Planning and implementing literacy activities for each day of the month takes a lot of work. Teachers always look for ways to take First Grade ELA planning off their plates. Monthly literacy centers, worksheets, and mini-readers will save the day! These printable resources will free up your time so you can focus on the kids.
Best Practices for Teaching First Grade ELA Standards
First grade ELA standards include covering phonics, phonemic awareness, grammar, sentence writing, reading fluency, and comprehension. These are just some of the standards touched on!
There’s a lot to cover, and it can get overwhelming. Luckily for you, these monthly literacy activities will help!
Table of contents
- Best Practices for Teaching First Grade ELA Standards
- First-Grade Standards Kids Need to Know
- When to Teach First Grade ELA Standards
- How to Teach First Grade ELA Skills
- Activities to Teach 1st Grade ELA Standards
- Monthly Literacy Centers, Worksheets, & Readers
- More First Grade ELA Ideas & Activities
Picture this: Each reporting period, you have a lengthy list of standards to cover before report cards go home. You’re stressing over how you will teach everything to the kids in time.
Yup! Been there, done that!
The monthly literacy centers and worksheets I will introduce in this post have everything you need to cover all of the standards. Everything is already mapped out for you, so you just print and use it in your centers, as morning work, in small groups, or as you see fit.
Picture this: You have already created your lesson plans and taught the prescribed ELA material, but some students aren’t grasping the concepts. You need something to help reinforce each skill, but they’re tired of the same materials.
Try something new!
These monthly literacy activities have differentiated worksheets and printables to make things exciting and student-centered. The consistency of the resources will help students complete their work independently, but the scaffolded topics will allow them to be challenged each month as they practice and build new skills in fun ways.
First-Grade Standards Kids Need to Know
Around the world, first grade literacy standards are very similar. While they might differ slightly, the basic premise is pretty much the same.
Here is a brief list of first grade literacy standards you must most likely cover in the classroom!
General ELA Skills
- Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
- Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
- Describe characters, settings, and major story events using key details.
- Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
- Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
Reading: Foundational Skills
- Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).
- Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
- Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
- Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
- Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
- Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
- Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
- Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
- Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
- Write opinion pieces that introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
- Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
- Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
- Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
- Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
- Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from various strategies.
- Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
- Define words by category and by one or more key attributes (e.g., a duck is a bird that swims; a tiger is a large cat with stripes).
- Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy).
- Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or acting out the meanings.
Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty more standards that these cross over with and more that build from these foundational skills.
When to Teach First Grade ELA Standards
Literacy standards should be taught during all literacy blocks. Whether you are teaching a whole group lesson or working on a specific skill with a small group of children, you should focus on standards covered in the grade.
One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to teach standards is to incorporate them into activities. These activities can be completed independently, as a small group, and even in a whole group setting.
How to Teach First Grade ELA Skills
Begin by teaching a skill in a whole group setting over the course of a week or more. Then, reinforce the skill by working one-on-one with students at your teacher’s table or in small groups. Use mini readers, worksheets, short passages, and fun games to encourage them as they dive into the skill.
Next, add the skill into activities they can complete independently or with a partner. These can be literacy center worksheets, games, morning work, exit tickets, or early finisher activities. The key to teaching ELA skills is offering them to students in various ways and differentiating them based on necessity and skill level.
Activities to Teach 1st Grade ELA Standards
Do you want activities that are meaningful, standards-based, and planned for you each month? With this monthly bundle of First Grade Literacy Activities, you can simply print and use it in the classroom. No extra planning is needed!
This is what you will find in each month.
6 Types of 1st Grade Literacy Centers
Each of the literacy centers offered has 3 versions, so you can use them plenty throughout the month. Each center comes with a recording sheet to keep students accountable and on track.
Sorting Activity – Students sort images and words into appropriate categories depending on the skill for that month. Ideal to complete as a class, in small groups, or with a partner.
Find the Pair – Using cards with pictures, students will sort into pairs or another way depending on the language skill being studied that month. After all pairs are made, they record their answers.
Puzzles – Students will piece together three-piece puzzles depending on the skill being studied that month. Once all puzzles are completed, they can fill in the recording form with the words.
Clip Cards – Using clips, students find all of the images that match the sound type being studied in the center of the card. Once they are done clipping the cards, they can use one of the given forms to record their answers.
Build the Sight Words – Students will love this hands-on building center where they trace, write, and build sight words. Building materials can include tiles, magnets, playdough, or any other classroom materials!
Task Cards – Task cards make practicing literacy skills a breeze. Kids will work through the cards and fill out their answers on the recording sheet.
6 Types of First Grade ELA Worksheets
Each worksheet has 3 differentiated versions, so you can use them with different groups of students throughout the month.
Color by Code – Kids will enjoy coloring these fun, mystery pictures that are revealed as they color. They will look at the picture and color each space to correspond to the key and skill being practiced.
Find & Color – Use these worksheets to practice identifying and finding sounds. Students will love looking through a page of fun pictures to find the ones with a specific sound!
Sentence Work – These worksheets provide two ways for kids to practice sentence structure: sentence building and sentence practice. Each month, the focus changes and builds in difficulty.
Crack the Code – Kids will love using their Code Chart to crack the code for the mystery words. The recording sheet is provided at three levels to support all students!
Spin & Color – Students spin a spinner and find an image that matches. Great for literacy centers, word work, or small groups. Skills change each month, and multiple versions make differentiation a breeze!
Around the Room Scoot – Get students out of their chairs and moving around the room as they search for picture cards and practice spelling words. Differentiated recording sheets are provided!
Decodable Reader – Print the decodable readers for students to work on fluency independently or in small groups. You can also have students read them in whole group lessons.
There is one decodable reader each month offered in 3 leveled versions for differentiation. There is a black-and-white version, a color version, and a version with no illustrations, so students can add their own illustrations to show meaning.
Decodable Passages – The decodable readers also come as short passages with two versions for differentiated reading comprehension practice.
Monthly Literacy Centers, Worksheets, & Readers
Make planning a breeze with this innovative, easy-to-use Literacy Centers & Worksheets Bundle by Proud to be Primary that is Science of Reading aligned! You will have everything you need to teach students year-round during literacy centers, small groups, morning work, and more. There’s something for every day that keeps kids occupied and learning!
This bundle is packed with resources that teach and review essential literacy skills. By mastering these skills, students will develop the confidence to decode words, manipulate sounds, write sentences, and read stories. This practice will help your students become stronger, more well-rounded readers.
FREE Literacy Worksheets to Try
Try 6 of the Literacy Worksheets mentioned above in your classroom with this FREEBIE!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
More First Grade ELA Ideas & Activities
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