October 5, 2022 | Becca Brasser
As first grade students enter into the school year, they consider their role as explorers of the world, tellers of stories, resolvers of conflict, and people who are challenged to build a community using shared resources. First grade is a time for taking heroic risks and making courageous choices, and a study of the Vikings provides a metaphor for who students are as community members (in their own classes and families) and how they experience and explore the world around them. The study stems from the gripping and complex Saga of Erik the Viking, which provides a springboard for a study of ships, sailing vocabulary, maps, and water.
The study of Viking ships also progresses into further studies in innovations in ship building from around the world. What do all ships need in order to be seaworthy? Our theme study extends into boatbuilding as well: Can we use materials from around the classroom to create boats that float?
The children use and study world maps, practicing vocabulary such as map key, continent, country, ocean, river, bay, island, north, south, east, and west. They solve the daily “Worldle” puzzle by examining the outlines of countries and their identifying features.