First Grade

Curriculum Overview


First graders will enjoy fairy tales and folk tales from a variety of cultures. The main focus of our program will be reading fluency and comprehension. The first graders will master the skill of reading through phonetic instruction. The students will receive daily instruction in phonics, penmanship, grammar, and spelling.

Reading and Writing Skills

  • independently read grade appropriate material
  • use increasing semantic, phonetic, and structural skills to become an effective reader
  • have command of letter names and sounds: initial, medial, and final
  • identify main characters and the beginning, middle and end of story
  • write independently with some fluency; begin to demonstrate sentence sense and reflect logical flow of words and ideas
  • begin to use conventions in spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • print legibly and clearly
  • apply spelling patterns
  • put spaces between words
  • journal writing
  • understand story structure (identify character – plot – setting)
  • poetry (reading and writing) – reflective – acrostic

Speaking and Listening Skills

  • fairy tales from all over the world, different cultures but universal lessons
  • focus on speaker and listen with appropriate attention span
  • listen and recall some facts and main ideas
  • follow simple two-step directions
  • share and participate in class discussions
  • express ideas in complete sentences and stays with topic
  • participate in singing, story-telling, drama and poetry activities
  • use age-appropriate vocabulary and speech understood by others
  • learning to tell a story


Number Sense and Operation

  • counts by ones past 100, fives and tens to 100s
  • reads and writes numbers up to 100
  • understands and uses numbers up to 100
  • represents equivalent forms of the same number (to 20) (e.g., 8 may be represented as 4+4, 5+3, etc.)
  • counts and groups objects in ones and tens
  • identifies odd and even numbers
  • identifies and knows the value of coins and shows different combinations of coins that equal the same value
  • demonstrates fluency with basic number combinations for addition and subtraction facts
  • recognizes and makes reasonable estimates when comparing larger and smaller quantities

Algebra and Functions

  • creates and solves story problems and answers using pictures, diagrams, words, and/or number sentences
  • recognizes, describes, and extends repeating patterns (e.g. abac, aabc)

Measurement and Geometry

  • compares the length of two or more objects by using direct comparison
  • tells time to the nearest half hour and relates time to events (e.g. lunch is around 12 o’clock noon)
  • classifies and describes 2D and 3D objects by their attributes

Data Analysis and Probability

  • collects, organizes and represents data
  • interprets and draws conclusions from data
  • sorts and classifies objects by common attributes, describes the categories and organizes the information

Problem Solving and Mathematical Reasoning

  • explains and justifies solutions and strategies using mathematical vocabulary


  • observe and participate in nature – look for patterns, changes, and growth
  • use scientific tools in order to measure and collect data
  • sort and classify objects based on their attributes
  • know, through care of plants and animals in class, that all living things have basic needs, grow, reproduce, and die
  • understand that humans are similar to other organisms with similar needs
  • care for and develop sensitivity to the needs of living things
  • list ways organisms depend on and interact with their environment
  • metamorphosis (caterpillar, frog, chicken, etc.)
  • animal habitats (sea, rainforest, desert, etc.)
  • 5 senses – activities through the 5 senses
  • Taking care of the Earth – environmental sciences


Participate in classroom activities around the year-long theme: A Child’s Place in Time and Space

  • demonstrate confidence, social skills, ability to accept responsibility, take turns, and participate in group decision making
  • understand traditions that express American ideals and the diversity of cultures that form our nation
  • recognize the ways in which students are all part of the same community, sharing principles goals, and traditions despite their varied ancestry
  • locate on a large map, globe or large community map, familiar community places, California, the United States, the seven continents, and the four oceans
  • construct and use a simple, fictional neighborhood map with cardinal directions and a key
  • construct simple timelines that show students’ birthdays, classroom events, and school events
  • demonstrate knowledge of self and others, such as Native Americans and immigrants who have helped define Californian and American culture


  • Painting and Form Drawing are the artistic skill taught in the first grade. Through exploration of color children can learn to develop form. They will learn about the qualities of color and describe colors.
  • Form Drawing as an art form is specialized in the Waldorf Schools.
  • Beginning in first grade the children are shown how all things in the world are made up of straight or curved lines or some combination of the two.
  • All forms in the first grade are whole, and complete in themselves. The students may be introduced to repeating forms at the end of first grade.
  • Such an exercise helps the children’s spatial orientation and eye hand coordination. These forms develop in complexity, as the children grow older. Through exploration of color children can learn to develop form.
  • They will learn color combinations and blending using watercolors (color wheel).

Visual Arts

  • begin to identify the elements of art in the environment, and in works of art, emphasizing line, color, shape, form and texture
  • mix secondary colors from primary colors and describe the process
  • form drawing – identifying patterns, shapes, lines
  • create artwork based on observations of actual objects and everyday scenes
  • select something they like about their work of art and something they would change

Performing Arts

  • Communicate an understanding of drama through creative expression
  • Begin to participate in story dramatization
  • Move as an object or storybook animal or person
  • Reproduce sounds individually or with others (rain, wind, thunder, etc.)
  • Begin to acquire a sense of drama through storytelling and improvisation



  • In our movement time, we are learning echo and response songs and accompanied we will have graceful and gentle movements to help children grow naturally into their bodies.
  • In the first grade children get used to moving and speaking in different challenging ways.
  • They will have increased spatial orientation, coordination and increased memory, as they learn to exercise their mind and body at the same time.

Physical Education

  • improve in balance, hand-eye coordination, ball skills
  • increase body strength through physical activities including a winter martial arts program
  • participate in group games, working together for a common goal
  • demonstrate good health practices (e.g. nutrition, exercise, rest, and health care)


The main focus in the Qur’an class for the first graders will be memorization. As they begin to learn to read Arabic, they will also learn to read the Qur’an. The first graders will inshaAllah memorize Sura Al-Lail to Sura At- Takwir.


As in Kindergarten the main focus of the first graders will be oral language through themes. They will learn the names of things and daily conversation. They will sing songs, recite poetry, and listen to Arabic stories. We wish their first experiences with this new language to be full of life and excitement. They will also begin to write and read the Arabic Alphabet.


The first focus of Islamic Studies at Northstar School is the development of character. With our character development of character program we hope that children use their intellect and spiritual growth to make decisions throughout life.

The second focus is Animal Stories from the Qur’an. We wish to introduce different animals as they are mentioned in the Qur’an and make observations of the creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

The third focus of Islamic Studies in the first grade will be the study of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen may Allah have mercy on them and their biographies. We will learn about how they came to accept Islam, their love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, their love for the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam, and the legacies they left behind.

In the Seerah class the students will learn to love and revere the Prophet salallahu alayhi was sallam through studying his life in chronological order. They will study his life from the period of birth to his death.

  • Memorizing basic adhkar (e.g. Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah il`aliy ul `adheem, Allahumma salli `ala sayyidina Muhammad wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim)
  • Basics of Islamic Doctrine: Who is the Creator? What did He create?
  • Five pillars of Islam – each year the children are re-introduced to these ideas at a deeper level
  • Tahara (general cleanliness) — e.g. washing hands before and after eating, bathroom etiquette, tidying up
  • Adab with the deen: (e.g. with Allah, the Prophet, the mushaf, with people, saying salaam, JazakAllah, how are you etc., honoring guests, serving others…)
  • Seerah — Aim: Love of Prophet, Ahl al Bayt, Sahaba, scholars, etc.
  • Animal Stories from the Quran
  • Life of Sahaba and great figures of Islam
  • Islamic history & basic Islamic features —  calendar and significance of hijra, Ramadan, the two eids, mawlid, and Hajj
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