K6 - Curriculum by Grade

1st Grade: What will my student learn?

Biblical Formation

The Scripture memory focus in first grade helps students to answer the question of how we got here on earth. God created the whole world and everything in it. They will focus on the Biblical events of Creation and the Fall. The Biblical literacy skill focus for first grade is the division between the Old and New Testaments. First graders will focus on our omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Father.


In first grade, students will focus on fact fluency in addition and subtraction, number decomposition, number sense, and mathematical application in the context of story. After concrete mathematical exploration with manipulatives, students will engage with mathematics concepts using pictorial representations/models and number sentences/algorithms.

English Language Arts

First graders explore the four basic language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) during ELA time at HLA. Following the Science of Reading approach, students will build a strong phonics foundation through repetition of word families, decoding practice, sight words, phonemic segmentation, and letter sounds practice. In reading, students will be exposed to various genres while participating in differentiated reading groups focusing on reading skills and reading practice. Students will proceed through the Reading Through the Rainbow program as they learn their sight words.


In first grade, science is taught towards exposure with a goal of building background knowledge in our students. Students begin by learning what science is and what a scientist does. From there, they continue exploring God’s World with a high-level study of plants, animals, the Earth, their bodies, light, and sound.

Social Studies

The focus for first grade social studies is the community and government. Students will build background knowledge as they are exposed to geographical features, map skills, explorers throughout history and the concept of past/present/future. Students will build skills related to telling/writing their address, identifying where they live on a map, sequencing events on a timeline, distinguishing between fact and fiction and cause and effect, sorting and classifying, and interpreting information on a bar graph.


During the 2022-2023 school year, the enrichment specials offered during the school day for first graders include art, PE, and Spanish. Specials are subject to change from year to year.

Special Opportunities (subject to change from year to year and from campus to campus)

  • Field trips: strawberry picking, Crestwood nature preserve, apple picking
  • Academic opportunities: Highland games, living neighborhood, science explorations, novel readings, Thanksgiving re-enactment, Reading through the Rainbow sight word program, poetry slam
  • Yearly assembly performances sponsored by grants from the United Arts Council
  • Participation in school-wide literacy events like Drop Everything and Read Day, Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day, Scholastic book clubs, and the book fair

Curriculum Integration

There are two main curriculum providers used in first grade. Math is taught using the Singapore Primary Mathematics 2022 edition. All other subject areas are taught using BJU programs (handwriting, spelling, reading, phonics, science, and heritage studies). The Keys for the Kingdom program is utilized during morning devotional time for Biblical formation.


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