First Grade Curriculum

  • Language Arts: Fairy tales; upper-case letters; the sentence; recitation of poetry
  • Social Studies: Festival celebrations
  • Science: Nature stories; nature walks
  • Math: Quality of numbers; the four processes; number partners; times tables—1, 2, 5, 10
  • Spanish: Counting; naming things; songs; dances; poetry; conversation
  • Art: Wet-on-wet watercolor painting; beeswax modeling; crayon drawing; form drawing
  • Practical Arts: Knitting; gift-making
  • Drama: Re-enactment of fairy tales; class play; assembly performances
  • Music: Pentatonic flutes; singing
  • Movement: Two outdoor recesses a day; Eurythmy; daily body geography exercises

First Grade Highlights

At the Rose Ceremony that welcomes the class into the grade school, each first grader receives a buddy from the lead class, with whom s/he will interact often during the year. The first grader is gently led into the joyous world of formalized learning—a big change from the familiar early childhood setting. The rich, beautiful curriculum stimulates the imagination, feeds the soul, and lays the foundation for the capacity to understand ideas.

The archetypal Fairy Tales speak deeply to the students’ souls and help develop basic human capacities. The alphabet is discovered, letter by letter, through images of the world around us; the basic units of writing are experienced as the curve and the straight line. The writing down of poems that the children know by heart begins their journey to reading and spelling. Arithmetic, including the four processes, is introduced by the exciting discovery of the qualities of numbers and patterns everywhere.

This year’s important discoveries also include learning to stand in line, raise hands, wait patiently for a turn, work quietly and independently at a desk, listen to and follow instructions, and treat classmates, teachers, and materials with care and respect. Social and cognitive skills are fostered through play, singing, reciting poetry, playing pentatonic flutes, and performing in the class play.

Throughout the day, the children move. This builds spatial awareness, integrates the senses, forms the foundation for memory, and strengthens the body for future learning. Celebrating the seasons, festivals, and holidays builds the child’s reverent relationship to the earth and the spirit. Striving to create beauty in everything stimulates a lifelong enthusiasm for learning and creativity.

Field trips may include parks, nature preserves, orchards.

First graders go home before lunch on Thursdays so they can rest from their newly learning-intensive lifestyle.

Is my child ready for First Grade?
The First Grade Readiness Screening
First Grade Handwork: Knitting

In the first grade the child experiences the first step in separating from his/her surroundings and is beginning to look around in a different way.

The will and feeling gradually begin to work with thinking.

Knitting is the perfect way to bring this about.

-David Mitchell and Patricia Livingston, Waldorf Educators
search login