Thematic Study: Community
The First Grade curriculum is constructed to meet the wide range of needs, knowledge and experiences of first grade learners. Students work to foster skills and values which will serve them their entire lives: a love for learning, an openness to new experiences, a sense of confidence and independence, and a respect for others. A primary goal in First Grade is to establish a community of learners in which children learn from one another as well as from their teachers. Teachers aim to help children achieve a greater sense and appreciation of who they are as individuals and as members within a community. Through this exploration of themselves, children become more aware of shared commonalities and unique differences between members of the classroom group.
The concept of community is an integral component of early childhood education. First grade classes focus on the manner in which humans relate to and rely on each other, animals and nature.
In first grade, students study the concept of community, with particular emphasis on the SHS community, neighboring towns and community institutions. Guiding questions the class explores together include:
- What is a community?
- How are people the same in a community? How are they different?
- What are the basic needs of people? How do people in a community get their needs met?
- How do people that live in a community depend on each other? What jobs do people have in a community?
- How do we create safe and peaceful communities?
The use of various art mediums, authentic artifacts, literature, field trips, and guest speakers support children’s exploration of the concept of community.