Minnehaha Academy

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Grade 1

First graders don’t have time to nap anymore!

They study the continent of Europe and its culture, practice math enrichment, study inquiry-based science units (including solids and liquids; insects and plants; pebbles, sand and silt) and write a snow crystal research paper. Here is a closer look at the curriculum:



Using the Houghton-Mifflin Journeys literacy program, in conjunction with Guided Reading, students develop comprehension skills, accuracy, fluency, critical evaluation, and the application of ideas. Each day offers either independent, partner, or group opportunities to develop students’ reading skills. Our Literacy Block has strands covering grammar, punctuation, word usage, and expanding vocabulary as well as sentence construction. Spelling skills, concepts, and patterns are taught emphasizing high frequency words, proofreading, dictionary skills, and word mastery.



First Grade emphasizes the foundational topics of number sense and mental math. Students master number bonds, a pictorial way to represent relationships between numbers. Students then use number bonds to master strategies for computing mentally sums and differences of numbers to 100. Students are taught place value using manipulatives and pictorial representations. Students are also introduced to measurement, geometry, fractions, money, and data analysis. Students are expected to express mathematical ideas using manipulatives, pictures, or equations, and make connections between mathematical ideas and concepts.



Conveying the love and goodness of God is the primary goal of the Christian Schools International Bible curriculum. Through stories of God’s working in the lives of Old and New Testament people, students learn to recognize God’s work and His plan in their own lives. Learning activities include flannel graphs, memory work, role-playing, storytelling, and discussion. All Lower School students and teachers meet together weekly for a chapel service.


Science and Social Studies
(Thematic Studies)

Our integrated thematic studies units support project based, hands-on learning that incorporates various skills in different themes throughout the year. The Science Thematic Studies program in first grade is committed to developing a sense of wonder, excitement, and an awareness of the environment. The students are taught the scientific process as they observe, classify and order, measure, predict, experiment, and infer. The Science units we cover are: Insects, Magnets, and Rocks and Minerals.