Grade 1


The first grade children are told that the most important thing we learn in our school is how much our God loves us.  We learn of that great love with a purposeful study of God’s word using the curriculum created by Concordia Publishing House.  Stories are read directly from the Bible, from Bible story books, and learned in songs.  We integrate the love of God into every area of the curriculum as we discuss being part of God’s family in Social Studies, wonder at God’s laws of nature in Science, marvel at God’s order in the world in Math, and appreciate God’s creation of beauty in Art.  Our memory work program includes memorizing Bible verses, the Ten Commandments, songs, and prayers, including several in Spanish.

Chapel is held weekly on Wednesday mornings and is led by various leaders including the pastors, the principal, and the teachers of St. John.  Classes from grades 2-8 lead a service each year, and professors from Concordia University and missionaries from the field also provide chapel messages.  Chapel buddies from grades 6-8 accompany K-2 students to assist them in worship activities.  Offerings are collected to benefit specified ministries with an emphasis on missions.


Literacy/Language Arts

Our Language Arts curriculum consists of many components.  These include phonics, reading, writing, handwriting, spelling, listening, and speaking.  A combination of a strong phonics base, direct teaching of age appropriate sight words, and use of literature written by outstanding authors provides students with a firm foundation to become readers.  Handwriting and Spelling practice incorporate words that we are using in Religion and the stories we read.  Students are taught how to listen and how to use good oral language.  Our writing integrates the themes, concepts and units we are studying in the classroom, and encompasses writing fiction, poetry, personal narrative, and simple research projects.



In our Math curriculum we point out the importance of knowing how to use numbers in our daily living. Activities include counting, sorting, measuring, comparing, making patterns, adding and subtracting single digit numbers, adding and subtracting two digit numbers, working with money, and reading calendars and telling time.  Math games, puzzles, and manipulatives help teach concepts in a concrete way, with written activities allowing students the opportunity to show knowledge in more abstract terms.


Social Studies

In Social Studies we learn that God has placed us in an ever-changing world.  We learn how God wants us to behave socially with those near us, as well as learning about cultures in places far away from us.  Concepts include American history, early explorers, land formations, jobs, goods and services, transportation, and holidays and traditions of our nation compared to those of foreign nations.



In Science we investigate God’s laws of nature, and His creation and how we help take care of it.  First grade units of study include magnets, plants, balance and motion, solids and liquids, and God’s universe. Students are invited to touch materials in an investigation box.  The teacher allows time for informal learning and then directs the activity by asking questions, prompting experimentation and using vocabulary the students are expected to learn.



The first grade art curriculum gives focus to God’s creation of beauty and our human desire to follow that example and develop our own creative talents. Students observe the work of famous artists and learn to appreciate different styles and techniques.  Projects work with the elements of line, shape, color, and texture.  Media include papers, pencils, crayons, markers, water colors, tempera paints, and clay. Techniques  include drawing, rubbing, paper folding, paper tearing, cutting, painting,  clay molding, and printing.



Technology is integrated into the first grade classroom with an educational purpose always in mind. Whether it is in the hands of the teacher or the students, it’s purpose is to enrich the learning process. Technology is used to develop digital literacy skills, to reinforce concepts, to extend learning, and to differentiate instruction.



Our Health curriculum covers five main themes incorporated into other curriculum areas.  Along with our religion unit on God’s creation, we learn about how to take care of our body.  In our social studies unit on jobs, we include firemen and fire safety.  As part of our celebration of Thanksgiving during our American history unit we discuss the food groups and healthy eating habits.  Coinciding with Valentine’s Day activities we discuss the heart as an organ, and add the need to take special care of other organs, such as the brain and the lungs.  This month is also Dental Health Month and we work this in with all the sugar treats we tend to eat, especially at holidays.



Students at Saint John Lutheran School receive classroom music instruction from kindergarten through seventh grade. The curriculum follows the national standards published by the National Association for Music Education, which include creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music. To these standards, the Saint John music curriculum adds this “Lutheran Addendum”:

  • Recognizing voices and music are gifts from God.
  • Singing from memory a varied repertoire of sacred songs.
  • Joining in congregational singing.


Physical Education

Our Physical Education program focuses on keeping children healthy by learning to be active in their lives. God has given us one body and it is up to us to take care of it.  The goal of the program is to help the students enjoy being physically active and understand the basics of different sports so that they may enjoy activity throughout their lives.  Each grade also starts the class out with running laps, which are assigned according to the grade level.  We are fortunate to have physical education every day, so that we can accomplish a lot in a school year.

At this age, we use a lot of individual activities such as using beanbags, mats, scoops, jump ropes (long and short), hula hoops, Lummi sticks, ropes, and movement (skipping, hoping, jumping, climbing, and running properly). We also start working with teamwork with the beginning levels of games: volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball, kickball, badminton, cage ball, and parachutes.  Scooters are always a favorite.  Everyday sports are also started at this level with the basics of bowling, four square, horseshoes, beanbag toss, and others.

On Fridays, the students in grades K-5 get to choose a game to play.  This is known as our “Free Choice Friday”, which is a great day to be very active and work on our cardio for the week.  What better way to take care of our bodies than to have fun with friends?