English Language Arts - Grade 1

All West Virginia teachers are responsible for classroom instruction that integrates content standards, learning skills, and technology tools. Students in first grade will continue enhancing skills in a developmentally-appropriate progression of standards. In first grade, students should be immersed in a literacy-rich environment and have numerous opportunities to engage with complex texts appropriate for kindergarten in order to meet college- and career-readiness expectations. By the end of the programmatic level (grade 1) and over the course of the entire instructional day, the distribution of text types should include 50% literary and 50% informational, and writing types should be 30% argumentative, 35% informative, and 35% narrative.

Early Learning Foundations



Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

  • Read on-level text with purpose and understanding.
  • Read on-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

Phonics and Word Recognition


Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

  • Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
  • Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
  • Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
  • Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word.
  • Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.
  • Read words with inflectional endings.
  • Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.



Print all upper- and lowercase letters using proper letter formation and directionality.

Phonological Awareness


Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

  • Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
  • Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
  • Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
  • Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).

Print Concepts


Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.

  • Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, and ending punctuation).


Key Ideas and Details


Ask and answer questions about key details in a literary text.


Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson in literary texts.


Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details in literary texts.


Ask and answer questions about key details in an informational text.


Identify the main topic and retell key details of an informational text.


Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in an informational text.

Craft and Structure


In literary texts, identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.


Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of literary text types.


Identify who is telling the story at various points in a literary text.


Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in an informational text.


Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, and/or icons) to locate key facts or information in an informational text


Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in an informational text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas


Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events in literary texts.


Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories in literary texts.


Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas in informational texts.


Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in an informational text.


Identify basic similarities in and differences between two informational texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Range of Reading and Text Complexity


With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1 in literary texts.


With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.


Text Types and Purposes


Write opinion pieces by introducing the topic or name of the text being discussed, stating an opinion, supplying a reason for the opinion, and providing some sense of closure.


Write informative/explanatory texts by naming a topic, supplying some facts about the topic, and providing some sense of closure.


Write narratives to recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use transitional words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

Production and Distribution of Writing


(Begins in grade 3.)


With guidance and support from adults and collaborative discussions, focus on a topic and add details to strengthen writing as needed.


With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including collaboration with peers.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge


Participate in shared research and writing (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).


With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.


(Begins in grade 4.)

Range of Writing


(Begins in grade 3.)

Speaking & Listening

Comprehension and Collaboration


Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care and speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
  • Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.

Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.


Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas


Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.


Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings


Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.


Conventions of Standard English


Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
  • Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., he hops; we hop).
  • Use personal, possessive and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, and my; they, them, and their; anyone and everything).
  • Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., yesterday I walked home; today I walk home; tomorrow I will walk home).
  • Use frequently occurring adjectives.
  • Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g. and, but, or, so, or because).
  • Use determiners (e.g., articles and demonstratives).
  • Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, or toward).
  • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • Capitalize dates and names of people.
  • Use end punctuation for sentences.
  • Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.
  • Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words. Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Knowledge of Language


(Begins in grade 2.)

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use


Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

  • Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Use frequently occurring affixes as a clue to the meaning of a word.
  • Identify frequently occurring root words (e.g., look) and their inflectional forms (e.g., looks, looked, and looking).

With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • Sort words into categories (e.g., colors and clothing) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
  • Define words by category and by one or more key attributes (e.g., a duck is a bird that swims; a tiger is a large cat with stripes).
  • Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy).
  • Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, and scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large and gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings.

Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading, being read to, and responding to texts; use frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).