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English Language Arts

1st Grade

1st Grade ELA Course Summary


In 1st Grade English Language Arts, students discover how authors write texts to both entertain and inform readers. Students build social-emotional skills through Being a Good Friend and Love Makes a Family, explore how lessons from traditional stories can be applied to their own lives in Folktales Around the World, learn how animals grow and survive in Amazing Animals, and see how diverse individuals can make the world a better place in Inspiring Artists and Musicians and The Power of Reading. In each unit, students engage in process-based writing projects connected to the core texts that develop their narrative, informational, and opinion writing skills.

Using authentic, engaging read-aloud texts, teachers help students develop their language comprehension and address grade-level reading, writing, language, and speaking and listening standards. Over the course of 1st Grade ELA, students deepen their understanding of the world around them through thematically-aligned, knowledge-building units, embedded daily writing instruction, and frequent opportunities for in-class discussion.

Please Note: This unit's cold read assessment text Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan has gone out of print. If you can't access this text, teachers can use the read-aloud video available on YouTube, and pause at the times indicated in the cold read teacher instructions.

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Recommended Sequence


Unit 1

16 Lessons

Being a Good Friend

Students read texts focused on what it means to be a good friend, and examine key details about characters through discussion and writing, helping to facilitate building friendships in the classroom.

Unit 2

23 Lessons

Folktales Around the World

Students use the text and illustrations of fables and folktales to analyze setting, characters, and key details, allowing them to connect traditional stories to their own lives.

Unit 3

24 Lessons

Amazing Animals

In this unit, students begin their exploration of animals and animal adaptations by reading a collection of nonfiction texts. 

Unit 4

29 Lessons

Love Makes a Family

In this unit students learn that families come in all different shapes and sizes, and that no matter what a family looks like, all families love and care for one another, by reading fiction books on various types of families.

Unit 5

26 Lessons

Inspiring Artists and Musicians

In this inspirational biography unit, students read and learn about a diverse assortment of artists, musicians, and dancers, while focusing on identifying evidence from texts and illustrations.

Unit 6

26 Lessons

The Power of Reading

Students learn about the joy books and reading bring to people's lives, the different ways people access books, and some of the barriers people have faced when trying to learn how to read. 

Alternate Units


Alternate Unit 3

24 Lessons

The Seven Continents

Students read informational texts about the seven continents, and what makes each of them unique, while working to understand text features and develop skills in writing about informational texts.

Alternate Unit 4

18 Lessons

Making Old Stories New

In this unit, students compare and contrast events and characters in multiple versions of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. 

Alternate Unit 5

28 Lessons

Movements for Equality

Students learn about the concepts of fairness and justice and people who worked to overcome injustice, while developing informational reading strategies for reading narrative nonfiction texts.

Alternate Unit 5

19 Lessons

Ancient Egypt

Students explore the values, daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Egypt and compare them to those of society today, while exploring the evidence an author uses to support points in a text.

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