
- Describe the Hero Boy’s transformation by the end of the story.
ESL Reading Activities About The Polar Express
Beginner ESL Activities About the Polar Express
The Polar Express is a famous children’s story that tells the magical tale of a young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The story begins when a little boy is lying in bed, waiting for Santa Claus. Suddenly, he hears a noise outside his window. When he looks outside, he sees a gigantic train! The train is called the Polar Express.
Excitedly, the boy hops on the train and is greeted by a friendly conductor. The conductor asks for the boy’s ticket, which is a golden ticket that only a few lucky children receive. The boy hands his ticket to the conductor and steps onto the train.
Inside the Polar Express, the boy is amazed by what he sees. The train is decked out in colorful lights and filled with happy children. The boy finds a seat and makes new friends with the other kids on board. They chat and laugh as the train chugs along.
During the journey, the conductor serves hot chocolate to everyone. The children sip the warm and sweet drink, happily enjoying the taste. It warms them up as they continue their adventure to the North Pole.
Finally, the train arrives at its destination – the magical North Pole. The children step off the train and are met by Santa Claus himself. They witness Santa giving presents to all the children around the world. The boy is given a special silver bell from Santa’s sleigh as a gift. When he shakes the bell, it makes a beautiful sound that only those who believe in the magic of Christmas can hear.
As the night comes to an end, the boy hops back on the Polar Express. He waves goodbye to Santa and his new friends and returns home, full of joy and holiday spirit.
Now let’s learn some vocabulary words related to the Polar Express:
related to magic or enchantment
very special or remarkable
extremely big or large
the person who collects tickets and takes care of passengers on a train
dressed up or decorated in a fancy way
makes a rhythmic puffing sound, like a train
the place where someone or something is going
see or observe something happening
to think something is true or real
a special day or celebration
Enjoy learning about the Polar Express and its magical journey!
Intermediate ESL Activities about the Polar Express
The Polar Express is a heartwarming story that has captivated readers of all ages. Written by Chris Van Allsburg, this enchanting tale takes place on Christmas Eve and follows a young boy on an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole.
The story begins when the boy hears a mysterious sound outside his window. Curiosity takes over, and he bravely steps onto a train known as the Polar Express. The train is magical, with twinkling lights and a conductor who invites him on board. The boy soon discovers he is not alone. Other children, each wearing cozy pajamas and holding golden tickets, join him on this incredible journey.
As the train races through snowy landscapes, the children marvel at the breathtaking scenery. They pass by pine trees laden with snow, glistening in the moonlight. They spot reindeer running alongside the train, their breath forming mist in the cold winter air.
Inside the train, the children are treated to delicious hot chocolate, served by cheerful waiters. The warmth fills them up and makes them feel cozy despite the freezing temperatures outside. They listen to Christmas carols and chat excitedly, sharing tales of their own experiences and dreams.
Finally, the Polar Express arrives at its destination – the North Pole. The children step off the train and are greeted by a magical sight. The North Pole is a winter wonderland, with towering ice sculptures and colorful lights illuminating the snow-covered landscape. Santa Claus himself awaits, ready to deliver gifts to all the children who believe.
With wide-eyed wonder, the boy watches as Santa selects the first gift of Christmas. As Santa hands him the shiny silver bell from the reindeer’s harness, the boy realizes he can hear its sweet, magical sound. The bell only rings for those who truly believe in the spirit of Christmas.
As the Polar Express departs the North Pole, the children wave goodbye and reflect on their extraordinary adventure. The train takes them back home, but the memories of their journey to the North Pole remain in their hearts forever.
to hold the interest or attention of someone completely
a strong desire to know or learn something
showing courage or fearlessness
having the powers or qualities of magic
to be filled with wonder or astonishment
the natural features of a landscape
warm and comfortable
very impressive or stunning
to light up or make bright
Advanced ESL Activities About the Polar Express
Have you ever heard of the Polar Express? It is a magical story that takes place on Christmas Eve. The story begins with a young boy who is lying in bed, hoping to hear the sound of sleigh bells outside his window. Suddenly, he hears a loud train whistle. He jumps out of bed and looks outside to see a massive, shining train waiting for him. The conductor invites him on board. Excitedly, the boy climbs aboard the train, and it starts moving. As the train travels through the snowy landscape, the boy meets other children who are also on their way to the North Pole.
The train ride is filled with excitement and wonder. The children drink hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols. As they approach the North Pole, the train slows down, and the children can see the lights of the town. They can feel the anticipation building in the air. Finally, the train arrives at the North Pole, and the children are amazed by what they see. The whole town is covered in snow, and a gigantic Christmas tree stands in the center. The children watch as Santa Claus makes his way to the tree. He takes out a bell from his pocket and gives it to the boy. Santa explains that the bell is a special gift that only those who truly believe in the magic of Christmas can hear. The boy puts the bell in his pocket, and he can hear its soft, jingling sound all the way home.
A magical train that takes children to the North Pole
Bells that are attached to a sleigh and make a jingling sound
The person in charge of a train
To get on or enter a train or other means of transportation
A feeling of excitement and expectation
The northernmost point on Earth
Extremely large and impressive
Making a light ringing sound
Fully engaged or engrossed in something
Causing a sense of amazement or marvel
ESL Writing Activities About The Polar Express
Beginner ESL Writing Questions about The Polar Express
1. What is your favorite part of The Polar Express story? Why?
2. Can you name three characters from The Polar Express? Describe each one.
3. Imagine you are taking a ride on The Polar Express. Write about what you see outside the window.
4. Have you ever ridden on a train before? Describe your experience.
5. Write a short paragraph summarizing the story of The Polar Express.
Intermediate ESL Writing Questions about The Polar Express
1. The Polar Express takes place on Christmas Eve. Describe what Christmas Eve is like in your country or culture.
2. The main character of The Polar Express learns an important lesson. What lesson do you think he learns? Explain why.
3. If you could write a new ending for The Polar Express, what would happen? Write a short story about your new ending.
4. The conductor on The Polar Express asks every passenger for their ticket. If you were the conductor, what questions would you ask the passengers? Write at least three questions.
5. The Polar Express is a magical train that travels to the North Pole. If you could take a magical train anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Advanced ESL Writing Questions about The Polar Express
1. The Polar Express is a symbol of belief and imagination. How important do you think belief and imagination are in our lives and why?
2. The Polar Express is a story about a journey. Describe a journey or adventure you have had in your life. What did you learn from it?
3. The hot chocolate scene in The Polar Express is a favorite for many. Describe a favorite food or drink from your culture and explain why it is popular.
4. The Polar Express is a book adapted into a movie. Do you think movies based on books are a good idea? Why or why not? Provide examples to support your opinion.
5. The theme of the book/movie The Polar Express is the spirit of Christmas. In your opinion, what is the true spirit of Christmas and why is it important?
ESL Roleplay Activities about The Polar Express
1. Ticket Booth Roleplay: In this activity, students can pretend to be ticket booth attendants and passengers at The Polar Express train station. Split the class into pairs or small groups, with one student being the ticket booth attendant and the other(s) being passengers. The passengers should ask for tickets and the attendant can practice asking for destination and giving instructions. This roleplay will help students practice greetings, asking for information, and giving instructions.
2. Conductor and Passenger Roleplay: Assign one student as the conductor and others as passengers on The Polar Express train. The conductor can guide the passengers through the train, making announcements, and practicing basic conversation and vocabulary related to train travel. This activity will help students improve their speaking skills, including pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency.
3. Hot Chocolate Stand Roleplay: Create a roleplay scenario where students can act as the server and customer at a hot chocolate stand on The Polar Express train. Students can take turns ordering hot chocolate and practicing simple questions and responses. This roleplay will help students practice ordering food and drinks, as well as improve their listening skills.
4. Elves and Santa Roleplay: Get students into the festive holiday spirit by assigning roles of elves and Santa Claus from The Polar Express. Students can work in pairs or small groups, with one student acting as Santa and the others as helpful elves. They can practice conversational dialogue between Santa and the elves, focusing on polite requests, giving instructions, and expressing gratitude. This activity will enhance students’ vocabulary and speaking skills.
5. Train Ride Roleplay: Divide the class into small groups and create a roleplay setting where students act as passengers on The Polar Express train. They can engage in conversations related to their experience on the train, such as discussing the scenery, sharing holiday traditions, or even singing holiday songs. This activity will provide an opportunity for students to practice listening and speaking skills, as well as encourage creativity and collaboration.
Remember to provide necessary vocabulary and phrases related to the roleplay activities to help students feel more confident and comfortable during the roleplay.