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First Grade ELA Standards Aligned Teaching Resources

For First Grade students, the standards for English Language Arts (ELA) are designed to help them further develop their skills across four domains:

  1. Reading Foundational Skills
  2. Language
  3. Reading Literature
  4. Reading Informational Text

With the help and support of eSpark Learning’s standards-aligned resources, First Grade students will continue to develop knowledge established in the Pre-K and Kindergarten curriculums. First, they’ll further expand their reading comprehension through sentence and word structure, identifying different sounds and syllables. First-graders will also learn about sounding and spelling consonant digraphs, such as “sh” and “ch.”

In the second standard, students will develop their language skills, unearthing the meaning of words using context clues, prefixes and suffixes, and synonyms. As they did in the Kindergarten curriculums, students will also identify real-life connections between words and their use and continue sorting words into categories.

Next, first-graders will dive into the world of literature to explore and dissect different stories. They’ll start to identify the main aspects of a text — like characters, plots, settings, and narrators — and distinguish between fiction and non-fiction. Students will also continue to listen to and ask questions about stories, using their knowledge to compare and contrast characters, experiences, and central messages and themes.

In the final standard, students will continue to grow their proficiency in reading informational text. Similar to the Reading Literature domain, students will explore informational texts to identify main topics, explain key details, and make connections between people, places, and events. First-graders will also use images to better understand and explain different texts and uncover the meaning of unfamiliar words. 

With the help of eSpark Learning in the classroom, students can learn up to 1.5 times faster than their peers. Through standards-aligned activities, videos, games, and assessments, first-graders will be more engaged, and teachers will feel confident knowing their curriculum is backed by research-based materials that help everyone achieve the standards set forth by the Common Core.

See First Grade Standards Teaching Resources by Domain

In first grade, students will navigate 35 ELA standards across four domains. eSpark Learning provides interactive resources for every single standard, which help enhance learning in the classroom and out. Our curriculum also supports teachers, providing individualized data to help monitor students’ progress and success in each activity. This information will better equip teachers, helping them provide individualized learning where necessary — ensuring everyone is on the right path to meet their goals by the end of the year. Here’s what students and teachers can expect within the First Grade ELA standards:

Reading Foundational Skills

  • Recognize distinguishing features of sentences
  • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds
  • Learn consonant digraphs like ‘sh,’ ‘ch,’ ‘wh,’ ‘th,’ and ‘ck’
  • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words
  • Identify syllables
  • Recognize and read irregularly spelled words


  • Use context clues to understand the meaning of words and phrases
  • Use prefixes and suffixes to identify meanings of words
  • Sort words into categories
  • Identify real-life connections between words and their use
  • Differentiate meanings of verbs with similar actions

Reading Literature

  • Ask and answer questions about ket details in stories
  • Retell stories and demonstrate the understanding of them
  • Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story
  • Identify feeling words in stories
  • Understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction
  • Identify narrators in a story
  • Use images and illustrations to describe elements of a story
  • Compare and contrast different characters and their experiences

Reading Informational Text

  • Find the main idea in different texts
  • Establish connections between people, places, and ideas in texts
  • Ask and answer questions to find the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases
  • Identify the author’s purpose in different texts
  • Compare and contrast two texts of the same topic

Ready to get started teaching the standards with eSpark?