- 1st grade curriculum, New Hope Academy Elementary School

First Grade Curriculum Outlines

(Compiled from all faculty who teach 1st grade subjects)

Language Arts

Basal Readers – The phonics-based SRA C-E Basal Readers and Open Court program used in first grade stress phonemic awareness, phonics including encoding and decoding, oral reading with expression and comprehension, as well as developing the ability to write sentences and paragraphs that demonstrate comprehension.

Accelerated Reader - A computer-based reading practice program, which allows students to read books that are at their individual level, and take tests on the books from the classroom computer.

SRA Reading Laboratory- Students read short stories at their individual reading level and complete various comprehension activities including multiple choice, fill in the blank, ABC Order, and word building.

Other Language Topics – Compound words, ABC order, rhyming, homophones, synonyms, antonyms, and contractions.

Spelling – Spelling words are introduced and mastered throughout the Personal Learning Curriculum as well as the SRA system. Personal Learning introduces short and long vowels including vowel blends, and consonant blends and digraphs. SRA Basal Readers C-E reinforce short vowel sounds, beginning and ending consonant blends and consonant digraphs.

Handwriting – Cursive Italic - Students will learn cursive Italic printing of lower case and then upper case letters. They will learn word spacing in sentences. Italic is a modern handwriting system based on enduring letterforms that are highly suited to rapid and legible writing. Italic conforms to natural, rhythmic hand movements. Italic builds on previously learned concepts and the letter shapes remain the same from the individually formed letters to the connected cursive, eliminating the abrupt leap from "ball and stick" to looped cursive. Self-assessment is an integral part of the program. Cursive Italic is also preparation for calligraphy for interested students.


Saxon math – a comprehensive system from Kindergarten through pre-calculus, which emphasizes learning in small increments and review of all previously learned concepts throughout the year. Grades K-4 is primarily a hands-on approach working with manipulatives. Each night's homework consists of many different types of problems from all previous lessons. For a detailed look at covered topics, see the Scope and Sequence (www.saxonpub.com).

Social Studies

Grades 1 uses Macmillan/McGraw-Hill textbooks which emphasizes critical thinking skills. Units are also related to literature. Grade 1 Units and topics covered are:

   • UNIT 1. All About Families: Many Families, Families Celebrate, Where Families Live, Family Rules, Families on the Move, Families and Change

   • UNIT 2. Where We Live: Communities, Our Country, Our World, Water and Land, What is Weather?, Caring for Our Natural Resources

   • UNIT 3. Good Citizens: People Get Along, People Follow Rules, What is a Leader?, Votes Count, Our Symbols and Pledge, Good Citizens

   • UNIT 4. All Kinds of Jobs: Needs and Wants, Work and Jobs, Goods and Services, New Tools at Work, People with Great Ideas

   • UNIT 5. Americans Long Ago: Native Americans Then and Now, New People Came to America, George Washington, Sacajawea, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr.


Grades 1 uses Scott Foresman: The Diamond Edition– concepts are taught through hands-on experiments for every unit. Grade 1 Units and topics are:

   • UNIT 1. Living and Nonliving: Explain how living and nonliving things are alike and different; sort and count living and nonliving things

   • UNIT 2. Habitats: Explore where animals live; Identify different types of habitats

   • UNIT 3. How Plants and Animals Live: Explain what helps animals live in their habitat; Tell what helps protect animals and identify some parts of plants

   • UNIT 4. Life Cycles: Explore how mealworms, frogs, butterflies and various plants change as they grow; Investigate how seeds change as they grow

Additional Subjects

Foreign Language (Korean or Spanish), Physical Education, Music, Art, Technology, Character Education through a morning message every morning.


Textbooks/Materials used: Art Fun: A survival kit for art teacher (3 books), The simple origami, 501 fun-to-make Family Crafts

Units and Topics: Learn about and the use of art tools in safe, responsible manner, learn how to draw. Learn to draw what they see, not what they know. Learn how to compose a picture from the background to the front, from the big to the small. Learn how to use tempera, oil pastel, color pencils and markers. Learn how to mix primary colors to make secondary color or make light and dark colors. Learn how to compose a pattern by repeated design or a mosaic design with paper tiles and recognize the need of contrasting color for more vibrant effect or similar color for more harmonious effect. Fun projects: craft for different holidays and learn how to glue, fold, tear and cut, i.e. making snowmen with marshmallows, rabbits with flowerpots. Last but not least, learn how to express themselves and to have fun!

Korean Language

The Korean language program is designed for students to develop and polish their skills in reading, writing, and speaking the Korean language. In addition, students will be able to identify Korean language and culture through a variety of special activities.

Elementary school students are generally organized into four levels: kindergarten, grades 1 & 2, grades 3 & 4 and grades 5 & 6. For younger students, we use various materials and techniques, which are helpful to understand Korean vocabulary and culture.

Grades 1 & 2: students will take Korean class once a week. They will learn the Korean alphabet and simple conversation. Also, they will learn basic Korean words related with numbers, animals, colors, as well as Korean songs, drawings, and traditional customs.

Spanish Language

Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade: Introduction to vocabulary and simple phrases through games, writing exercises and cultural activities. Each week a new topic is presented.


Students will continue to build their foundation in tone color, dynamics, steady beat, long/short and high/low sounds, rhythms, and tempo. They will be introduced to form, solfege, and one, two, and no sounds through singing, movement, and playing pitched and unpitched instruments. (McGraw-Hill’s Share The Music curriculum)
Units and Topics: Reading and clapping rhythms, singing different cultural songs, discussing the history of songs, learning to play instruments, learning about instruments, listening to different types of music, louds and softs, directions of notes, movement and dancing.

Physical Education

   Units and Topics:

   • Using a variety of basic locomotor movements

   • Using a variety of basic non-locomotor skills

   • Using a variety of basic object control skills

   • Use simple combinations of fundamental movement skills

   • Control in weight-bearing and balance activities on a variety of body parts

   • Control in travel activities: backward direction, changing speeds etc.

   • Using smooth transitions between sequential motor skills

   • Introduce certain sports activities involving: basketball, soccer, and kickball, hockey, tee-ball


Programs used: Kidpix Studio Deluxe (Software); Other educational software (Knowledge Adventure, Edmark, Learning Company, etc.) as appropriate to grade level; and Microsoft Word

   Units and Topics:

   • Using a computer and disks

   • Using painting and drawing tools

   • Keyboarding – Using the Shift key, Backspace, Enter key to type and edit

   • Educational Games (Students will experience several different software programs in the school year appropriate to grade level)

   • Choose a command from the menu bar using a mouse

   • Create a graphic to illustrate an idea in a story

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