1st Grade Curriculum Page

1st Grade Curriculum

Holy Ghost Lutheran School’s curriculum integrates Christian faith and the Common Core Standards

Religion – We are using the “One in Christ”-Concordia curriculum to teach faith to 1st graders. Instruction consists of units connected by a common theme which are grounded in God’s Word. Bible stories provide a survey of God’s story of love and salvation for His people as found in the Old and New Testaments and continuing on to touch our lives today. Within the context of each unit, students are taught key concepts of faith such as Law and Gospel, confession and repentance, forgiveness and grace. A joyful and willing attitude toward prayer and worship is encouraged. Through a planned memory program, students learn Scripture verses, hymns, and portions of the Catechism which highlight the theme of each lesson

Memory Verses – Will be sent home every week. One Bible verse a week is expected to be memorized and recited. Each verse will be introduced at the beginning of the lesson and reviewed in class each day. Verses will be recited on Fridays unless otherwise noted.

Chapel – Is held every Wednesday at 9:15am all are welcome.


ELA (English Language Arts) – The main goal of our E.L.A program is for all children to see themselves as effective communicators who can develop independent reading and writing skills.

First Grade ELA is administered during an 80 minute block.  The curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Standards. The components of our Literacy program include Decodable Stories, 1st Grade Leveled Books, Read Alouds, Sight Words, Guided Reading, Silent Sustained Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, Phonics and Vocabulary.   The educational approach of “Balanced Literacy” is used as the Common Core Standards are addressed. Independent, guided, shared and modeled methods are used to develop the student’s reading and writing skills. 

We use the Journey’s Common Core Curriculum along with supplemental books throughout the year for specific themes. Daily reading logs are tracked for independent reading with parents as partners. Students are introduced to a range of children’s literature from a variety of genres such as short stories, folk tales, fairy tales, poems and informational texts, balancing fiction and nonfiction.  Children are encouraged to make connections to their reading. 

Writing is based on the Six Traits of Writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, fluency, conventions and presentation. The Six Traits of Writing help the children to better organize their thoughts while trying to convey their message in a more clear and creative way.

Formal and informal assessments are used to gauge student’s progress. The need to make connections between and across subject areas is emphasized. This allows students to understand the importance of proper writing, grammar and spelling. 

As an end of the year culminating activity, students present samples of published works at our “Young Author’s Celebration”.

A highlight in our ELA program includes our Book-It Program. The national Book-It program encourages students to read for a designated amount of time each month. At the end of the month, parents fill out and sign a form and return it to school. The student is then presented with a certificate to Pizza Hut good for a Personal Pan Pizza. This program runs from October through March. 

Math – The major topics of the First grade curriculum are Understanding Addition and Subtraction, Five and Ten Relationships, Addition and Subtraction Facts to 12, Addition Facts to 20, Subtraction Facts to 20, Counting and Number Patterns to 120, Tens and Ones, Comparing and Ordering Numbers to 100, Adding with Tens and Ones, Subtracting with Tens and Ones, Length, Time, Using Data to Answer Questions, Geometry, and Fractions of Shapes. Keep in mind that some new skills presented are not expected to be mastered, but will be introduced over and over again for continued exposure. The students learn through games, manipulatives, direct instruction, and practical application to their everyday lives. IXL is one of the programs that we use to review and reinforce concepts. Additionally, homework may be assigned if the topic taught in class needs additional reinforcement. Any class work that is not finished in class will be sent home to be completed and returned the next school day. Basic addition skills to 12 are expected to be mastered upon entering First Grade. One of our 1st grade learning benchmarks is to have students master adding and subtracting number facts to 20. Holy Ghost uses www.xtramath.org to improve the fluency of these skills.

Science – The First Grade Science curriculum is built on three levels of inquiry about God’s wonderful and exciting world that we live in and explore. Led by the teacher, students will be engaged in activities that build a strong science foundation and help them develop a full understanding of the inquiry process. Students will 1). learn process skills and follow step-by-step instructions, 2). take more ownership of the inquiry process, and 3). take the lead in conducting experiments, all while the teacher directs, guides, and facilitates Full Inquiry. The 4 major units that will be covered during the year using the Scott Foresman textbook and supplemental materials are: Life Science (living and non-living, habitats, how plants and animals live, life cycles, food chains), Earth Science (land, water, and air, weather), Physical Science (observing matter, movement and sound, learning about energy), and Space and Technology (day and night sky, science in our world).


Social Studies – Our Social Studies curriculum focuses the students on gaining a greater sense of community and knowledge about citizenship. Students will learn how to participate in our country’s democratic government. Throughout the course of study, our students will explore topics like – Rules and Laws, Where People Live, We Love Our Country, Our Changing World, Meeting People, and The Marketplace. 

 Students will engage in a variety of hands-on activities to reinforce the content knowledge from the textbook (Harcourt) and other sources.  Activities include constructing a time line of the current year, drawing a picture of ways they can help the community, and with the use of technology, researching supplemental units such as the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. We will also use Scholastic News as a weekly tool for learning about current events.

Work that the students are required to complete at home include a monthly Homework Calendar, which offers the students a variety of different tasks to choose from and helps them practice time management skills in completing the calendar on time. At the end of each month, the calendar and the completed activities is turned in and averaged into the student’s social grade.


Handwriting – In First Grade, we use the Zaner-Bloser method to reinforce proper penmanship. Students continue to build on the printing (manuscript) skills they learned in Kindergarten.  Students will practice size, shape, spacing, and slant of lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers. We will also focus on legibility when they write. Students also write 2-3 times a week during Journal Response Time. This is an activity where students are given an idea or prompt to write about. The class brainstorms together ideas and thoughts to include in their writings and are modeled on the whiteboard. Students are then asked to write 3-4 complete, descriptive sentences on topic. Teachers conference with each student for corrections in spelling and sentence structure. The student then illustrates their written ideas with a picture. This process encourages students to become better writers, using descriptive words as well as pictures to tell about their thoughts and ideas.

Physical Education– Students study a variety of units in Physical Education.  These units are designed for students to develop gross motor skills, a respect for rules in game play, the ability to cooperate in a team dynamic, and a Christian attitude towards sportsmanship.