First graders have been studying towns, focusing on what a town needs and wants. They also discussed how towns are planned, with residential and commercial areas. Students partnered up to create a plan, then an actual town map. Now, social studies marries word study. The city planners are using everything they know about long and short vowels and vowel teams to label all parts of their creations. Soon, their masterpieces will grace the bulletin boards outside the first grade classrooms. Be prepared to be impressed!
This week, first grade students were introduced to the grade level core work, "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton. This classic book is as relevant today as it was when originally published in 1942. The story is a timeline of events demonstrating the relationship between nature and humankind. The main character, the little house, is presented in the beginning of the story as feeling happy and curious while living in the countryside. She watches her environment change around her and experiences sadness while witnessing her surroundings urbanize. The story invites the reader to consider how progress affects us including, what really makes us happy? What does a community want and need? These are questions that first graders will be grappling with throughout the spring.