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1st Grade California Curriculum

In 1st grade, students become scientists and engineers as they explore different questions about the world around them and use their knowledge to solve real-world problems.
1st Grade STEM Curriculum California

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  • Unit 1
  • Unit 1: Patterns in the Sky

    In Unit 1 Patterns in the Sky, students investigate patterns in the changing positions of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky. 

    • Students create physical models to explore the causes of day and night and the moon cycle.
    • They use first-hand observations and sundial models to analyze how the position of the sun in the sky resulting and shadows can be predicted.

    Standard(s): 1-ESS1-1

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Patterns in the Sky Lesson Plan - 1-ESS1-1
  • Unit 2
  • Unit 2: Changing Seasons

    In Unit 2 Changing Seasons, students explore the relationship between Earth’s movement in the solar system and the changing seasons.

    • Students explore seasonal patterns in the changing amounts of daylight, temperature, and the environment.

    Standard(s): 1-ESS1-2

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Changing Seasons Lesson Plan - 1-ESS1-2
  • Unit 3
  • Unit 3: Seeds and Leaves

    In Unit 3 Seeds and Leaves, students explore living things, beginning with an investigation into the differences between living and nonliving things.

    • Students investigate what plants need to grow and develop the structures they need to survive.

    Standard(s): 1-LS1-1, 1-LS3-1

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Seeds and Leaves Lesson Plan - 1-LS1-1, 1-LS3-1
  • Unit 4
  • Unit 4: Animals on Earth

    In Unit 4 Animals on Earth, students analyze how animals have body parts that help them survive and grow.

    • Students investigate the structures of insects, by building insect models.
    • They observe how ants use their body parts to get what they need to survive.

    Standard(s): 1-LS1-1

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Animals on Earth Lesson Plan - 1-LS1-1
  • Unit 5
  • Unit 5: Mimicking Plants and Animals

    In Unit 5 Mimicking Plants and Animals, students explore how plants and animals have different body parts to help them get what they need to survive and grow.

    • Students apply what they know about plants and animal structures to design a prototype that can pick up litter.

    Standard(s): 1-LS1-1, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Mimicking Plants and Animals Lesson Plan - 1-LS1-1, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3
  • Unit 6
  • Unit 6: Animal Behaviors

    In Unit 6 Animal Behaviors, students investigate how animal parents help their offspring survive by analyzing protecting, feeding and comforting behaviors.

    • Students mimic the beaver’s behavior of building dams to design their own dams that solve the problem of protecting a town from a river’s flood water.

    Standard(s): 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Animal Behaviors Lesson Plan - 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3
  • Unit 7
  • Unit 7: Hearing and Sound

    In Unit 7 Hearing and Sound, students explore how some animals communicate using sound.

    • Students investigate the cause-and-effect relationship between vibrating materials and sound, using their senses of hearing, touch, and sight.
    • Students build kazoos using different materials for the membrane to see how the sound changes depending on the material used.

    Standard(s): 1-PS4-1

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Hearing and Sound Lesson Plan - 1-PS4-1
  • Unit 8
  • Unit 8: Sight and Light

    In Unit 8 Sight and Light, students continue to learn about senses, exploring the cause-and-effect relationship between sight and light.

    • Students investigate how objects can only be seen when they are illuminated.
    • They compare objects that produce their own light with objects that need an outside source of light to be illuminated.

    Standard(s): 1-PS4-2, 1-PS4-3

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Sight and Light Lesson Plan - 1-PS4-2, 1-PS4-3
  • Unit 9
  • Unit 9: Communicating Over Distances

    In Unit 9 Communicating Over Distances, students apply sound and light concepts from Unit 8 to design a communication device that uses either light or sound signals to send a message over a long distance.

    Standard(s): 1-PS4-4, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3

    California 1st Grade STEM Curriculum - Communicating Over Distances Lesson Plan - 1-PS4-4, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3

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