First grade reading and writing curricula looks different in different states, countries, and classrooms. However, there are some basic expectations and ideas that can be used to support learning.
Building reading skills is an essential part of a first grader’s learning process and academic success down the road. Even when students are not specifically learning “reading,” they are constantly using this skill to learn other subjects—which is why it is crucial for your child’s success in all subjects. As first graders develop their reading comprehension, they will talk more about certain topics and gain a deeper understanding of what they read.
14 Skills for First Grade Reading
- Knows the difference between fiction and non-fiction.
- Compares different characters, events, or texts.
- Discusses books with an understanding of plot, characters, and important ideas.
- Identifies sentence features (i.e. punctuation, capitalization).
- Recognizes the spelling and sound of two letters that represent one sound, such as th, ch, wh (these are also known as digraphs).
- Can read sight words in isolation and in text.
- Reads regularly spelled one-syllable words.
- Understands how an “e” at the end of a word changes a vowel within the word.
- Talks about and answers questions about the text they read.
- Reads texts aloud at an appropriate speed and with expression. This is called fluency.
- Breaks up longer words into syllables to read them.
- Grade-level words with “irregular” spellings are included in their reading vocabulary.
- Understands the purpose of and uses common features in a book, such as headings, tables of contents, and glossaries.
- Begins to read grade-appropriate poetry and identifies words and phrases that relate to emotions and the senses.
First Grade Reading Activities
Poetry Recitals: Read small and simple poems together and talk about the feelings they convey. Allow, your first grader to try writing their own poems about people, places, or things. Allow their creativity to shine.
Put on a Show: Encouraging your child to read a favorite story or poem using different voices for characters is both beneficial and fun. Do not be surprised that you might have some “actors in your classroom.”
Create A Personal Dictionary: Keep track of your child’s new words in their own notebook. They can write the word, add an illustration and the meaning. They can also add a sentence using the word. Each of these additions can be added to the dictionary at different times.
Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.