Grade 1

A Sample of First Grade English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core State Standards

■ Using phonics (matching letters and sounds) and word analysis skills to figure out unfamiliar words when reading and writing

■ Getting facts and information from different writings

■ Writing about a topic, supplying some facts, and providing some sense of opening and closing

■ Taking part in conversations about topics and texts being studied by responding to the comments of others and asking questions to clear up any confusion

■ Producing and expanding complete simple and compound statements, questions, commands, and exclamations

■ Identifying the correct meaning for a word with multiple meanings, based on the sentence or paragraph in which the word is used (e.g., deciding whether the word bat means a flying mammal or a club used in baseball)

■ Learning to think about finer distinctions in the meanings of near-synonyms (e.g., marching, prancing, strutting, strolling, walking)

Reading Strategies

There are a variety of reading strategies that students use when they read. "Sounding out" is often used as the only method to read a word, but there are other strategies that are taught. Students should be thinking about not just stretching out sounds, but also about what makes sense in the sentence. Refer to the image below for a list of reading strategies that are reinforced in first grade.


As students in first grade are working on using a variety of reading strategies, the emphasis on fluency becomes a priority. Fluency is the ability to read smoothly. It can also involve reading with expression. The reason we reinforce fluency is because research has shown that most students who are not fluent often have issues with comprehension. If it takes a student longer to read, it often makes it harder to remember what was actually read. One of the main prompts teachers use with students who are not fluent, is to encourage students to "put your words together like you are talking." If your child is having issues with phonics, refer to the web resources below to help strengthen those skills.

Comprehension Strategies

As students begin to read longer texts, it's important to ask them questions to be sure that they understand what they are reading. It's not only important to ask questions when students are reading the books themselves, but also when a book is being read to them. Refer to the images below for questions that can be used with fiction or nonfiction books.

Sight Words

Sight words are words students should be able to recognize quickly by sight. Many of them are "rule breakers" and don't follow a regular pattern for sounding out purposes. Students practice reading and writing these words all throughout first grade. Refer to the link below for the 100 words that are taught in first grade. The link also includes ready to print flashcards.

Book Lists

Most students read between a Level A and J or above in first grade. Once you know your child's reading level, you can refer to the links below to print, purchase and/or borrow books at your child's level.

Web Resources

Below you will find some interactive sites that will be helpful in reinforcing first grade reading skills.