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Christmas Read-Alouds and Follow-Up Plot Activities for Elementary

‘Tis the season to infuse your classroom with the magic of Christmas read-alouds! As elementary school educators, we know that read-aloud time is precious. So, let’s unwrap the joy of three enchanting books – “Bear Stays Up for Christmas,” “The Gingerbread Man,” and “Polar Express.” But we won’t stop there! I’ll also share some follow-up activities guaranteed to add a sprinkle of holiday spirit to your classroom.

Click here to get free Google/Slides of Polar Express activities.

Christmas Read-Alouds

Christmas Read-Alouds 1: Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

This heartwarming story follows Bear and his friends as they work together to keep Bear awake for his first Christmas. Besides, the gentle rhymes and beautiful illustrations make it a perfect read-aloud choice for young learners.

Follow-Up Activity: Bear Craft

After the read-aloud, engage your students in a fun craft session. For example, provide materials for them to create their bears or bear-themed ornaments. It’s a delightful way to bring the story to life and add a personalized touch to your classroom decorations.

Christmas Read-Aloud: Bear Stays Up

Christmas Read-Alouds 2: The Gingerbread Man by Louise Martin

The classic tale of a mischievous Gingerbread Man who comes to life and embarks on a lively adventure. This timeless story will captivate your students with its charm and excitement.

Follow-Up Activity: Gingerbread Decorating Activity

Extend the magic by organizing a gingerbread decorating activity. You can either bring in pre-baked gingerbread cookies or, for a mess-free option, provide paper cutouts for students to decorate. It’s a tasty and creative way to tie in the story’s theme.

Christmas Read-Alouds 3: Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Last but not least, hop aboard the Polar Express for a magical journey to the North Pole! This beloved tale about the power of belief is a holiday classic that will transport your students to a world of wonder and imagination.

Christmas Read-Aloud: Polar Express

Follow-Up Activity: Pajama Party and Hot Cocoa Bar

Create a cozy atmosphere by inviting students to wear their favorite pajamas to school. Set up a hot cocoa bar with toppings like marshmallows and whipped cream. As you sip on cocoa, discuss the themes of belief, friendship, hope, and the magic of the holiday season.

Comprehension Practice: Differentiated Plot Worksheets and Slides

Extend the learning with differentiated plot worksheets and slides. As you can see, these resources are tailored to enhance reading comprehension and allow students to dive deeper into each read-aloud.

In addition, there are digital slides for you to use during your read-aloud. What’s more, you may assign these slides in Google Classroom as follow-up activities.

Christmas Read-Aloud: Polar Express digital slides


In conclusion, these read-alouds and activities will add a festive touch to your classroom this holiday season. Share the joy with your fellow educators, and let’s make this time of year extra special for our students.

Stay tuned for more holiday-themed ideas, and remember – the magic of the season is best when shared with those we care about. Happy reading, crafting, and holidays to you and your students! 📚🎄✨

Don’t forget to grab your free and differentiated Polar Express activity slides!

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