The PYP recognizes that language plays a key role in developing children’s social and thinking skills across all curriculum areas. The children learn language, learn about language and learn through language. Every day, children are engaged in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a meaningful context and for an authentic audience.

Throughout the Elementary School, teachers use FIRST STEPS language resources to support the planning, teaching and assessing of language. The language curriculum is organized under the following headings:

  • Reading and Writing
  • Listening and Speaking
  • Viewing and presenting

Children will learn to read through daily, meaningful engagements with texts. Through daily messages,  big books and guided reading children learn and are explicitly taught about the relationships between letter symbols and the sounds they represent; they learn about print conventions such as punctuation and font choice; they begin to build a bank of sight words that they can read; they develop a set of strategies they can use to help them read texts. As they listen to books read aloud to them, they become familiar with some of the techniques that writers use to make their writing more effective. Through author studies, children begin to develop a bank of authors they know and like, and learn to compare author and illustrator styles. The Grade One  classroom libraries contain books from a wide range of genre, organized into fiction and non-fiction sections.

In Grade One, the children will have opportunities to write a wide range of texts, including writing to socialize which includes personal greeting cards and thank you notes, lists, rotas, schedules, requests, invitations, reflections, labels and signs, for a meaningful purpose and an authentic audience. Over the course of the year, the children will develop their ability to create narrative fiction,  personal recount text forms. Children will be listening to and analyzing personal recounts and narratives and applying these techniques to their written texts. By reading and analyzing narratives and personal recounts, children will learn to add details and choose words that will help their reader to get a clearer picture.

Children learn to spell as they read and write. We look at how letters can be put together to represent different sounds. Throughout the year, children work at their own levels, conducting group and personal inquiries into how spelling works.


The children have daily opportunities to develop their mathematical understanding through hands-on, practical engagements. Throughout the year, the children will conduct personal and group inquiries into data handling; measurement; shape and space; pattern and function; numeracy. The class engages in whole class and small group sessions to develop mathematical skills.


Units of Inquiry

The students engage in six Units of Inquiry throughout the year. These units are designed to enable students to construct knowledge and understanding of the world around them through meaningful and purposeful engagements relating to the students’ own first hand experiences.

Throughout the inquiries, students reflect on their learning, continually constructing and modifying theories and making connections between their learning within the school environment and their experiences in the wider world.

Unit #1- Where We Are in Time and Place

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 relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Central Idea  Family history provides insight into personal identities.

Key Concepts: form, perspective, reflection

Related Concepts: chronology, family, history, identity

Lines of Inquiry

-My family history
-Events, artifacts and traditions important to my family
-How artifacts and traditions are passed through generations

Unit #2- Who We Are

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  A healthy lifestyle changes what people’s body systems can do.

Key Concepts: form, connection

Related Concepts: survival, living, non-living, energy, physical health, mental health, systems (digestive, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, muscular, skeletal), biology, rest, interdependence, body control

Lines of Inquiry

-Types of body systems
-How the body systems are interdependent
-The relationship between physical and mental health

Unit #3- How we organize ourselves

How we organize ourselves, An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Central Idea People create systems to connect communities.

Key Concepts: function, connection

Related Concepts: systems, relationships, network, interdependence, education communications

Lines of Inquiry

  • Factors that affect the kinds of systems that can be developed
  • How communities connect through different services
  • Relationships between services and the surroundings

Unit #4- Sharing the Planet

SHARING THE PLANET:  An inquiry into the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other (of) people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Central Idea  People have an impact on the environment.

Key Concepts: change, causation, responsibility

Related Concepts: transformation, conservation, impact, initiative

Lines of Inquiry

-Natural environments
-How the local environment has changed
-Human action that benefits or harms the local environment

Unit #5-How the World Works

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  All living things go through a process of change.

Key Concepts: change, connection

Related Concepts: cycles, transformation

Lines of Inquiry

-Life cycles
-How living things change over time
-Developmental stages of various living things

Unit #6-How We Express Ourselves

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 Writers can use their imagination to entertain others and to explore feelings.

Key Concepts: form, connection, perspective

Related Concepts: expression, creativity, written language: reading, writing

Lines of Inquiry

-Exploring ways of sharing imagination with others
-The effect that writing has on an audience
-How imagination helps to solve problems


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *