Grade 1 English Language Arts Table of Contents Unit 1: a world of Books 1 Unit 2: Put on Your Thinking Cap 12 Unit 3: Let’s Read—Fairy Tales and Fables 21 Unit 4: Research Methods 31 Unit 5: Poetry: Fun with Words 41 Unit 6

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Grade 1


Language Arts

Grade 1

English Language Arts
Table of Contents
Unit 1: A World of Books 1
Unit 2: Put on Your Thinking Cap 12
Unit 3: Let’s Read—Fairy Tales and Fables 21
Unit 4: Research Methods 31
Unit 5: Poetry: Fun with Words 41
Unit 6: Discovering Is Exciting—Reading/Writing Nonfiction 52
Unit 7: How to Learn About People—Autobiographies/Biographies 64

Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum, Revised 2008

Course Introduction
The Louisiana Department of Education issued the Comprehensive Curriculum in 2005. The curriculum has been revised based on teacher feedback, an external review by a team of content experts from outside the state, and input from course writers. As in the first edition, the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum, revised 2008 is aligned with state content standards, as defined by Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs), and organized into coherent, time-bound units with sample activities and classroom assessments to guide teaching and learning. The order of the units ensures that all GLEs to be tested are addressed prior to the administration of iLEAP assessments.

District Implementation Guidelines

Local districts are responsible for implementation and monitoring of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and have been delegated the responsibility to decide if

  • units are to be taught in the order presented

  • substitutions of equivalent activities are allowed

  • GLES can be adequately addressed using fewer activities than presented

  • permitted changes are to be made at the district, school, or teacher level

Districts have been requested to inform teachers of decisions made.
Implementation of Activities in the Classroom

Incorporation of activities into lesson plans is critical to the successful implementation of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum. Lesson plans should be designed to introduce students to one or more of the activities, to provide background information and follow-up, and to prepare students for success in mastering the Grade-Level Expectations associated with the activities. Lesson plans should address individual needs of students and should include processes for re-teaching concepts or skills for students who need additional instruction. Appropriate accommodations must be made for students with disabilities.
New Features

Content Area Literacy Strategies are an integral part of approximately one-third of the activities. Strategy names are italicized. The link (view literacy strategy descriptions) opens a document containing detailed descriptions and examples of the literacy strategies. This document can also be accessed directly at
A Materials List is provided for each activity and Blackline Masters (BLMs) are provided to assist in the delivery of activities or to assess student learning. A separate Blackline Master document is provided for each course.

The Access Guide to the Comprehensive Curriculum is an online database of suggested strategies, accommodations, assistive technology, and assessment options that may provide greater access to the curriculum activities. The Access Guide will be piloted during the 2008-2009 school year in Grades 4 and 8, with other grades to be added over time. Click on the Access Guide icon found on the first page of each unit or by going directly to the url

Grade 1

English Language Arts

Unit 1: A World of Books

Time Frame: Approximately six weeks

Unit Description
This unit emphasizes strategies and skills used in reading and responding to a variety of texts, including concepts about print and how books work. A wide variety of grade-level appropriate literature is used to introduce story elements. This unit includes read-alouds, shared reading and writing, and partner and independent reading of appropriate-level text. Vocabulary, writing, and grammar instruction is ongoing throughout the school year and is relevant to the current unit.

Student Understandings

Students will read and respond to a variety of literature. Journals, student-made books, and story webs will be completed to show evidence of the students’ understanding of the content. Students will practice the early reading strategies and skills necessary to become independent readers and writers. Making real-life connections will help students better understand stories.

Guiding Questions

  1. Can students use pictures, background knowledge, story details, and titles to predict outcomes?

  2. Can students distinguish between reality and fantasy in stories read aloud by the teacher?

  3. Can students connect events in a story to real-life experiences?

  4. Can students demonstrate appropriate reading behaviors?

  5. Can students read and respond orally and visually to a wide variety of children’s literature?

  6. Can students identify story elements (characters, setting, plot)?

Unit 1 Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs)


GLE Text and Benchmarks


Use pictures and context clues to confirm meaning of unfamiliar words (ELA-1-E1)


Identify story elements of speaker or narrator (ELA-1-E3)


Identify story elements of setting (ELA-1-E3)


Identify story elements of characters (ELA-1-E3)


Identify story elements of plot (ELA-1-E3)


Identify story elements of problems and solutions (ELA-1-E4)


Identify literary devices, including dialogue (ELA 1 E4)


Retell a story’s beginning, middle, and end (ELA-1-E5)


Compare the similarities/differences between events in a story and events in life (ELA-1-E6)


Identify themes in texts and relate themes to personal prior experience or experience of others (ELA-1-E6)


Demonstrate oral reading fluency of at least 40 words per minute in first-grade text with appropriate phrasing and intonation (ELA-1-E7)


Identify and state/tell cultural differences found in literature read aloud (ELA-6-E1)


Explain the difference between a fable and a fairy tale (ELA-6-E2)


Distinguish between a poem, a fable, and a fairy tale (ELA-6-E3)


Demonstrate understanding of information in texts using a variety of strategies, including identifying the main idea and some details in a text (ELA-7-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of information in texts using a variety of strategies, including after finishing a story, discuss predictions made during reading to determine whether they were reasonable (ELA-7-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of information in texts using a variety of strategies, including making simple inferences about characters and events (ELA-7-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of information in texts using a variety of strategies, including resolving questions about meaning by using prior knowledge, basic reasoning skills, context clues, and pictures during read-alouds (ELA-7-E1)


Identify alternative solutions and consequences to a problem in texts (ELA-7-E2)


Apply basic reasoning skills by telling differences between reality and fantasy in texts (ELA-7-E4)


Apply basic reasoning skills by formulating questions beginning with who, what, when, where, and why about texts read independently (ELA-7-E4)


Write simple stories with a central idea or event; a beginning, middle, and end; and details (ELA-2-E1)


Participate in group writing activities and processes, including using prewriting strategies, including listing, brainstorming, and drawing to generate ideas for writing (ELA-2-E3)


Write for various purposes, including responses that follow simple formats, including envelopes, lists, and journals (ELA-2-E6)


Ask questions to clarify directions and/or classroom routines (ELA-4-E2)


Retell stories with sequential order using vocabulary from the story (ELA-4-E3)


Retell stories with descriptive words to answer questions about characters, settings, and events of a story (ELA-4-E3)


Engage in discussions about classroom procedures and rules (ELA-4-E7)

Sample Activities

Activity 1: Independent Reading (Ongoing) (GLEs: 03, 18)
Materials List: classroom library and books from the school library, leveled books used during guided reading groups, big books, charts and poems, Writing Rubric BLM
Daily independent reading is very important. Several times during the day students will read independently or on their own.

  • Rereading a familiar book can be an integral part of guided reading group instruction. Rereading a book that has been read with the group previously is an excellent way to practice reading strategies.

  • While working at literacy stations, students will have the opportunity to read poems, stories and songs independently that have been taught during whole group instruction. Reading and rereading familiar text builds fluency and confidence in beginning readers.
  • Personal reading is a time when all students are engaged in reading. The teacher may read a book or circulate among students, depending on the level of the students. Personal reading provides an opportunity for students to read according to their individual interests and abilities.

Activity 2: Vocabulary Development (Ongoing) (GLEs: 03, 16, 17, 22b)
Materials List: read-aloud book, charts, word wall, paper for vocabulary cards, binder or folder.
Vocabulary is developed in first grade through the shared reading of stories. As stories are shared daily, teachers will use directed reading – thinking activity or DR-TA (view literacy strategy descriptions). In using DR-TA, students will make predictions about the story based on the cover and title. It is important to have students make connections through personal experiences that are related to the story content. These predictions may or may not be recorded. As the teacher shares the story, s/he will stop at various points to discuss vocabulary and predictions. Through the use of context and picture cues, the students will infer the meaning of unknown vocabulary words. Meanings will be confirmed collaboratively. Listed below are some suggestions to develop vocabulary:

  • The teacher will record vocabulary words on a special list to review often.

  • Students will create oral sentences using the vocabulary words. The teacher may record sentences to demonstrate writing.

  • The teacher and students work together to make large vocabulary cards (view literacy strategy descriptions) that can be put together alphabetically to form a class dictionary. The dictionary can be used for review and during writing.

  • The teacher and students may keep a tally record of the times students use the vocabulary words correctly in conversation or in writing.

Activity 3: Writing/Grammar (Ongoing) (GLEs: 26, 28a, 31b)

Materials List: board, chart paper, corrective tape, word wall, classroom dictionaries, paper, and journals/logs, Writing Rubric BLM.

In early childhood classrooms writing/grammar will be taught daily. Grammar and punctuation instruction is embedded within the writing lessons daily.

  • Writing lessons must begin with a great deal of modeling by the teacher. The teacher will model writing by “thinking out loud” as she writes and will demonstrate inventive spelling and the conventions of writing. The teacher should model writing often.

  • Shared (Interactive) writing is a process where the teacher and the students write a text together, using a “shared pen” technique. The students write the parts they know while the teacher fills in the unknown and guides the writing process. It can be done with the whole class or in small groups. Shared writing is a powerful tool used with beginning writers to demonstrate how writing works. It shows students how their ideas can be recorded on paper and how they can participate in that writing.

  • Guided writing is designed to teach a specific skill or strategy to the whole group, small group, or individual. In this process, the student does his/her own writing with the teacher’s scaffolding support through mini-lessons and conferences.

  • Independent writing gives students an opportunity to apply skills or strategies that have been demonstrated by the teacher. Most of the time, students will choose topics about which to write. Examples of a student’s writing may include journal entries, response logs, creative stories, and personal experiences. The teacher should begin the year with labeling and listing activities. Stories written by students may consist of a single sentence at the beginning of the year. The teacher may use the Writing Rubric BLM to assess students’ skills.

Activity 4: Procedures and Rules (GLEs: 48, 56)

Materials List: story about a character’s first day of school

The teacher will read a story about a character’s first day of school. Examples that may be used can be found in the Suggested Selections at the end of the unit.
Students will discuss the need for rules and procedures. Students, with teacher’s guidance, will generate appropriate rules as the teacher records them on a chart. The teacher will spend several weeks demonstrating routines and procedures. Students should practice proper routines associated with working in a group, exiting classroom, center behavior, and other routines. Understanding and following rules and procedures are ongoing skills as other procedures are added to facilitate classroom instruction.
The teacher will conduct an opinionnaire (view literacy strategy descriptions) related to this activity. Opinionnaires are developed by generating statements about a topic that require students to state their opinion and defend it. The teacher will make a statement about school rules and record them on the board. Examples of statements may include:

We don’t need rules in the classroom.

The students in our class will be happier if we follow rules.
As a group, students will discuss the statements. Each student is asked to explain the reasons for his/her personal opinion. The teacher may ask leading questions to encourage reluctant students to state their opinions and reasons.

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