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The Polar Express

Page history last edited by Guest 8 years, 7 months ago

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Virtual Polar Express


Web Quest






Extension Activities







Learn basic facts about reindeer here:





What were the strange lights that "looked like the lights of a strange ocean liner sailing on a frozen sea?" Perhaps the Northern Lights? Learn more about the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) here:


Go to Britannica and then search for NORTHERN LIGHTS



Time Lapse of The Northern Lights



Find the North Pole on a globe or in an atlas. Research facts about the North Pole. What is the average temperature? Compare and contrast the North Pole and the South Pole. Try to figure out how you would reach the North Pole if you were to travel there from your house.

Read about Robert Peary, first man to reach the North Pole:




Railroad Talk-Learn different terms used in railroading and what they mean:



Try out these railroad whistle signals:

Sound length (=-long, o-short)


Succession of short sounds

The whistle is sounded in an attempt to attract attention to the train. It is used when persons or livestock are on the track at other-than-road crossings at grade.


When train is stopped. The air brakes are applied and pressure is equalized.

= =

Train releases brakes and proceeds.

o o

Acknowledgment of any signal not otherwise provided for.

o o o

When train is stopped: means backing up, or acknowledgment of a hand signal to back up.

o o o o

A request for a signal to be given or repeated if not understood.

= o o o

Instruction for flagman to protect rear of train.

= = = =

The flagman may return from west or south.

= = = = =

The flagman may return from east or north.

= = o =

Train is approaching public crossings at grade with engine in front. Signal starts not less than 15 seconds but not more than 20 seconds before reaching the crossing. If movement is 45 mph or greater, signal starts at or about the crossing sign, but not more than 1/4 mile before the crossing if there is no sign. Signal is prolonged or repeated until the engine completely occupies the crossing(s).

In addition, this signal is used when approaching private crossings if pedestrians or motor vehicles are at or near the crossing. (In the states of California, Idaho and Montana, the whistle is sounded at all crossings, public and private.)

o =

Inspect the brake system for leaks or sticking brakes.

= o

Train is approaching men or equipment on or near the track, regardless of any whistle prohibitions.

After this initial warning, "o o" sounds intermittently until the head end of train has passed the men or equipment.

(source: http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/funfacts/signals.shtml





Go to The North Pole (Many games and activities)



Take an online quiz about the story 


Believe (Polar Express)

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