Curriculum Overview: 1st Grade Science
First grade students experience science in a form that engages them in active construction of ideas and explanations, and enhances their opportunities to develop a scientific understanding of the world. Students are actively involved in exploring phenomena, both in and out of the classroom. They begin to realize that people can often learn about things just by observing, but sometimes they can learn more by doing something to things and noting what happens.
Weather, Properties, Healthy Me, and Life Cycles units form the core curriculum at the first grade level. Students learn that weather is the condition of the atmosphere and that temperature, precipitation, and cloud types are components of the weather that can be described. Students learn that weather conditions change over time and that weather observations can be organized, compared, and predicted. Students develop the ability to describe and compare by observing the various physical properties of materials. They work with balances and scientific equipment to compare and contrast objects by weight, buoyancy, and material composition. As students practice distinguishing and grouping objects, they also build two vital skills: describing and explaining and organizing their thoughts through writing. In the study of pushes and pulls, students describe and manipulate objects by pushing, pulling, and rolling. Students focus on position and movement to discover different kinds of motion and forces.
In their study “Healthy Me”, students look at themselves to develop an appreciation that nutrition and physical exercise are an important part of growing up healthy. Healthy living means making positive choices that enhance physical well-being. Students learn the value of eating nutritiously, choosing a variety of foods from all of the food groups as recommended by the FDA’s Food Guide and “My Plate”, and that staying physically active keeps their bodies strong.
And finally, our students investigate the patterns, systems and interdependence of life cycles through their study of animals and plants. In this unit, students continue to develop their skills of observation and description while interacting with the natural world. The life cycles of an insect, butterflies, and an amphibian, frogs, are observed, first hand. Students learn to recognize that animals are living things that grow, change, and need food, air, and water.
Students continue to develop organizational skills. Together, with classmates and teachers, students search and organize information and communicate outcomes of investigations in spoken, drawn, and written forms. The First Grade Science curriculum contains the scientific principles expected by Connecticut State Science Framework and lays a solid foundation for continuing study.