I love "The Nutcracker"! When I was in seventh and eighth grades, I even got to perform in a community production as a Snowflake and a Flower. The experience was amazing. Even now I remember the magic of waiting in the wings as I listened to the introduction to "Waltz of the Snowflakes."
Although he had never seen the ballet as a child, my husband decided to show "The Nutcracker" to his third graders. It's a great holiday activity that builds background knowledge about performances and the theatre. Over the past few years, I've put together some materials for him--a story, activities, and a guidebook. He's added to the magic by creating a real theatre experience in his classroom, right down to giving the students tickets to attend and having a real intermission with refreshments.
There are some wonderful DVD versions of the ballet out there. My favorites are the San Francisco Ballet's and the London Royal Ballet.
I've posted the items that we put together over on TeachersPayTeachers. It's free for now. I'd love to hear if you try it out and enjoy it!