Use your YouTube downloader to download The Polar Express online (this is the reading of the book by an actor from Storybook Online) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3btRjhWunA&feature=plcp).
Develop age appropriate reading comprehension questions (Who were the main characters? List a character trait they possessed and give an example from the story/book that supports it. What was the story’s main conflict? How was the conflict solved? Summarize the story in 25 words. Etc…). FYI – I attached a list of Character Traits for Kids that I got for free from TeachersPayTeachers in the picture above.
Upper grade levels can add the movie to Edmodo (free and protected social networking site for educators and their classes) and have students watch it on their own (in a center, computer lab, or at home for homework) and give them an assignment (also in Edmodo) where they have to answer questions about the story (if you Google “The Polar Express thematic unit” or “Polar Express Worksheet” you can find LOTS of questions J).
Younger grade levels can create a flipbook – beginning, middle, and end. Have them summarize under the flap and draw a picture to represent the action in the book.