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Students Develop a More Sophisticated Understanding of Language to Read More Complex Text

Building on what they learned in kindergarten, first graders learn more complex letter-sound relationships. They apply these new skills to longer decodable stories and informational texts and in their writing. Reading comprehension and fluency are emphasized. All skills are carefully integrated and taught in multiple modes—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—to reinforce language learning.

 First Grade Instructional Overview  
Word Work

Daily word work helps children develop the foundational skills they need to become successful readers and writers. New phonics, spelling, structural analysis, and vocabulary skills are taught and practiced using the Word Work Book. Every lesson focuses on several Word Work Book pages.

Word Work examples from first grade

Each unit provides a balance of engaging fiction and informational texts for daily reading instruction and practice. The texts children read are all phonetically controlled to match the sequence of phonics and structural skills taught in the Word Work Books.

Examples of fiction and non-fiction reading from first grade

Daily writing lessons teach critical writing skills and the writing process. Each unit focuses on one genre of writing: narrative, informative/explanatory, opinion, descriptive, poetry, or correspondence. The genres are revisited multiple times throughout the school year.

Writing example from first grade
 What Students Learn in First Grade  
  • Consonant digraphs, long and short vowels,
    r-controlled vowels, and vowel digraphs
  • Endings, suffixes, prefixes, contractions, compound words
  • Decoding and encoding using phonetic and
    structural patterns
  • Reading and spelling all 220 high-frequency Dolch* words
  • Parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms
  • Comprehension and fluency skills for reading literary and informational texts
  • Writing mechanics, writing process, and types of writing (narrative, opinion, informative/explanatory )

*The Dolch list has 220 high-frequency words.
The Superkids in first grade

See the Skills Overview Chart for a complete list of the
reading and language arts skills taught in each unit of first grade.