First Grade Curriculum Overview

This section provides a summary of the key first grade curriculum and learning objectives for language arts, math, science and social studies. Under each is a more detailed description of what children learn in first grade subjects, including detailed lesson descriptions of Time4Learning learning activities.

This page provides:

Keep reading to learn how Time4Learning can be used as part of your first grade homeschool portfolio.

Overview of First Grade Learning Milestones

First grade is a year of highly visible progress in reading and language arts. The four major milestones in first grade reading and language arts are:
  1. Knowing the names and sounds of all the consonants and vowels
  2. Understanding phonics concepts such as consonant combinations
  3. Following along, reading, and summarizing simple stories with pictures
  4. Developing an understanding of composition
First grade is also a year of exploration and discovery of the numbers in the world around us. Five major milestones for first grade math include:
  1. Counting to 100 by 1’s and skip counting
  2. Knowing the addition math facts
  3. Adding and subtracting small numbers
  4. Understanding the value of money
  5. Knowing the units for measurement, time, and weightKnowing the names and sounds of all the consonants and vowels

First Grade Language Arts & Reading Curriculum Overview

The Time4Learning curriculum constitutes a solid first grade language arts program correlated to state standards, which many homeschool parents use it as their entire curriculum. Non-homeschoolers utilize the lessons for extra practice, an online first grade tutorial, or summer enrichment. First grade language arts is organized into two large sections: Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions.
  • The language arts section contains 13 chapters and hundreds of learning activities that are primarily based on phonics.
  • Exercises and lesson activities build phonological awareness, phonics, and reading skills.
  • Lessons are taught by colorful animated characters that sing, explain, and interact with the students.
  • First graders learn to identify the sight and sounds and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words.
  • Reading exercises at the end of each chapter introduce and develop readiness and comprehension skills.
  • Interactive “think and respond” stories help build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
The language arts is GREAT for helping with phonics and beginner reading skills. Plus, the lessons are thoroughly entertaining! Language arts lessons are organized into a series of chapters that introduce and cover:
Teaches the relationship of sounds to letters of the alphabet. Exercises build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders learn to identify the sight and sound of each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the consonant digraphs ck, sh, th; the long vowel digraph ea; and the r-controlled vowel ar. Exercises build phonological awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the consonant digraphs ng, ch, and the long vowel a. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; the consonant digraph wh, and the soft sound of the consonant c. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of CVCe words i_e and o_e; the suffixes ed and ing; and plurals s and es. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the r-controlled vowels or and ore and the soft sound of the consonant g. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of CVCe words a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, and u_e; the variant vowel all; and the vowel digraphs ai and ay. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the vowel pair ee; the long sound of i with the igh spelling; and the long sound of e with the y spelling. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sight and sound of the consonant y and it’s vowel digraph ie; and the long o sound of vowel digraphs oa and ow. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the short sound of the variant vowel oo as in book; and the diphthongs ow and ou. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the long sound of the variant vowel oo as in spoon; and the variant vowels ue and ew. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Teaches the sounds and letters of the variant vowel aw; contractions; the diphthongs oy and oi; and compound words. Activities build phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading skills. First graders will identify each and demonstrate knowledge of high frequency words. An interactive “think and respond” story will build sight word vocabulary, sound-spelling skills and reading comprehension.
Students will learn new vocabulary, read a leveled story and demonstrate comprehension by recalling details. First graders develop fluency through a series of vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing activities that incorporate discovery learning and direct instruction.
Learn more lesson by lesson details by reading our first grade language arts lesson plans. Why wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

First Grade Language Extensions Curriculum Overview

Language arts extensions is a component of the complete language arts curriculum. Most homeschooling parents have their child complete both the language arts and language arts extensions because they correlate to state standards. Non-homeschoolers use the language arts lessons for additional practice, summer enrichment or as a first grade language arts tutorial. Since members have access to both, they can use the activities in the way that best fits their needs.
  • Each chapter starts with a story that introduces vocabulary, develops reading skills and enhances phonemic awareness
  • Learning activities focused on discovery, recognition, and application
  • First graders learn to generate ideas, demonstrate comprehension of a theme, create graphic organizers and write diary entries
  • At the end of each chapter, the “Story Creator” teaches first graders to apply their knowledge and use their reading skills to compose grammatically correct sentences and stories
The language arts extension chapters include 22 chapters covering:
  • 1. Pollution
  • 2. Oceans
  • 3. Weather
  • 4. The Sun
  • 5. Planets
  • 6. Constellations
  • 7. Native Americans
  • 8. Early America
  • 9. America Grows
  • 10. Plants
  • 11. Biomes
  • 12. Vertebrates & Invertebrates
  • 13. Farm Animals
  • 14. Mammals
  • 15. Marine Animals
  • 16. Seasons seasons
  • 17. Cultural Holidays
  • 18. Safety
  • 19. Neighborhoods
  • 20. Jobs in your Neighborhood
  • 21. Travel
  • 22. Values
Learn more lesson by lesson details by reading our first grade language arts extensions lesson plans. Don’t wait! Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

First Grade Vocabulary Curriculum Overview

Time4Learning’s first grade vocabulary exercises integrate sight word vocabulary with the sounds of the alphabet in decodable stories. Lesson activities cover:
  • First grade vocabulary words presented within the context of a story or rhyme.
  • First grade vocabulary lessons part of 22 thematic units covering oceans, seasons, mammals, plants, early America, and more.
Students improve reading comprehension by reading or listening to literature with an emphasis on vocabulary building. Teacher’s guides include lesson plans, first grade vocabulary lists and optional printable vocabulary worksheets.

First Grade Math Curriculum Overview

The first grade math curriculum contains numerous math lessons, along with printable worksheets, quizzes and chapter tests. It constitutes a solid first grade math program, correlated to state standards, which is important to many homeschooling families. Afterschool users utilize the program as an alternative to a first grade math tutor, for test preparation, or for extra practice. First grade math activities cover and include:
  • Animated characters that present first grade math lessons in bite sized pieces perfect for student pacing
  • Chapter that build instruction based on the last.
  • Guided activities through fractions, order of operations, basic algebra, metrics, spatial sense, graphing and probability using interactive prompts and funny stories to bring the lessons to life.
Math lessons are organized into 18 chapters that introduce and cover:
Teaches how to read, compare, match, and define whole numbers. Lessons also cover counting numbers by twos and fives and even vs odd numbers.
Teaches the difference between equal and unequal parts. Fractions divided by halves, thirds and fourths are introduced in lessons such as “The Art of Fractions” (below).
Starts with math vocabulary. It distinguishes the difference between addition and subtraction, and teaches first graders about place value. Lessons move into addition and subtraction of one and two digit numbers and gives problem solving strategy. Operations ends with lessons on estimation.

 Money

Teaches about coin values, how to count money, and how to add and subtract it.
Teaches students how to identify, sort and classify things by common patterns or attributes. Students learn to identify patterns on a “hundreds chart” and then apply those patterns to skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.
First grade "Algebra" introduces students to algebraic symbols and the commutative property of addition. Lessons also teach number sentences, equal vs unequal, greater than vs less than and solving for unknown numbers.

 Shapes

First grade "Shapes" teaches about two and three-dimensional shapes. Lessons cover straight vs curved lines, open vs closed shapes and planes vs solid objects. Students are introduced to special shapes, such as hexagons, trapezoids, and rhombi and are asked to describe and compare them in the lessons.
First grade "Positions" introduces basic geometry and spatial relationships. Students learn how to identify, locate and move objects according to directional (left, right, up, down) and positional (top, middle, inside) instruction. First graders are introduced to the number line, as well.
First grade "Shapes" teaches congruent shapes and symmetry. Students learn to match congruent shapes and identify lines of symmetry in two dimensional shapes.
First grade "Spatial Sense" teaches how to build and calculate perimeter and area of two dimensional shapes. It teaches how to recognize geometric shapes around s, and how to use one shape to build another.

 Time

First grade "Time" introduces different ways that time is classified, such as calendar time and clock time. Students learn about digital vs analog time telling.

 Length

First grade "Length" teaches how to use, compare and measure length. Students will choose the appropriate tool and use it to measure different metrics.

 Weight

First grade "Weight" teaches different attributes of weight. Students will estimate, compare and measure different objects.
First grade "Capacity" teaches how to measure, compare and estimate capacity. It shows students how to identify the best unit and will ask them to place objects in order according to capacity.
First grade "Temperature" teaches how to measure temperatures. Lessons introduce fahrenheit and show students how to read a thermometer and compare different readings.
First grade "Graphing" reinforces the 'Patterns" chapter by asking students to sort objects. They then learn to create a tally table and record information in pictographs and bar graphs.
First grade "Using Data" teaches the basics of statistics, showing students how to compare and make predictions based on the data that they organized into graphs.
First grade "Probability" teaches the basics of probability. It teaches the difference between principles of certainty, impossibility, likely and least likely. First graders are prompted to identify the differences.
For a more detailed description of the first grade math lessons, please visit our first grade math scope and sequence page. Ready to sign up now? Start learning today!

First Grade Science Curriculum Overview

The first grade science curriculum contains several lessons, along with worksheets and quizzes, covering a number of topics. Homeschooling families use the curriculum as a supplement to their homeschooling approach while non-homeschoolers use it for afterschool review, as a first grade online tutorial, or for summer enrichment. Science lessons are organized into chapters that introduce and cover:
  1. Living and Nonliving Things - Students will learn how to distinguish between living and nonliving things by exploring habitats, basic needs, features, and life cycles. Lessons will focus on the classification of animals into scientific categories, with a feature on amphibians.
  2. Earth Science - Students will be shown how to use graphic organizers to show weather patterns and identify seasons. Lessons also cover thunderstorms and the water cycle.
  3. Contributions to Science - Jane Goodall is featured as a contributor to science, allowing children to explore her experience working with chimpanzees in Africa.
  4. The Surface of the Earth - Students learn about the solid materials making up the Earth.
Learn more lesson by lesson details by reading our first grade science lesson plans. Don’t wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

First Grade Social Studies Curriculum Overview

First graders are given access to the second grade social studies lessons as part of their membership. Second grade social studies is the lowest level available on Time4Learning. This social studies program consists of lessons covering American identity, basic human survival needs, maps and globes, historic places, cultural holidays, patriotism, and jobs. The curriculum is commonly used as a second grade social studies tutorial, for extra practice, or as a homeschool supplement. Learn more lesson by lesson details by reading our second grade social studies lesson plans. Don’t wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

First Grade Educational Resources

If you’re interested in educating your first grader, you might also be interested in:

The Time4Learning Program Structure

Time4Learning has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. The Time4Learning’s online curriculum has proven effective with over 3,500+ multimedia lessons, printable worksheets and graded activities in a student-paced environment that brings concepts to life. Math and language arts lessons correlate to state standards. Science, social studies and art are also provided as a bonus to most grades. Students may also add foreign language learning to their subscription for an additional fee.

Curriculum Structure

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