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1700 Saunders Avenue
St. Paul


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First Grade Program of Inquiry

Curriculum is developed through the framework of the International Baccalaureate Organization. The curriculum is based on an inquiry approach to learning. Each grade level organizes the curriculum based on six organizing themes and Units of Inquiry.

Our Six First Grade Organizing Themes and Units of Inquiry are:

1. Who We Are: Families

Central Idea: Family uniqueness contributes to diversity

Key Concepts: form, change, connection

Lines of Inquiry: family membership; family change; families' similarities and differences


2. How the World Works: Simple Machines

Central Idea: Technology increases efficiency

Key Concepts: form, function, reflection

Lines of Inquiry: the characteristics of simple machines; the use of simple machines in everyday life; the process used to select a simple machine to complete a specific task


3. Sharing the Planet: Weather

Central Idea: Climate and the seasons shape the way we live
Key Concepts: change, connection, causation

Lines of Inquiry: 

• Types of weather; Causes of weather; Predicting weather


4. How We Express Ourselves: Exploring Creativity

Central Idea: Reflection strengthens appreciation 

Key Concepts: connection, perspective, reflection

Lines of Inquiry: use of the visual elements of color, line, shape and texture to create art; use of personal interpretation of various art techniques to create a piece of art; use a variety of two and three-dimensional art forms


5. How We Organize Ourselves: Economics

Central Idea: Wants drive trade

Key Concepts: perspective, causation, change               

Lines of Inquiry: wants and needs; costs and benefits of choices; scarcity


6. Where We are in Place and Time: Shelters

Central Idea: People have a basic need for shelter

Key Concepts: causation, connection, perspective

Lines of Inquiry: need for shelter; economic, environmental, and cultural influences on shelter choices; changes which have occurred in shelters over time 


  • IB Learner Profile

    • The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

      As IB learners we strive to be:


      We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of leaning throughout life.


      We develop and use conceptual understanding exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.


      We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.


      We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.


      We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences


      We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.


      We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.


      We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.


      We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives--intellectual, physical and emotional--to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.


      We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.