Kansas Science Standards for 1st Grade

Instructor: Marissa Baranauskas
Discover the science standards implemented in first grade classrooms throughout Kansas. Get information about the performance expectations for first grade students, and become familiar with resources that can help them review science concepts.

1st Grade Science Standards in Kansas

In 2013, Kansas adopted the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards for Science (KCCRSS), which are aligned with the national Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards outline information that students should know, the scientific research and engineering skills they should develop, and the crosscutting concepts they should be able to apply to all disciplines. Expectations for these three areas are outlined below.

Discipline Core Ideas for 1st Grade

The concepts that first grade students are expected to know are divided into three main scientific disciplines. They include:

Physical Sciences

Students will learn about the properties of light and sound waves in the first grade. The NGSS identifies one area of focus in physics at this level.

  • Waves and Their Applications: Students will investigate the characteristics of light and sound waves. They will learn how sound waves are caused by vibrations. Students will also observe how light waves affect visibility and how the path of light changes as it interacts with different types of objects. Lastly, they will be expected to create a device that uses sound or light wave properties to transmit a message.

To help your students master these wave concepts, check out the following short video lessons on sound energy and the properties of light. You can also help them explore wave behaviors with this lesson, How Does Light Travel? Each of these resources includes short quizzes to assess students' understanding of the physical science topics covered in class.

Life Sciences

First graders will study the parts and behaviors of different plants and animals in this subject. NGSS organizes life science topics for first graders into two areas.

  • From Molecules to Organisms: Students will create a design that imitates the structures of plant and animals in order to solve a problem faced by humans. This could include replicating the protective outer structures that some animals have. Students will also observe how certain actions of animals and their babies help them survive.
  • Heredity: Students will be able to detect similarities between parents and their offspring. Additionally, they will compare and contrast features of plants and animals of the same type.

Use these fun Animal Facts lessons along with these lessons on Plant and Fungi Facts to help your students study these organisms' different structures and behaviors.

Earth and Space Sciences

This subject addresses concepts related to the patterns of movement in space. NGSS recognizes one area of information first grade students should know.

  • Earth's Place in the Universe: Students will notice, explain, and anticipate how the Sun, moon, and stars move across the sky. They will learn the positions of the sun and moon upon rising and setting and notice the time of day when the stars are seen. Students will also observe how sunset and sunrise times vary with the changing seasons.

There are a variety of resources available to supplement your child's Earth and space science instruction. Check out these lessons on Space Facts, Facts About the Solar System, and the Phases of the Moon.

Science and Engineering Practices for 1st Grade

Science and engineering practices are integrated throughout the study of all scientific disciplines. These concepts introduce students to the processes scientists use to explore the world around them and show students how engineers design solutions to problems. At the first grade level, students learn how to conduct simple scientific tests and gather data, whether through observation or research, that can be used to explain natural phenomena, improve the design of an object, or create a new one in order to solve a problem.

If you're looking for a resource to introduce students to some of these science practices, check out these lessons on the scientific method, hypotheses, and variables in science.

Crosscutting Concepts for 1st Grade

Crosscutting concepts can also be applied to the study of all disciplines. In first grade, these concepts include the use of patterns in scientific investigation, the connections between structure and function, and the nature of cause and effect relationships.

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