1st Grade English Language Arts

Students explore the lessons they can learn from folktales and stories, the different roles reading plays around the world, what it means to be part of a family, how individuals can help make the world a better place, and patterns in nature.

Course Summary

Our complete 1st grade English Language Arts curriculum is made up of three main components: Literature units, Science and Social Studies units, and independent reading. Together, these three components build students' knowledge and understanding of the world, and support student mastery of all literature, informational, writing, speaking and listening, language, and foundational skills standards. To learn more, see the Pacing Guide for this course.


In 1st grade Literature, students realize how authors write texts both to bring readers entertainment and to help readers learn about and make sense of the world around them. Students explore the lessons they can learn from folktales and stories and how those lessons relate to their own lives, the different roles that reading plays in people’s lives around the world, and what it means to be part of a family.

Science and Social Studies

In 1st grade Social Studies, students develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and how the efforts of a single individual or group of individuals can help make the world a better place. In Science, students explore patterns in nature, learn about the different ways that plants and animals use their body parts and senses to grow and survive, and examine the differences between plants and animals of the same species.


Unlock access to additional resources and features that make using our free core curriculum more engaging and effective with Fishtank Plus.

Literature Units


What Makes a Good Friend?

Students read texts focused on what it means to be a good friend, and examine key details about characters through discussion and writing, helping to facilitate building friendships in the classroom.

13 Lessons


Folktales and Stories

Students use the text and illustrations of fables and folktales to analyze setting, characters, and key details, allowing them to connect traditional stories to their own lives.

22 Lessons


Same Story, Different Version

Students compare and contrast events and characters in multiple versions of classic fairy tales, grappling with the bigger lessons of each tale, and support their writing with details from the texts.

26 Lessons


The Power of Reading

Students focus on subtle central messages and words that express feeling in various texts about reading and education around the world, discovering why people everywhere seek the power to read.

26 Lessons


Appreciating Family

Students work to discover the central message of a text and to describe its characters, in order to build a deeper understanding of different types of families.

27 Lessons

Science and Social Studies Units


Continents: Understanding the World

Students read informational texts about the seven continents, and what makes each of them unique, while working to understand text features and develop skills in writing about informational texts.

22 Lessons



In this science-based unit, students explore different animals and animal adaptations by reading informational texts, working to identify main topics, retell details and write responses to the text.

32 Lessons


Biographies: You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be

In this inspirational biography unit, students read and learn about a diverse assortment of artists, musicians, and dancers, while focusing on identifying evidence from texts and illustrations.

29 Lessons


Ancient Egypt

Students explore the values, daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Egypt and compare them to those of society today, while exploring the evidence an author uses to support points in a text.

23 Lessons


Fighting for Change

Students learn about the concepts of fairness and justice and about people who worked to overcome injustice, while developing informational reading strategies for reading narrative nonfiction texts.

35 Lessons