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Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grade 1

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Elizabeth Franco, Amanda Hartman, Havilah Jespersen, Lindsay Barton, Elizabeth Moore, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

In unit 1 of the first-grade units, Lucy and her coauthors invite teachers to establish ability-based partnerships that thrive on the social power of peer-based reading. Across the next unit, children study comprehension, word solving, vocabulary, and fluency in nonfiction. Unit 3 focuses on phonics to set readers up for complex texts. Finally, the last unit spotlights skills that are foundational to literal and inferential comprehension.

Boxed Set

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List Price: $298.75

Web/School Price: $239.00


This product is part of the series:  The Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series

Full Description

About the Grade 1 Units

The start of first grade is a time for dusting off the skills and habits that children learned during kindergarten. In the first unit, Building Good Reading Habits, you’ll reinforce children’s learning from kindergarten, and you’ll establish ability-based partnerships that tap into the social power of peers working together to help each other become more strategic as readers. The second unit, Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction, taps into children’s natural curiosity as they explore nonfiction, while you teach comprehension strategies, word solving, vocabulary, fluency, and author’s craft. The third unit, Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension, focuses on the reading process to set children up to read increasingly complex texts. The last unit of first grade, Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons: A Study of Story Elements, spotlights story elements and the skills that are foundational to literal and inferential comprehension, including empathy, imagination, envisioning, prediction, character study, and interpretation.

About the Series

Drawing on learning gleaned from decades of research, curriculum development, and working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, and school leaders, Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project have developed the Units of Study for Teaching Reading. Designed to meet ambitious 21st century global standards, this reading series offers grade-by-grade curricula rooted in the Project’s best practices and newest thinking. It includes state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading skills and strategies, grounded in the Project’s learning progressions for narrative and informational reading. 

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Purchase Recommendations and Options

Purchase Recommendation: Choose the Grade 1 Units of Study with the Trade Book Pack if your library does not already include the mentor texts referenced in the Units. If you do not need the trade book pack, purchase the Grade 1 Units of Study without the Trade Book Pack (as shown in this product bundle).

Save when you purchase related cost-saving bundles, with or without trade book packs:

Select the Grade-Level Units you need most, available both with and without the trade book packs

To learn more about the Units of Study for Teaching Reading series, visit


Four Units of Study

  • comprised of one foundational unit and three other units to address reading fiction and informational texts
  • lay out 4-5 weeks of instruction (16-18 sessions) in each unit
  • include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language

A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Primary Grades

  • crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective reading workshop instruction (The Guidenow available for separate purchase, can be an essential manual for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and others who are supporting implementation of Units of Study—or for anyone wanting to learn more about reading workshop).

If… Then… Curriculum

  • offers additional units of study
  • presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation

Large-Format Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

  • Large-format preprinted Anchor-Chart Sticky Notes with illustrated teaching points help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across each unit

Online Resources

  • Video Orientations
  • Spanish translations of important resources—includes Spanish translations of Anchor Chart Sticky Notes and Learning Progressions. Also available are lists of Spanish-language mentor texts and translated Teaching Points.
  • Downloadable and printable files for the anchor charts, figures, student exemplars, homework assignments, and checklists in every session
  • Digital files for resources provided in Reading Pathways, including Learning Progressions, sample student work, and charts 


Companion Resources

Mentor Texts

The Grade 1 Trade Pack includes age-appropriate texts that feature heavily in the units. They are teaching texts, meant to be used in read aloud or shared reading to model effective reading strategies and provide background knowledge. 

  • Dinosaur Chase by Hugh Price
  • Frog And Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  • Gossie And Gertie by Olivier Dunrea
  • Hang On, Monkey! by Susan B. Neuman
  • Iris And Walter And The Field Trip by Elissa Haden Guest
  • Ish by Peter Reynolds
  • Kazam's Birds by Amy Ehrlich
  • Mr. Putter & Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant
  • Ollie The Stomper by Olivier Dunrea
  • One More Time by James Marshall
  • Owls by Mary R. Dunn
  • The Runaways by Laura M. Kvasnosky
  • Super Storms by Seymour Simon
  • Tumbleweed Stew by Susan Stevens Crummel
  • Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole by Wong Herbert Yee

Supporting Materials

Also in this series