1st Grade Curriculum


The First Grade Literacy Program provides students with balanced instruction that enhances each child’s individual skills and experiences. Balanced literacy instruction is characterized by meaningful literacy activities that provide children with both the skills and motivation to become proficient readers and writers. Literature and informational texts are used with individuals, small groups, or whole class instruction utilizing leveled books, a literature anthology, and online resources. The Literacy Program includes word study, grammar, spelling, development of reading skills and strategies, responding to texts, listening, and speaking. In first grade, students are developing a solid foundation as readers and writers. Throughout the year students learn grade level concepts and skills that will help them read grade appropriate text fluently along with strategies to improve their reading comprehension. In first grade, students study three different types of writing: opinion, information, and narrative writing. A writer’s workshop approach is utilized. Students write for different purposes and specific audiences, revising and editing their writing as appropriate. Mentor texts are used to provide students with exemplars of the types of writing that they are studying. The course is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.


The First Grade Math Program is intended to develop students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and skills through concrete real world applications. The strands focus on developing students’ skills and concepts in the areas of operations and algebraic thinking, numbers and operations in base-10, measurement and data, and geometry. A spiraling curriculum is used that introduces key concepts to students at a young age and covers these concepts repeatedly, with increasing degrees of complexity. The mathematics program in grade one provides a variety of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities to assist students in becoming mathematically literate. Within the content of the program, an emphasis is placed on problem-solving strategies which develop critical thinking. Students use the language of math to draw, write, and talk about their learning. Mathematical topics covered in first grade include:

  • Establishing routines

  • Everyday uses of numbers

  • Visual patterns, number patterns, and counting

  • Measurement and basic facts

  • Place value, number stories, and basic facts

  • Developing fact power

  • Geometry and attributes

  • Mental arithmetic, money, and fractions

The course is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This course will prepare students to employ mathematical practices and content for Second Grade.


The First Grade Science Program engages students in scientific inquiry and investigation. In First Grade, students learn about the world around them through the study of earth, life, and physical science concepts and engineering design. During the year, First Grade students learn about waves, light, and sound; space systems, patterns and cycles; and, structure function and information. Students are engaged in inquiry lessons, as well as researching and reporting. The course is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Social Studies

In the First Grade Social Studies Program Program, students focus on the family. Students will develop content and skills related to civics, economics, history, and geography using an inquiry approach to learning. Students learn about roles, responsibilities, and resources, cooperation and conflict, and culture within the context of the family unit. The course is aligned to the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) Standards.

Myanmar Studies

Elementary Myanmar Studies curriculum and basic Myanmar program includes reading, writing, listening and speaking. Literacy instruction at First Grade follows a development continuum. It is based on research that identifies the critical foundations for literacy learning. They will learn the alphabet, idioms, sound symbol relationships and will focus on the emergent communications skills in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students work at their appropriate levels of learning.

Myanmar Music and Dance

The purpose of teaching Myanmar Music and Dance is to understand the basic concepts of Myanmar Culture, to love Myanmar traditions and customs and to keep the essence and beauty of Myanmar. We will start from basic theory and practice. Myanmar traditions include singing, dancing and playing the instruments. In K to Third Grade we do traditional songs with the play (see and warr), Myanmar traditional dance (basic skills- head, waist, legs, and hands) and Myanmar festival dances. Students will learn basic skills of dancing Myanmar dance. Students will receive an explanation of the Myanmar day homage paying ceremony, special activities and performances. Each student will understand and appreciate the importance of the Myanmar dances and basic skills to play instruments of Myanmar to follow up next level of learning.


At YIS we follow the NCAS Standards for Art Education under the umbrellas of Creating, Presenting, Responding and Connecting.

In First Grade, our focus is to explore ideas and experiences and ways to represent them through experimentation with the visual art elements of shape, color, line, space, and texture.

By further using a variety of media and technologies we will develop artistic skill with Shape including (Geometric and Organic), Color mixing (primary to make secondary), Line (jagged, dashed, broken), Space (Background, foreground), and texture (real and implied).

Students will explore techniques and processes in Printing, Paint, Clay, Collage, Mixed Media and Drawing to create 2-D and 3-D art that communicates an idea to an audience through sharing and displaying their work.

Finally, they will appreciate different types of artwork, and artwork that has been created by people of other times and other places.

They will know places where art is displayed, and how art is displayed and respond by having personal opinions, feelings and ideas about the artwork that they view and make.


The YIS Music Department encourages the artistic growth of its students through four pillar standards: Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting. The YIS Music Department courses are aligned to NCAS standards. In the music classroom, students will encounter challenges that will allow them to engage in divergent thinking, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, and perseverance. On the performance stage, students will demonstrate their musical growth in at least two concerts a year.

In the First Grade music classroom, students will participate in the Orff approach to world music. Elementary students will sing, play instruments, and use creative movement to focus on the following skills: Rhythm and form, instrument technique, composition, and improvisation. First Grade students learn to create new musical ideas, analyze beat and quarter- and eighth-note rhythms, sing and play sol-la-mi solfege melodies, and develop musical preferences and interests.

Physical Education

First Grade Physical Education continues to focus on the development of large and fine motor skills. Students are beginning to apply skills in team based sports settings and are learning basic tactics for gameplay. Students are learning how to manage their own behavior and self-assess their own development and also offer basic peer assessment for their classmates. Units for this course include Team Building, Fitness, Ultimate sports, Swimming, Invasion Games, Striking / Kicking & Fielding Games, Rhythm & Dance and Gymnastics.


Technology in First Grade reinforces basic computer usage and handling skills. Students continue to understand basic navigation skills and are exposed to electronic resources. Keyboarding skills are introduced at this grade level and students learn the importance of “home row” skills. Students explore resources that address skills such as writing, reading, word study, math, and digital citizenship. First Grade students are also continuing to explore basic coding skills to enhance their problem-solving skills.