English Language Arts

1st Grade

Course Summary

Our 1st Grade English Language Arts curriculum is made up of two main components: Literature units and Science and Social Studies units. Together, these two components build students' knowledge and understanding of the world, and support student mastery of all literature, informational, writing, speaking and listening, and language standards. Our 1st Grade curriculum does not include a comprehensive foundational skills block. We recommend using a structured phonics program alongside these units. To learn more, see the Pacing Guide for this course.


In 1st grade Literature, students realize how authors write texts both to bring readers entertainment and to help readers learn about and make sense of the world around them. Students explore the lessons they can learn from folktales and stories and how those lessons relate to their own lives, the different roles that reading plays in people’s lives around the world, and what it means to be part of a family.

Science and Social Studies

In 1st grade Social Studies, students develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and how the efforts of a single individual or group of individuals can help make the world a better place. In Science, students explore patterns in nature, learn about the different ways that plants and animals use their body parts and senses to grow and survive, and examine the differences between plants and animals of the same species.

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Literature Units

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

25 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

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 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. 

Unit 5

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. 

Science and Social Studies Units

Unit 1

23 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.

Unit 2

24 Lessons

Amazing Animals

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

Unit 3

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 4

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.

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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