Teaching and Learning » First Grade

First Grade

Language Arts

The Language Arts curriculum for first grade uses direct instruction to explicitly teach students decoding skills, comprehension skills, literary skills, and study skills. Students begin in sound/symbol relationships, continuing to build reading fluency in short vowels, long vowels, voiced/unvoiced consonants, sound combinations, vowel names, consonant names, and alphabetical order. Students also continue learning word structure, comprehension strategies, vocabulary, literal and interpretive comprehension. Students also begin to focus on character and settings as well as different types of literature.


Children in 1st grade develop mathematical skills through "hands-on" activities and games. Students learn to add and subtract within 100, measure objects by length and tell time, draw and build shaped by their attributes, and collect and organize data in pictographs.



In 1st grade science, children investigate to determine patterns in behavior of parents that help offspring survive,  look for evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound makes vibrations. Students also use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted. 

Social Studies

The 1st grade social studies curriculum begins with students exploring the concept of family, family structure, and family diversity. Then students begin learning about goods and services and determine when they are consumers and when they are producers. Students also learn geography by studying that locations around them begin exploring the past, and learn about being a good citizen.  

Physical Education

Students go to Physical Education class for 50 minutes per week. During these classes students are given opportunities to develop Gross Motor skills and coordination. A variety of objects used in physical education will assist students’ development of eye, hand, and foot coordination. Students will be assessed on some locomotor skills, movements and actions. Students will also develop positive characteristics and attitudes conducive to physical fitness through exercise and activities. Through organized activities and game play, students develop a sense of fair play, and cooperation with others. Fitness components consist of but are not limited to endurance, upper body strength, core strength and flexibility.

Visual Art

The visual art curriculum for 1st grade is taught by a visual art specialist. This highly structured, sequential framework has been specially designed to provide developmentally appropriate skills and knowledge while honing creativity, appreciation, historical understanding, and the ability to discuss and analyze art. In kindergarten, students will develop an awareness of two- and three-dimensional forms, manipulate art tools, be exposed to famous works of art, and learn to use a wide array of art materials. Throughout the year, student art may be displayed in individual school buildings and throughout the community.

Vocal Music

An elementary music specialist teaches Vocal/general music. Students learn to make and respond to music through age-appropriate songs, dances, and activities. Basic instruction includes: Exploring their singing voices and other sounds; keeping a steady beat utilizing physical movement, dances, games, and rhythm instruments; learning a variety of traditional songs; and creating cultural awareness through songs, instruments, and ethnic dances. 


An elementary technology teacher teaches 1st grade students digital citizenship, typing, how technology is used in our world, how to create and communicate with technology, as well as research and problem solving with technology. Kindergarten students have technology once per week for 50 minutes.

Foreign Language

Elementary students in South Lake are taught either Spanish or Mandarin. In 1st grade students learn colors and animals and body parts. 1st grade students have foreign language once per week for 50 minutes.