The start of first grade is ripe with opportunities for building long-lasting positive school behaviors and attitudes. Time spent building relationships and establishing social and academic expectations can pay dividends all year long.
Using a rich collection of diverse picture books to support this work lays the foundation for a classroom culture of appreciation and acceptance.
The Building Classroom Community Unit for First Grade consists of eight read alouds and provides a structured approach for this important work, yet the lessons are flexible enough for you to teach language and behaviors specific to your students’ population, preferences, and goals. Each lesson is intended for multiple days so that from the beginning students are exposed to close reading and the value of multiple readings. We believe the first eight read alouds, or roughly the first two months of school, are critical to setting the tone of your classroom community, read aloud procedures, and expectations for engagement.
During this unit you will:
- review and build on the expectations for listening and discussion participation introduced in kindergarten, with a new emphasis on staying focused on a topic and building on others’ responses
- encourage students to learn about one another through discussions of favorite individual and family pastimes and goals for the year ahead
- engage in rigorous yet developmentally appropriate discussions about crucial topics such as individual strengths and challenges, managing disagreements kindly, and persevering through mistakes and difficult tasks
Each lesson may be used as a stand alone, but we hope that using these books as a broad unit will help lay the foundation for a strong classroom community with strong learning expectations. We designed the unit to spiral. Additionally, each lesson and book can be adapted for other grades (and we hope you will do this!).
Book extension activities encourage exploration of these topics through writing, drama, and art, as well as lay the foundation for collaborative learning during your year.
Here’s to a meaningful year of reading!
Download the FREE Building Classroom Community Unit for First Grade here
- FULL Unit
- Lesson 1 with Allie’s Basketball Dream
- Lesson 2 with A Morning with Grandpa
- Lesson 3 with Elizabeti’s School
- Lesson 4 with King for a Day
- Lesson 5 with Featherless/Desplumado
- Lesson 6 with Soledad Sigh-Sighs/Soledad suspiros
- Lesson 7 with Butterflies for Kiri
- Lesson 8 with Xochitl and the Flowers/Xóchitl, la Niña de las Flores
Further reading on teaching literacy in FIRST GRADE
- What Does Close Reading Look Like In First Grade?
- Integrating Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening In Grades K-1
- How To Compare And Contrast With The Common Core In First Grade
- The Right Read Aloud for the Classroom Community You Want This Year
- How to Read with Your Rising Kinders and First Graders
- Back to School Reading List PREK–2
Guided Reading Collections from Bebop Books
- Guided Reading Level C
- Guided Reading Level D
- Guided Reading Level E
- Guided Reading Level F
- Guided Reading Level G
- Guided Reading Level H
- Guided Reading Level I
- Guided Reading Level J
Stay tuned for second grade!