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First Grade Curriculum

Phonics and Reading:

Phonics instruction continues, integrated with a carefully designed program of reading and writing. Students build vocabulary as they read a variety of novels, poetry, fairy tales, folktales, and legends. Group reading of good literature emphasizes the development of interpretive skills: making generalizations, drawing inferences, and noticing details. Students independently read for monthly book report. Memorization involves short poems each week, with a state report assigned once during the year. Saxon Phonics 2 is followed.

Spelling words are grouped to reinforce phonics rules.

Grammar and Composition:

Grammar is introduced: nouns and verbs and their agreement, elementary rules of punctuation and capitalization, and simple sentence structure. Instruction in writing begins and includes attention to handwriting, spelling, syllabication, and the reinforcement of grammatical lessons through writing assignments (sentences, paragraphs, stories, and descriptive exercises).


Students review counting and counting backward. They skip count by twos, fives, and tens. Students estimate and compare the sizes of sets, recognize geometric shapes in a variety of positions, measure and compare lengths, read simple graphs, master simple addition and subtraction facts, learn borrowing and carrying, discuss coins and the money system, solve story problems involving addition and subtraction, and are introduced to concepts of simple multiplication. Saxon Math 2 is used.

Logic and Computers:

Logic includes sets and categories, parts of a whole, map reading, analogies, and word relations.

Computers involve an introduction to Logo: commands and principles involved in drawing simple shapes, basic keyboarding, and reinforcement programs.

Social Studies:

Historical instruction includes attention to American customs through study of traditional and patriotic songs and lessons about life in the American past. Study concentrates on the 25 western states, their location, capital, and major products. An oral state report is required of each student. Other lessons identify common landforms, trace initial connections among landscape, climate, transportation, and commerce.

Civics instruction encourages good character through stories about morals and daily discussions, develops responsibilities through classroom assignments, and identifies familiar American symbols (the bald eagle, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol).


Topics include plant growth and changes, animal groups, environmental changes caused by nature and people, physical growth and safety, properties of air and how weather is affected, landforms, surface changes and plant/animal extinction, relationship of the sun and Earth, units of measurement, and properties of sound and heat.

Wild Goose science lab allows hands-on experiments relating to the mentioned topics.


Daily singing of a variety of songs to include patriotic, movie and Broadway selections. A few composers and simple musical terms are studied.


Students learn to draw simple objects from basic shapes; create seasonal projects and craft items; use varied mediums such as clay, yarn, seeds; practice cutting, weaving, painting.

Physical Education:

Activities improve body control (flexibility, agility, balance, direction, speed), simple sports skills (running, jumping, throwing, catching, and kicking), and basic games and exercises (foot races, shuttle run, curl-ups, sit and reach).

Work on the Presidential and National Fitness programs is completed throughout the year.

Swimming and skiing are enjoyed by the school group in the fall and winter, respectively.