ALEX Lesson Plan


"How To Build A Snowman" Expository Writing

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Sandra Ralls
System: Covington County
School: Pleasant Home School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 16823


"How To Build A Snowman" Expository Writing


During this lesson, students begin to understand how important specific directions are to a project. Students will demonstrate detailed writing in order to instruct their classmates on how to build a snowman.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (4)
25. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 22-24 above.) [W.4.4]
ELA2015 (4)
31. Write routinely over extended time frames, including time for research, reflection, and revision, and shorter time frames such as a single sitting or a day or two for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. [W.4.10]
ELA2015 (4)
38. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.4.1]
a. Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why). [L.4.1a]
b. Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses. [L.4.1b]
c. Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions. [L.4.1c]
d. Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag). [L.4.1d]
e. Form and use prepositional phrases. [L.4.1e]
f. Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.* [L.4.1f]
g. Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).* [L.4.1g]
ELA2015 (4)
39. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.4.2]
a. Use correct capitalization. [L.4.2a]
b. Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text. [L.4.2b]
c. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. [L.4.2c]
d. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.4.2d]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will write a coherent informational report describing the sequential steps of how to build a snowman.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:


Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, presentation software


1.)Do a warm-up activity to get students thinking about giving good directions. Give students directions on making a person from shapes. The directions should be unclear and should not state that it should be a person. (For example: Draw a square one inch from the top of the paper. Draw hexagon under the square. Draw two small hexagons inside the square. Draw two rectangles under the hexagon, etc.) After students have finished drawing their "person," show students what the picture should look like. Most of the students will be surprised.) The teacher could use any kind of directions to demonstrate this.

2.)Discuss why giving specific and clear directions is very important, as seen from the previous activity. Explain to students that they will be writing a paper on "How to Build a Snowman."

3.)Give students a copy of an outline of a snowman(see attached). On the snowman, have students draw details of the snowman. Explain to students that they will use this to explain how to build a snowman. Give them 10 minutes to complete their snowmen.

4.)Give students a copy of the flow chart graphic organizer from the link below. On the organizer, there should be a place for an opening paragraph, a materials paragraph, a paragraph explaining how to make the snowman, a paragraph for how to decorate the snowman, and a place for a closing paragraph. Before the students begin their writing, the teacher should model how to write a "How To..." paper. Explain to students that it is very important for them to be explicit in their directions.
(Flow Chart)
This link has a flow chart.

5.)After students complete their papers, they will switch papers with a classmate or another class. The other students will use their directions to draw a snowman. This will show them how well their directions worked. If their directions were not specific enough, then the snowman will not look like it is supposed to look. The second groups of students will give the original students some advice on how to improve their directions.

6.)The teacher will collect the snowmen that were drawn from the directions and scan them onto the attached presentation. The teacher will then allow students to revise their directions and complete Step 5 again.

7.)After students have finished drawing the second snowman from the revised directions, the teacher will then scan these pictures onto the presentation to let students see how being more specific improved the snowmen.

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Assessment Strategies

The teacher will assess students' writing according to how well the second student was able to draw the snowman using the directions written by the first student.





Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.