Grade 1


Observing Weather & Seasonal Changes (Year long unit)

Observing Weather Over Time taps into the first graders’ strong curiosity as they begin to understand the relationship between weather and seasons. By collecting information to examine questions like “Why do seasons change?” and “How many rainy days are there in winter as compared to spring?” Students build knowledge of how the seasons and weather change over a year.

Key activities include:

• Examining cloud formations on different days, paying close attention to cloud color and connection to weather.

• Graphing weather including air temperature and wind strength (no wind, gentle wind, strong wind)

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

• Collect weather data and draw conclusions.

• Use vocabulary associated with the properties of air and instruments used by meteorologists.

Life Cycles

This unit builds on a first grader’s fascination with living creatures and the desire to know “why”. Students will observe, compare and contrast different life cycles such as: a praying mantis going through metamorphosis, the germination of lima beans, and painted lady butterflies laying eggs. The final unit explores the idea that items we use daily also have a life cycle.

Key activities include:

• Dissecting seeds

• Germinating seeds

• Observing and sketching the behavior and characteristics of live


By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

• Observe and sketch a living organism

• Formulate questions based on observations, science notebook entries, and shared discussions

• Articulate what living things need to complete a life cycle (air, water,      nutrients and more).

Air & Weather Scope and Sequence details

What is air? What makes the wind blow? First graders learn about the air around them through direct experimentation. Students will work to solve problems by tracking information, testing and confirming their ideas.

Key activities include:

• Exploring air by trapping it in a Ziploc bag and squeezing it, blowing it up with a straw, putting books on top of it and discovering how many books can be lifted by air.

• Working as a team to submerge a paper towel in a vial in water in a way that will prevent the paper towel from getting wet.

• Using syringes to push air from one tube to another.

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

• Demonstrate understanding that air has pressure, strength and can squeeze into smaller spaces.

• Use vocabulary associated with properties of air and instruments used by meteorologists.

• Use meteorological instruments (anemometer, thermometer, rain gauge).

• Demonstrate appropriate use of weather instruments.

• Show basic understanding of air pressure, air strength and air’s ability to squeeze into small spaces.

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