First Grade Units of Inquiry

First grade classes participate in six units of inquiry throughout the year. Click on each unit below to learn more.

Unit 1 - Who we are

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Who we are: an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Central Idea

Our actions influence communities

Lines of Inquiry

  • Characteristics of a citizen
  • Characteristics of living things
  • Characteristics of a student

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Caring
  • Principled

Parent Support

Ask your student

  • What can a citizen do?
  • Why is it important to be a good citizen at home and in your school community?
  • How do you make a positive difference in your classroom?
  • How do you show others that you are caring?
  • Why is it important to make good choices at home and in school?
  • How can you change a poor action to a good action?

Single Subject Connections

For PE integration, first graders will explore throwing and catching responsibilities while practicing cooperative behaviors. Students will focus on being principled and taking responsibility for our individual and team actions.

Unit 2 - Where we are in place and time

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Where we are in place and time: an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Central Idea

Exploring helps us learn

Lines of Inquiry

  • American symbols
  • Virginia History
  • Influential Virginians

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Knowledgeable
  • Open-Minded
  • Communicator

Parent Support

We are discussing the concept of change. Our weather is changing outside, ask your child what changes they see in the environment.

Single Subject Connections

Unit 3 - How the world works

Transdisciplinary Theme 

How the world works: an inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Central Idea

Interactions within our world can cause change.

Lines of Inquiry

  • Interactions
  • Causation and Form
  • Change

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Inquirer
  • Communicator
  • Principled

Parent Support

We are discussing the concept of interactions. While cooking meals, ask your child to observe what happens when different foods or liquids combine.

Single Subject Connections

Steam- First graders will explore different types of movements through the use of various materials. Students will learn how to use Ozobots by creating their own coded map. Students will create and give directions to others to test the accuracy of their map. During the unit, first graders will communicate their understanding by observing, listening, and recording the interactions and their changes in given learning experiences.

Music- First graders will make observations about how different interactions with an instrument can change the sound produced. They will also make observations about how different interactions while dancing can impact the success of the dance. Throughout the unit, the students will practice being principled in how they use classroom instruments and move safely while dancing.

PE- While playing basketball in PE, first graders will practice their form for dribbling, passing, and shooting. When practicing these skills, the students will examine the various interactions and changes.

Unit 4 - How we express ourselves

Transdisciplinary Theme 

How we express ourselves: an inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity, our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Central Idea

Observations help us to express ourselves.

Lines of Inquiry

  • Contributions of influential Americans
  • Using observations to express ideas
  • Using poetry to express ideas

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Reflective
  • Communicator
  • Risk-taker

Parent Support

  • Students should interview someone at home questions like -

What makes you happy? What do you like to do? Who is someone you love? What is your favorite color? What is your favorite animal?

  • Have students reflect on which learner profile they practiced at school (balanced, caring, thinker, inquirer, open-minded, reflective, principled, knowledgeable, risk-taker, communicator)

Single Subject Connections

In Art, the first graders will select an animal to express their personality. The students will learn about the color wheel and how colors can express feelings. The students will create a collage using various colors to express themselves on their animals.  

Unit 5 - How we organize ourselves

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections

Unit 6 - Sharing the planet

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections