Grade 1 Word Study Curriculum

Family-facing version of the grade 1 word study curriculum

Quarterly Overview of Grade 1 Word Study

The objectives and outcomes for each unit are common across FCPS and based on the Virginia Standards of Learning. The pacing by quarter and by week provides an example of how the curriculum can be organized throughout the year. Teacher teams may adjust the pacing or order of units to best meet the needs of students.

Units and Details

Unit 1: Building a Community of Word Learners

Students will:

  • Learn that readers and writers study how words work.

Unit 2: Initial and Final Consonant Blends

Students will understand:

  • Consonant blends occur at the beginning and ends of words.

Unit 3: Inflectional Endings

Students will understand:

  • Adding -s/-es or -ed to the end of words, it changes the meaning of the word. 
  • Adding -ing to the end of a word, it changes the tense.

Unit 4: Open and Closed Syllables

Students will understand:

  • When a syllable ends with a consonant, the vowel sound is usually short. 
  • When a syllable ends with a vowel, the vowel sound is usually long. 
  • Every syllable has one vowel sound. 

Unit 5: Long Vowel Pattern -VCe

Students will understand:

  • When a syllable or word ends with vowel, consonant, e, the first vowel is long and the e is silent.
  • How to spell the long vowel sound with an e that follows one consonant.

Unit 6: Simple Contractions

Students will understand:

  • Contractions do not change the meaning of a sentence. 
  • Contractions shorten a word by eliminating one or more letters or sounds.

Unit 7: Long Vowel Patterns-Vowel Teams

Students will understand:

  • Vowel teams stay together in a syllable. 
  • Vowel teams are two graphemes that make one sound. 
  • Certain vowel teams combine to make long vowel sounds. 

Unit 8: Possessives

Students will understand:

  • Possessives are nouns that show ownership (e.g., dog’s ball). 
  • Singular possessives are formed by adding an apostrophe and s (e.g., dog’s ball).

Unit 9: R-Controlled Short Vowels

Students will understand

  • Letters combine in different ways to represent sounds. 
  • The letter “r” affects the sound of the vowels it is paired with.

Virginia Department of Education Resources


Student assessments are part of the teaching and learning process.

  • Teachers give assessments to students on an ongoing basis to
    • Check for understanding 
    • Gather information about students' knowledge or skills.
  • Assessments provide information about a child's development of knowledge and skills that can help families and teachers better plan for next steps in instruction.

For testing questions or additional information about how schools and teachers use test results to support student success, families can contact their children's schools.

In Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), first grade tests focus on basic literacy and numeracy development.

Looking for other grade 1 information?