1st Grade - Lighting the Mind and Soul with Storytelling
Developmental Picture of the Student
When students enter the 1st Grade they experience a significant transition from Early Childhood classes (or other Kindergarten programs) to the Grade School. In first grade the children are presented with the archetypes of the human being through fairy tales. The characters in each story represent positive attributes, such as courage, honesty and goodness that can influence the young child’s emotional intelligence and social development.
How the Curriculum Meets the 1st Grader
The curriculum is built on daily routines that provide form, structure and rhythm for independent work and group activities. The first graders are introduced to the letters of the alphabet through oral storytelling and chalkboard drawings. The teachers lead the children from concrete representational pictures to abstract letter symbols.
In these stories letters become familiar characters that engage the student’s imagination and strengthen memory. Students practice sound and symbol relationships and begin writing short sentences. These activities prepare children with the literacy skills necessary for the transition into reading. To develop numeracy skills, students experience numbers through stories that identify their qualities and functions. For example, there is one sun;
day and night are two. Characters gather to add and share to divide.
As they leave the dreamy mood of Early Childhood, first graders begin to awaken to the world around them. They are ready to learn in a new way.
The students are introduced to the four primary mathematical operations as individual characters in a story. Mathematics is further supported experientially through rhythmic and physical activities, lively counting and sequencing work, as well as through movement in eurythmy. After considerable practice with manipulatives
and mental math, the teacher introduces the written symbols for the four arithmetic operations.
The first grader also experiences the curriculum through natural sciences, fairy tales, handwork, music,
painting, drawing and modeling. An awareness of cultural history is explored through stories from around
the world, such as the Anansi folktales from Africa.
STUDENT BLOCK BOOK: LETTER FORMS (or NUMERICAL OPERATIONS) MIRRORED IN STORYTELLING
Letterforms (here the "Y" in the story of "Yaweh") are foundational components in the story's narrative & imagery
1st GRADE CURRICULUM COMPONENTS:
Preparation for the SCIENCES
- Lyre lessons teach coordinated group instrument playing
FIELD TRIPS & COMMUNITY EVENTS
LIFE SKILLS EXPERIENCED IN 1ST GRADE
- Listening with attention
- Recalling lessons in review
- Writing simple sentences
- Practicing drawing techniques
- Participating in clean-up duties and regular chores
- Offering assistance with weekly classroom tasks
- Following movement activities to develop balance, agility, coordination, and left/right recognition
- Practicing the four operations of arithmetic
- Building social relationships