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A Teacher's Guide to Lesson Plans for First Graders

By Tracey Bleakley

There are so many topics to cover when you are teaching first grade from language arts and math to science and social studies. Whether it's your first year teaching first grade or your twentieth, you'll find lots of fresh, fun ideas in this guide to first grade lesson plans.

Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

Great lesson plan ideas for first grade teachers Teaching children to read can be one of the most challenging things about being a first grade teacher. When the school year starts you are likely to have children who aren't reading at all, children are who fluent readers and everything in between. Because of this, you'll need a lot of different reading lesson plans in your bag of tricks. These word study lesson plans and activities are perfect for children who are learning to decode words.

Reading Fluency

Beginning readers often struggle with learning to read fluently and expressively. Children who read word by word are more likely to have poor comprehension than those who read fluently. Try a few of these strategies to help your first graders improve their fluency rates.

Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension lesson plans focus on a variety of skills to help children really understand what they are reading. Check out these lesson plans for predicting, making connections, main idea and more. You'll find may plans that are based on a read aloud of a favorite picture book, but you can easily adapt these ideas for other read aloud or for books that the children read independently or during guided reading groups.

Writing

Writing workshop is an important component of any first grade classroom. Not only does it give children a place to express themselves creatively, it also offers opportunities to improve spelling, grammar skills and even speaking skills. Children also become familiar with different types of writing like narratives, poetry and letters. Teaching writing may seem like a daunting task, but these lesson plans will help to make it a breeze. Writing Workshop just might become your favorite part of the day!

Math

Math is always a busy time in the first grade classroom. Children are learning so many things from adding and subtraction to place value, geometry, measurement and more. Using manipulatives and linking math lessons to literature are just a few ways to keep young children excited about numbers. Try some of these fun, hands-on math lesson plans to help your first graders practice their math skills.

Science

The first grade science curriculum covers a variety of topics in the areas of life science, physical science and earth science. Topics often covered in earth science are rocks and minerals and weather. Life science topics include plants, animals and life cycles. States of matter and energy are often part of the physical science curriculum. First graders are also learning about the scientific method and science skills, like observing, predicting and collecting data. They also begin to use tools such as rulers, balance scales, and hand lenses. Check out some of these fun science lesson plans to enhance your science curriculum.

Social Studies

In social studies first graders begin to learn about the world around them. They become familiar with their own communities and neighborhoods, explore new cultures and begin learning about reading and following maps. They are introduced to history with the study of important holidays and famous people throughout the school year. There is so much to teach in first grade that social studies is often neglected. Luckily, you can integrate many social studies topics into your science and literature units. I have included many stand alone social studies lessons as well as some ideas for integrating social studies skills into some of your first grade themes and units.

Planning a whole year's worth of lessons can seem like an impossible task, but with this collection of lesson plans, you'll be ready for whatever comes your way!