1st Grade Curriculum

  • cover of a generic green art textbookCourse Title: Art

    Department: Art | Grade Level: 1

    Time Per Day/Week: 40 minutes weekly  |  Length of Course: Year

    Primary Resources: https://www.nationalartsstandards.org/

    Units of Study: 

      • Drawing
      • Painting
      • Cutting and Pasting
      • Clay
      • Printing
      • Fiber Arts
      • Sculpture
      • Studio Habits of Artists

    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Formal assessments through observation and oral responses. Summative assessments through project completion.

    Standardized Assessments: N/A
    Description of Course: First grade art is aligned with the National Core Art standards. The National Core Art standards are comprised of the various disciplines: drawing, painting, cutting and pasting, clay, printing, fiber arts, sculpture and studio habits. The course study is to foster a continuing interest and enthusiasm for the visual arts through active participation and informed application. Students will be introduced to and will identify works of art and artists. Students will identify and develop an appreciation of the arts. The student will be able to describe and identify different types of art.


    Business Technology Course Title: Course 1 Coding 

    Department: Business/Technology  |  Grade Level: 1
    Time Per Day/Week: 40 minutes/once per week  |  Length of Course: 8 weeks
    Primary Resources: code.org
    Units of Study: 
    • Unit 1: Happy Maps 
    • Unit 2: Move It, Move It
    • Unit 3: Jigsaw: Learn to drag and drop
    • Unit 4: Maze: Sequence
    • Unit 5: Maze: Debugging
    • Unit 6: Real-Life Algorithms
    • Unit 7: Bee: Sequence
    • Unit 8: Artist: Sequence
    • Unit 9: Building a Foundation
    • Unit 10: Artist: Shapes
    • Unit 11: Spelling Bee
    • Unit 12: Getting Loopy
    • Unit 13: Maze: Loops
    • Unit 14: Bee: Loops
    • Unit 15: The Big Event
    • Unit 16: Play Lab: Create a Story
    • Unit 17: Going Places Safely
    • Unit 18: Artist: Loops
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Successful completion of each lesson.
    Standardized Assessments: N/A
    Description of Course: Students create computer programs with loops and events and write algorithms for everyday tasks. Through this, they learn to collaborate with others meaningfully, investigate different problem-solving techniques, persist in the face of difficult tasks, and learn about Internet safety. By the end of this course, students create their very own custom game or story that they can share. Students starting in Course 1 will be early-readers in the lower elementary grades.
    • Early-readers
    • Sequences
    • Loops and events
    • Meaningful collaboration with others
    • Problem-solving and perseverance techniques
    • Internet safety


    English Language Arts Course Title: English Language Arts   

    Department: English Language Arts  |  Grade Level: 1  
    Time Per Day/Week: 120 minutes a day  |   Length of Course: Year
    Primary Resources: Reading Wonders, McGraw-Hill,(2014); Wilson Language Training Corp. Fundations Teacher's Manual Level 1-Second Edition (2013)
    Units of Study: 
    • Unit 1: Word Study (Phonics/Spelling)
    • Unit 2: Reading
    • Unit 3: Writing
    • Unit 4: Grammar
    • Unit 5: Speaking/Listening
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Unit assessments, tests/quizzes, writing samples, & on-going formative assessments
    Standardized Assessments: STAR 360 Reading and/or Early Literacy Assessments
    Description of Course: The first grade English Language Arts program is designed to help students explore their interests, share their experiences, and develop a lifelong love of reading. It is aligned with the PA Core Standards. The program encompasses the areas of fiction and non-fiction reading, writing, speaking and listening. Through whole group instruction and small flexible groups, the teacher meets the learning needs of students. Students are assessed throughout the school year to assure proper instructional grouping and reading levels. First-grade word study is the development of phonetic skills, phonemic awareness, acquisition of sight words, and word attack strategies. In reading, we engage in lessons that develop reading fluency, vocabulary, comprehension skills and strategies. Our writing communicates ideas and research through a variety of genres, such as narrative, informative and persuasive. Students practice speaking and listening through presentations and performances.

    Health & Phys Ed Cover
    Course Title: Physical Education   

    Department: Physical Education  |  Grade Level: 1   
    Time Per Day/Week: 40 min. & 30 min. / 2 x week  |   Length of Course: Year
    Primary Resources: Various online resources and physical education activity books. 
    Units of Study: 
    • Unit 1: Fitness
    • Unit 2: Cooperative Games
    • Unit 3: Locomotor Skills
    • Unit 4: Team Games and Activities
    • Unit 5: Manipulatives
    • Unit 6: Health and Wellness 
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Fitness Assessments, Pre- and Post-Fitness Testing, Skill Development, Participation, Sportsmanship 
    Standardized Assessments: 
    Description of Course:
    • Fitness—This unit is designed to physically engage and challenge each student at their individual level of fitness and foster a desire to improve over time. Fitness focuses on basic concepts of muscular endurance, muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.  Fitness activities are performed during stations and game activities during class. Some examples of exercises include jumping rope, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, jogging and burpees.
    • Cooperative Games and Activities—This unit is designed to cognitively engage each student with higher-order thinking, decision-making skills, cooperation, teamwork, and problem-based activities designed to promote growth, both physically and mentally.  These activities establish a foundation of resiliency, social skills, interpersonal skills, and conflict management. Learning the aspects of good sportsmanship and fair play during game play is a focus. Some examples of cooperative play during this unit would be scooter tag, scooter handball, among various other group activities.
    • Locomotor Movement—Demonstrate various locomotor movements while engaged in various games and activities. Some examples include: hopping, skipping, running, leaping, jumping, galloping, and walking.
    • Team Sports—Provide exposure to a wide range of team sports through lead up games and activities.  Students utilize particular skill movements such as throwing, kicking, dribbling and catching while participating in game situations.  Some examples of team sport activities would be lead up games for football, soccer, basketball, and volleyball.
    • Manipulatives—Focus on proper body mechanics by utilizing specific movements.  Students engage in various activities while aiming for  a target, kicking a ball, or catching an object while incorporating these skills  into game and practice sessions.

    This course is aligned with the PA Academic Health, Safety and Physical Education Standards. The standards are comprised of five main areas of focus: physical activity, concepts of health, healthful living, safety and injury prevention, and concepts, principles and strategies of movement.


    Library Course Title: Library  

    Grade Level: 1  |  Department: Library
    Time Per Day/Week:  40 minutes/week  |  Length of Course: Year
    Primary Resources: A variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, PebbleGo databases
    Units of Study: 
    • Unit 1: Library Orientation/Use of Library
    • Unit 2: Book Selection
    • Unit 3: Using informational text
    • Unit 4: Literary fiction
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Students are assessed through demonstration and written assessments. 
    Standardized Assessments: N/A
    Description of Course: In the first-grade library, students learn to independently select literature in a variety of genres. Literary elements such as character, setting, and plot(sequence, summary) are covered.  Students will recognize the organization of the library to choose easy fiction and easy non-fiction books Students are exposed to reading materials of varying levels in order to familiarize students with the variety of books available. Students will continue to focus on the rules and procedures as responsible library users as well as proper book handling skills.


    Math Course Title: Math

    Department: Mathematics  |  Grade Level: 1
    Time Per Day/Week: 60 minutes/day, 5 days/week  |  Length of Course: Year
    Primary Resources: My Math, McGraw-Hill
    Units of Study: 
    • Unit 1: Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
    • Unit 2: Operations and Algebraic Thinking
    • Unit 3: Geometry
    • Unit 4: Measurement and Data
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: My Math Chapter Tests, My Math Check My Progress assessments, and ongoing formative assessments
    Standardized Assessments: Star 360 Math 
    Description of Course: Grade 1 mathematics is aligned to PA Core Standards. Mathematical thinking is foundational and important to academic success in all subjects. Students are provided with opportunities to develop an understanding of math concepts through hands-on and concrete activities. Unit 1 focuses on numbers and operations in base 10. In this unit students will read, write, and represent numbers within 10, 20, and 120. Students will apply models and strategies to add and subtract numbers within 10, 20, and 100. Unit 2 focuses on operations and algebraic thinking. Students will solve addition and subtraction word problems within 20, involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions. Unit 3 focuses on geometry. Students will compose and distinguish between two and three-dimensional shapes based on their attributes. Students will use their understanding of fractions to partition shapes into halves and quarters. Unit 4 focuses on measurement and data. Students will order lengths and measure them both indirectly and by repeating length units, tell and write time to the nearest half-hour using both analog and digital clocks, and represent and interpret data using tables/charts.

    Course Title: General Music

    Department: Music  |  Grade Level: 1  
    Time Per Day/ Week: 40 minutes/5 days a week  |  Length of Course: Year 
    Primary Resources: Resources developed by teachers and aligned to PA Fine Arts Standards/National Core Arts Standards
    Units of Study: 

    Music Literacy: (see 12-step literacy process in the course description)

      • Pitch: Build readiness for two-tone music (sol-mi) using simple melodies and/or melodic patterns
      • Rhythm: quarter notes, eighth notes, quarter rests, time signature, barline, double barline, repeat sign.

    Performance Skills: 

      • Tuneful singing
      • Playing instruments
      • Movement/dance

    Listening and Analysis: 

      • Form (Same/Different, Identifying sections)
      • Music Vocabulary
      • Evaluating Performances, Instruments Families (Identification and size/pitch relationship)

    Musical Contexts: Different focus at each grade level

      • Connections to History (Composers, Styles of Music)
      • Connections to Culture (Patriotic Music, Music of other countries)
      • Connections to other disciplines (Dance, visual arts, math, literature)

    Creativity: (Personal application of literacy and performance skills)

      • Improvisation
      • Composition
      • Artistic Synthesis (incorporate movement, literature, and visual art)

    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Topic tests, performance and project-based assessments using rubric criteria 
    Standardized Assessments: N/A
    Description of Course: The first-grade general music curriculum introduces students to the musical behaviors that are an essential foundation for all future music learning.  There is much emphasis on moving to the music as a means of expression, establishing a proper, tuneful singing voice and learning to consistently feel a steady beat.  The “musical workout” that helps to achieve these goals is outlined by the First Steps in Music curriculum by John Feierabend. Through this workout, students will begin to establish a repertoire of familiar folk songs and/or composed music to sing and move to. These developing performance skills continue through the playing of classroom percussion instruments.  

    Additionally, students begin to learn to describe music by first recognizing musical contrasts such as loud/soft, fast/slow, high/low and may begin to learn their proper musical terms as well. (e.g. piano/forte etc.) 

    Once students have a functional music vocabulary and ability to perform grade-level appropriate music, they begin to learn the basics of music reading.  Music Literacy is taught using the Conversational Solfege process by John Feierabend, which follows this 12-step sequence. First graders mainly focus on rhythmic literacy, learning quarter notes, eighth notes and quarter rest (one sound, two sounds, no sounds on the beat).

    Music creativity is explored through the above literacy process as students improvise and compose their own music.  Creativity also happens as students partake in classroom performances of familiar songs which they have arranged themselves as they choose their own instrumentation (classroom percussion) and incorporate original poetry or other literature as part of the performance. These activities are in line with the Orff-Schulwerk approach.

    Throughout the year, students will discover how repertoire and concepts connect with the history of music, including famous musicians/composers, styles of music, music from other countries and how music is related to other areas of learning and culture.

    Course Title: ScienceScience

    Department: Science  | Grade Level: 1
    Length of Course: 75 days per year
    Primary Resources: Amplify Science
    Units of Study: 

    • Unit 1: Weather
    • Unit 2: Solids and Liquids
    • Unit 3: Living and Nonliving
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Checklist 
    Standardized Assessments: N/A 
    Description of Course: The Weather Kit introduces students to the concept of weather and to the idea that scientific tools can be used to measure the phenomena they observe with their senses. Students observe weather; use thermometers, rain gauges, and wind scales; record their own data; and discuss their findings on cloud cover, precipitation, wind, and temperature. Students are asked to apply their new skills and knowledge to make predictions about the weather in their area.
    The Solids and Liquids Module provides experiences that heighten primary students’ awareness, curiosity, and understanding of the physical world and provides opportunities for young students to engage in scientific and engineering practices. The matter with which we interact exists in three fundamental states: solid, liquid, and gas. In this module, students will:
    Investigate and sort objects based on their properties.
    Observe, describe, and compare the properties and behaviors of solids and liquids. Record observations with pictures, numbers, and words.
    Recognize the properties of solid materials that make them appropriate for tower construction; build towers.
    Combine and separate solid materials of different particle sizes using tools.
    Observe, describe, and record what happens when solids and water are mixed and when liquids and water are mixed.
    Use knowledge to conduct an investigation of an unknown material (toothpaste).
    Observe and describe changes when solids and liquids are heated and cooled.

    Living and Nonliving:
    Distinguish and recognize characteristics of common animals.
    Identify characteristics of different animal classifications (reptile, bird, amphibian, insect, mammal, fish) and classify animals by using these characteristics.

    Social Studies
    Course Title:
     Social Studies  

    Department: Social Studies  |  Grade Level: 1  
    Time Per Day/Week: 40 minutes/every day for 70 days annually  |  Length of Course: Year
    Primary Resources: Viola, Herman J. Social Studies: School and Family. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
    Units of Study: 
    • Unit 1: Citizenship—Our Community
    • Unit 2: American HistoryOur Changing Country
    • Unit 3: CulturesSeasons of Celebration
    • Unit 4: GeographyThe Earth and Where We Live
    • Unit 5: EconomicsWorld of Work
    • Unit 6: CivicsU.S. Government and National Symbols
    Curriculum-Based Assessments: Teacher observation and ongoing formative assessments
    Standardized Assessments: N/A
    Description of Course: Unit 1 focuses on the responsibilities and contributions of the members in a productive community. Students also recognize leaders in family and community structures as those to guide others. 
    The concept of the past, present, and future is introduced in Unit 2 to describe change over the course of time. Native American groups and persons from other parts of the world have developed the area of North America in many ways, including communication and transportation.
    Throughout the month of December, students are exposed to various holidays and celebrations held around the world; these six celebrations are connected by common themes: light, family, food and ritual, in the third unit of study.
    Unit 4 provides information on the continents and oceans of the Earth. Geographical and physical features, natural resources, and seasons affect how and where people live on Earth.
    Students gain a fundamental understanding of our dynamic economy, based upon needs and wants, monetary exchange and employment, in Unit 5.
    In the final unit of the academic year, local and national leaders are discussed. These individuals grant citizens certain rights and responsibilities to maintain order and safety for all. Students will also identify historical figures and national symbols that represent the ideals and values of our country.