News at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester

LESSON PLAN for The Snowy Day

6th January, 2014

LESSON PLAN for The Snowy Day by Ezra K.

Entry by Fran F.  for LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester's Teacher Advisory Board.


Content Area:


Reading, Oral Language,

Manipulatives (Legos)


Unit Name:


My Town /My Home


Grade Level:




Lesson Topic or Central Focus:


Community Buildings/Objects


Standards Addressed (20 points)



Common Core Learning Standards (include ELA and content area elements):



With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.





With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.


ACEI Standards:

2.1 Reading, Writing, and Oral LanguageTeachers demonstrate a high

level of competence in use of English language arts and they know, understand,

and use concepts from reading, language and child development, to teach reading,

writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills and to help students

successfully apply their developing skills to many different situations, materials,

and ideas.




Rationale/Research Basis

What is the justification for your lesson based on students’ prior academic learning and personal/cultural/community assets?


There are clear links between play through the use of manipulatives (such as Legos) and language/literacy development for all student populations. For example:

1. Building Language & Literacy Through Play




2. Roskos, K., & Christie, J. (2011).The play-literacy nexus and the importance of evidence-based techniques in the classroom, American Journal of Play, 4(2), 204-224.



Essential Question(s) for this lesson:

(leads directly to objectives)


What can teachers learn about how young learners connect the content of what they are read (or read themselves) with their own communities and experiences?

What new vocabulary can be developed from this play/read experience?




Evidence of Student Understanding/Assessment in this Lesson:


  • Students will relate their story connections to the person/object/building/tree they construct with LEGO bricks, while teachers collect anecdotal records.


  • Vocabulary checklist from the story will be completed for background information for future lessons.



Anticipatory Set or Hook: (e.g., demonstration activity)


As children enter the classroom/reading area, they will see/touch a LEGO set-up of a snow (cotton) scene with a character (like Ezra) and a tree and building next to him.

Students will be reminded that the whole week they will be learning about their communities.

The teacher will explain that the day’s reading and activity will be focused on the their experiences of fun in their communities.









Guided Practice:



Independent Application:





The book will be read aloud for the first time to students as a Shared Book Experience (Durkin, 1966; Wells, 1986), during which the teacher interactively reads to the students and has them comment on the story and vocabulary as the book continues.

The teacher will have several LEGO manipulatives available to add to the scene. First, s/he will add a manipulative to represent an event.

Next, students may add appropriate LEGO manipulatives as the story continues. This scene can be used for a collective class retell (with the teacher’s writing on an easel, consistent with language Experience Approach) after the story.

In small groups, students will go to table of LEGO bricks to construct their own figures or buildings that they find in their communities that connect with the story of a new snowy day.

Each student will add his or her figure to the scene while explaining the personal connection and labeling the figure he or she created.


Post-Lesson Considerations


Describe ‘next steps’ that provide ways that the instructor will use targeted support to individuals or groups to improve their learning and justify these suggestions with principles from research on best practice


Each individual student’s short narrative about his or her personal construction and the checklist of correctly identified vocabulary will be considered for ideas to expand and support new language-into-literacy learning in future lessons.

The Snowy scene (and the story retell written on the easel, if completed) will remain on display for the rest of the week to remind/rehearse the new vocabulary words.


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