Grade 1 Science and Social Studies

Rod and Staff Publishers has not prepared first grade curriculum in the subjects of science and social studies, because reading, writing, and arithmetic are given primary emphasis at this level.

Those who want to include science and social studies in grade 1 may be interested in the following suggestions (sourced from the booklet Sampling Science and Social Studies: Grade 1). This page lists a number of storybooks and coloring books that can be used for teaching these concepts at a first-grade level. The recommended books are grouped according to the concept being studied, and may be listed again in the context of other concepts. The suggested activity ideas provide some general guidance for including these concepts in your studies.

Seasons of the Year

Activity

Make a bulletin board or wall display that has four columns. Use large letters for the headings Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. In each column place pictures of the months in that season. Practice saying the months of the year in rotation, pointing to correct columns as you go. (For the months that change seasons, point to the season which begins in that month.)

Animal Variety

Animal Classification

Activity

Introduce some basic animal classes. These books touch on mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks, and arachnids. You may choose to handle just a few of the larger, more familiar categories. List those headings on the chalkboard or a poster, and list animal names in the proper category as you discuss them. Categorize the animals for the children rather than trying to explain the classes by definition. This exposure will be a foundation for understanding the classification in later studies. Do not limit all animals to your few categories. When you have one that does not fit, tell the children that it is an animal from a smaller group that you do not have listed.

Bird Study

Activity

Mount a bird feeder where it can be seen from the window. Develop a list of birds that the children can identify, showing a picture and the name of each one.

Do you know the location of any bird nests? Take the children on a walk to see them and look for more.

Animal Behavior

Activity

Prepare a bulletin board titled "God Made the Animals." Divide it into two sections with the headings "Animals In Our Area" and "Animals From Other Places," or make three sections with headings "Farm Animals," "Pets," and "Wild Animals." Let the children supply pictures for the display, and post each one with its name. Have tracing paper available for sources not suitable for cutting out pictures.

Continuation of Animal Species

Activity

Make two large, egg-shaped posters. Let the children fill one with pictures of different ways to serve eggs, or foods that contain eggs. Use the other to picture the stages in the chicken's life cycle. Show a hen, eggs in a nest, a setting hen, baby chicks, and half-grown chicks.

Metamorphosis

Activity

Study the four stages of metamorphosis. Many insects have this type of life cycle. Prepare a poster showing the four stages of an insect of your choosing.

If possible, observe some real specimens. The caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly change is a marvelous demonstration for the classroom.

Animal Care

Continuation of Plant Species

Activity

Observe sprouting seeds. Fold and roll a paper towel to make a tube that fits against the inside of a clear glass. Push an assortment of dried beans, grains, or garden seeds down between the paper towel and glass. Fill the glass half full of water; the paper towel will act as a wick to keep the seeds damp. Dried beans will show swelling within a few hours. Many varieties will sprout in a day or two.

Make a booklet as a class project. Collect various small or flat seeds. Tape each one to a sheet of paper. On the sheet also draw or paste a picture of the plant and the fruit that the seed produces, and write its name. Make a cover that says "God Makes Seeds that Grow," and staple the sheets together.

Gardening

Plant Varieties

Activity

Serve some strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Can the children list some other kinds of berries?

Make a poster of different kinds of berries showing close-up pictures of the plants and leaves. Prepare a matching exercise in pictures for matching the correct berry to the correct plant.

Activity

Collect leaves from local trees. Use a different sheet of paper to trace and color each variety. Write the kind of tree on the paper. Add notes from observations about its growth, blossoms, fruit, or seeds, and how it changes throughout the year. Include details of acquaintance such as "The trees at the end of the driveway are red maples."

Display the pages on the wall or staple them into a book.

Natural Resources

Activity

Make a bulletin board display picturing a large tree with all its parts. Include roots, and show a partially cut-away trunk for lumber. Fasten bits of real tree parts on the board. Connect each to the appropriate part of the picture with a string, and label it: root, lumber, bark, twig, leaf, fruit.

Human Body

Activity

Observe the effect of lubrication. Place two pie pans on a table or countertop. Slide them and observe the resistance and grating sound. Put a small puddle of cooking oil under one pan, and compare the result as you slide the two pans again. Perhaps there is a squeaking door or other practical opportunity on hand to demonstrate the effect of lubrication.

Observe body joints. Name a list of joints as you flex them: knuckle, wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, toe, ankle, knee, thigh, waist. Moving parts develop wear as they rub against each other. Emphasize the blessing of the God-provided maintenance of the moving parts of our body joints.

Activity

Rub a block of wood with sandpaper. Make pencil marks on it; sand them off. The sandpaper is grinding away the surface of the wood. Sandpaper would wear away your skin too if it were rubbed on you too much.

Activity

List the things Kathy usually did in the morning: rise promptly, pray, dress quickly, wash her face and hands. Encourage the children to develop these good habits.

List all the indoor activities Kathy could do when she was able to be up again. Discuss the reason for Kathy's grouchy feeling. Consider Mother's answer to the situation and the bird's example of cheer instead of frustration. Our feelings need not be dictated by undesirable situations; there is so much good we can concentrate on!

List all the things Kathy thought of to be thankful for. Begin a long poster to list the blessings the children think of. Continue it day by day as the children think of additional things. Demonstrate a cheerful spirit consistently, and encourage them to do the same.

Five Senses

Activity

Provide sheets for the children with a large picture of an eye at the top. Have them fill the page with drawings or cutout pictures of things they can see. Do a sheet with the picture of an ear at the top, a nose, a mouth (with tongue showing), and a hand. Prepare a cover page with the title "Five Gates for Learning."

Family Life

Activity

Have each student make a booklet titled "My Family." Using a page for each family member, draw a picture of the person, write the name, and write some things that person does that help to make the family happy.

Activity

Talk about children's responsibilities at home. Let children tell about when their mothers were sick and what they did to help. Tell them to do something for Mother today. Perhaps they can write little "I love you" notes.

Work Ethics

Safety

Farm Life

Food Sources

See also Gardening.

Activity

Classify food into groups according to sources. "Food We Can Grow," "Food From Animals," "Food We Can Make," and "Food That Comes From Far Away" could be headings for a bulletin board or sections of a scrapbook.

Social Relations

Activity

How wealthy we are! That realization can be wakened by simply naming the many items pictured around the borders of the pages of text. We thank God for our favorable circumstances.

Encourage recognition of kind deeds in everyday life. Get the children to use "thank you" at appropriate times during the school day. Let the children portray these "thank you" occasions in drawings.

Develop a bulletin board with the children's drawings and cutouts of things to be thankful for. Use "Thank You, God" as a prominent title. In smaller lettering, add scattered quotes such as "Thank you, Father"; "Thank you, Mother"; "Thank you, brother"... sister, friend, teacher.

Activity

Explain James 1:27 to the class. People who truly serve God show it in the way they treat other people. If possible, take your students to sing for a widow. Take along some flowers or some other token of friendship.

Do you know some fatherless children? Plan something kind and encouraging for them.

Other People in Society

Foreign Culture

Activity

Location India on the globe. Locate your own area. Show a map that can be identified as your area on the globe, and pinpoint your location on it. Develop the concept of a map with a larger-scale map that shows your area in detail. Pinpoint familiar roads and buildings if possible.

Activity

For each page, discuss how life for Rosita and Mateo is the same as yours or different from yours.

List of Recommended Books

The phrases following the book titles in parenthesis are the concepts covered which are mentioned in the list above.

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