Aligning 1st Grade Science with TEKS

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Every Texas teacher understands the importance of aligning your curriculum with TEKS. This lesson focuses on helping you understand how to work with the first grade science standards.

First Grade Science at TEKS

Are you a first grade teacher in Texas? If so, you understand how important it is to align your curriculum with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. In first grade, TEKS puts a substantial focus on reading, writing and math, but the science standards are also important. Teaching your students about science is a great way to get them thinking deeply and critically, engaging their interest in the world around them. TEKS focuses on scientific processes and methods as well as content, and you can find creative ways to incorporate science work into your literacy and math curricula.

This lesson will help you understand the first grade science standards under TEKS with an eye toward making them feel more accessible to you as a teacher. You will cover four major content-oriented units over the course of first grade, but within each of these units, you should focus on scientific processes like asking big questions, constructing hypotheses, and gathering evidence from a variety of sources before drawing conclusions. In other words, as you teach scientific knowledge, you will also teach habits of mind that your students will be able to draw on throughout their educational career.

Major Science Units for First Grade

Matter and Energy

One of the most important things you can teach your first graders about is matter and energy. When you teach them about matter, you are teaching them that every object in the world has specific properties. Help students learn to sort and classify objects based on these properties, including what material they are made from but also their size, weight and texture.

This unit also involves teaching your students about heating and cooling, including how heating and cooling things can change their properties. For instance, they will learn what happens to water when it freezes or evaporates.

Force, Motion and Energy

In this unit of study, you will teach your first graders about different kinds of energy and how they function in daily life. For instance, you can teach your students about why light is important or how heat words. You will also teach them that sound is a kind of energy.

Teaching about force means teaching how magnets work and thinking about the difference between pushing and pulling. Teach your students different ways that objects can move across space, including back and forth, up and down, and fast and slow. This will help them understand what motion is and why it matters.

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