Skills & Concepts: 1st – 3rd Grades

Below is a list of Skills and Concepts for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades.
PLUS suggested products to use!
However, we have so many available, you can find many additional products in our educational catalog!

If you are an All-Access member, every resource listed below (and on our site) is included in the cost of your membership!
Not a member, you can purchase products at listed prices.

Language Arts (1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades)

Reading/Grammar/Writing Skills and Concepts 

Why combine the skills and concepts for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade Language Arts?
Students learn at different rates. Some are not quite ready to read at the age of 6 but take off like a rocket at 7 or 8. Some are reading at the age of 4 or 5. This is the same for a student’s ability to write as well. That is why the below list combines what is typically covered for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. Go at a pace that suits your individual learner(s). Learning is a life-long process!


–  Apply phonics skills to read/understand words/text (first learning single letter sounds, vowel sounds, letter and vowel combinations, irregular sounds) building to more complex phonics knowledge. By the end of 3rd grade, the goal is to be able to  decodes multisyllabic words with multiple sound-spelling patterns such as eigh, ough, and en, words with closed syllables; open syllables; VCe syllables; vowel teams, including digraphs and diphthongs; r-controlled syllables; and final stable syllables, compound words, contractions, and abbreviations, words with contractions and abbreviations, with patterns such as VCCV, words with prefixes and suffixes, including how they can change base words (dropping e, changing y to i and doubling consonants)
– Decodes words using multiple strategies
– Demonstrate a growing ability to self-correct and re-read

– Learns to read regularly, building upon previous knowledge, continually learning more complex words
– Learns to read and spell irregularly spelled words
– Identify the meaning of and use words with affixes such as im- (into), non-, dis-, in- (not, non), pre-, -ness, -y, and -ful – Identify, use, and explain the meaning of antonyms, synonyms, idioms, homophones, and homographs in a text
– Understands how to break up words into syllables
– Alphabetize a series of words to the third letter
– Reads words with common prefixes and suffixes. For example: pre, re, un and able, ad, and er.

– Understands the purpose of and uses common features in a book, (such as headings, tables of contents and glossaries).
– Reads grade level texts aloud at an appropriate speed and with expression. 
– Reads a variety of literature types and can identify them (fiction, non-fiction, fables and poetry)
– Talks about and answers questions about the text he reads (reading comprehension)
– Compares different characters, events, main events/ideas, lessons taught, etc.)
– Understands the structure of a story (intro text, middle, ending)
– Compares at least two different version of the same story (such as a classic fairy tale)
– Makes comparisons between books written by the same author and books such as series that are about the same characters.
– Interpret and respond to literature orally, in writing, projects, media (including being able to express his/her own point of view)
– Make and correct or confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of genre, and structures 
– Begins to understand the difference between literal and non-literal text such as metaphors and analogies.

Recommended Resources for Reading

Posters and Flashcard Sets:
Phonics Posters | Vowel Bundle 
Phonics Posters 
Dolch Sight Word Flashcards Bundle
Decoding Strategies Poster | Reading Strategies
Prefix Teaching Posters
Story Elements Poster
Reading Strategy Posters | Set of 8

Complete Workbooks:
1st Grade Reading Vocabulary | Complete
2nd Grade Reading Vocabulary | Complete
3rd Grade Reading Vocabulary | Complete

Great Texts from the Past
McGuffey’s Primer
McGuffey’s First Eclectic Reader
Word Master | Florence Akin
Pollard’s Reading & Spelling Manual
Children’s Literature  

Individual Resources:
Learning to Read | Sight Word Bundle 
Vowel Team Song
CVC -ad Word family | Interactive Phonics
CVC -ad Word family | Interactive Phonics
CVC -at Word family | Interactive Phonics
Long & Short I (Vowel) Word Work – Vol 1
Word Wheels | -at -ap -ark -art
Word Wheels | -ale -ame -ank – ash
Word Wheels | -ail -ake – ack – ain 
Word Wheels | -op -ob -ot -ock -unk -uck
Word Wheels | -ill -it -et -ell
Word Wheels | -ut – un -um -ug -ump
Blends and Digraphs Word Slides
Mega-Phonics | Blends Volume 1
Mega-Phonics | Blends Volume 2
Syllable Activities for Young Learners
Syllable Worksheets | 10 Practice Sheets
Prefixes Mini Book
Prefix Re- Worksheets
Prefix Un- Worksheets
Making Predictions | Reading Worksheet

Snakes & Ladders Sight Word Game Boards

Book Units:
Make Way for Ducklings | Caldecott Book Guided Reading Activities
Chrysanthemum Guided Reading Activities
A Home for Luna | Teaching Guide
Hey, Al – A Guided Reading Unit
Henry & Mudge under the Yellow Moon Book Unit
The Enormous Turnip Book Unit
Mr. Putter & Tabby Fly the Plane Book Unit
Arthur’s Great Big Valentine Book Unit
The Secret Life of Trees Book Unit
The Egg Tree | Caldecott Book Guided Reading and Response
Get Up and Go! Book Unit
Smoky Night | Caldecott Book Guided Reading Activities
The Lion and the Mouse | Teaching Aesop’s Fable 2 Ways
Lemonade for Sale Book Unit
Pumpkin Fiesta Book Unit
A Ball for Daisy | Caldecott Book Activities
Hedgehog Bakes a Cake Book Unit
Days with Frog and Toad Book Unit
Jumanji Book Unit
Snowflake Bentley Guided Reading
Johnny Appleseed Book Unit
Watermelon Day Book Unit
The Whipping Boy (1987) Book Unit
Wilson Sat Alone Book Unit

Grammar & Writing

(Grammar and Writing on combined because students typically learn best when taught together.)

 Identify “sentence” and “word” by name (using those terms)
– Recognizes the features of a sentence. (For example: first words, capitalization, and ending punctuation.)
– Write in complete sentences and can identify the subject and predicate in a sentence
– Identify the period, question mark, and exclamation point by name and consistantly use these correctly
– Identify and correctly write different types of sentences (statements, questions, exclamations, and commands)
– Capitalize words correctly (the first word in a sentence, in a date, names of people, in the abbreviations Mr., Ms., and Mrs., names of products, holidays, geographic names)
– Uses commas correctly (in dates, to separate words in a list or series, in the greeting and closing of a letter)
– Understand and use question words (who, what, where, when, why, how) 

– Can combine 2 simple sentences to form a complex sentence
– Correctly identify nouns (using the term “noun”)
– Identify and use the different types of nouns, (common, proper, possessive, collective)
– Identify and use verbs (action and be verbs)
– Use correct subject-verb agreement in sentences
– Identify and correctly use different types of verbs (past-tense, present-tense, future-tense, irregular past-tense)
– Correctly identify and use adjectives
– Correctly use the comparison forms of adjectives (-er, -est)
– Correctly identify and use common conjunctions (i.e., “and,” “but”)
– Correctly use articles (a, an, the)
– Identify and correctly use different uses of pronouns (subject, object, possessive) and types of pronouns  (demonstrative, indefinite, interrogative, personal, reflexive)
– Identify and correctly use prepositions
– Correctly identify and use adverbs
– Understand the use of an apostrophe and correctly uses to create contractions and possessives.
– Writes a variety of texts including, opinion pieces, narratives, fiction, non-fiction and explanatory/informational pieces, poetry (demonstrating the use of an introductory sentence (or paragraph), supporting or accurate details and closure)
– Demonstrates the use of digital tools, including computers, to practice and “publish” writing. 

– Demonstrate revision skills in writing (plans, revises and edits his/her writing)
– Develop oral language: presentation skills
– Begin to develop and demonstrate research skills for projects (including being able to 
generate questions about text before, during, and after reading to deepen understanding and gain information. By the end of 3rd grade, students identify primary and secondary sources; demonstrate understanding of information gathered; recognize the difference between paraphrasing and plagiarism when using source materials; create a works cited page; and use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results) 
– Continued development of handwriting skills: letter formation, spacing 

Recommended Resources for Grammar and Writing

Posters and Flashcard Sets: 
Punctuation Posters for Early Elementary
Grammar Posters | Parts of Speech 
Noun Classroom Poster Set
Plural Noun Rules | Posters or Bookmarks
Pronoun Posters
Who, What, Where, Why, When and How Posters and Worksheet
Grammar QUICK Reference Chart (Color Version)

Workbooks and Full Year Resources:
Let’s Practice Grammar!
Grammar Interactive Notebook | Full Year

Individual Resources for teaching/practicing
What is a Sentence? Teaching Posters and Worksheets
Word or Sentence?
Types of Nouns | Interactive Notebook or Lapbook 

93 Dolch Common Noun Sight Words 
Punctuation | Period – Question Mark – Exclamation Point
Punctuation Posters for Early Elementary
Using Punctuation | Commas in Dates

Using Punctuation | Commas in a Series
Capitalization Rules | First Word in a Sentence
Capitalization Rules | Words in a Date
Capitalization Rules | Names of People
Personal Abbreviations | Mr., Ms., and Mrs.
Identify Simple Subjects in a Sentence
Identify Simple Subject and Predicate in Sentences 

 Who, What, Where, Why, When and How Posters and Worksheet  
Subject-Verb Agreement
Pronoun Worksheets | Subject – Object – Possessive
Writing with a Purpose Assignment

Print Handwriting | Manuscript | Alphabet
Cursive Handwriting A-Z

Math (1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades)

We are listing all 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade skills and concepts together but broken up by grade. After these are listed, you will find a list of suggested products. As with Language Arts, students are often ready to learn these skills at different times and rates, thus you can use these as a simple guideline as to when skills/concepts are typically taught. Go at a pace that suits your individual learner(s).

1st Grade 

Identify, create, describe, and extend simple rhythmic, shape, size, number, color, and letter patterns (square, circle, square, circle, _______, circle).
Adds and subtracts numbers 1-20, solves word problems by using objects, drawings and traditional equations with the plus and minus signs.
Adds 3 numbers that add to a number up to 20.
Solves addition and subtraction problems by adding up or subtracting smaller numbers, for example 10+4 = 10+2+2 and 15 – 6= 15 -2 -2 -2.
Learns the relationship between addition and subtraction, for example 2+3=5 and 5-3=2.
Counts out and groups objects in order to solve single digit addition and subtraction problems.
Counts and writes the numbers 1 to 120, starting from any number less than 120.
-Identify odd/even numbers up to 100.
– Skip count to 100 by 2s, 5s and 10s.
Understands and creates numbers using 10 as a base, for example, 12 = 1 ten and 2 1’s.
-Identify place value (ones, tens) when given a number up to 100
Compares two 2-digit numbers using the <, >, and = signs.
Subtracts or adds 10 to a 2-digit number mentally, without counting, and subtracts by 10 from numbers 1-90, using concrete objects or tools.
Orders three objects by length.
Identify parts of the day, week, and month;
Begins to tell and write time using both digital and analog clocks. Tell time to half hour.
Understands data, specifically, the total number of data points, how many are in each category and how many more or less there are in a category.
Understands the definition of and difference between shapes and creates shapes using this knowledge.
Identify, draw, describe, and compare 2-D and 3-D shapes.
Breaks up circles and rectangles into two and four equal parts, and understands that the parts are halves, fourths, and quarters, and that smaller parts make up larger ones.
Identify and model fractions (halves, thirds, fourths) as parts of wholes/groups.
Identify coins and $1 bills; find value of collection of coins.
Compare and order objects by length and weight
Gather, organize, represent, and interpret data using tallies, charts, pictographs, and bar graphs.
Decide most likely outcomes.

2nd Grade

Continue to demonstrate and build upon the skills previously learned (1st  grade – See above)
– Reads, writes and counts to 1000
– Can skip count by 5’s 10’s and 100’s up through 1000
Can identify odd and even numbers to 1,000
Understands and can break down a 3-digit number into groups of hundreds, tens and ones.
Construct and solve open number sentence problems: use +, -, >, <, and =.
Solves one and two-step addition and subtraction problems with numbers up to 100, using drawings and equations and explaining the process
Compares 3-digit numbers, using the signs: >, < and =.
Begins learning the foundations of multiplication by adding the same number to itself, (for example, 4+4) and grouping together the same number of objects to add up to more.
Practices adding together up to four 2-digit numbers by skip counting and adding smaller part of the numbers together.
Model, estimate, and solve 3-digit addition and subtraction problems; fact families to 20.
Measures objects using appropriate tools and uses different units of measurement. (For example, inches and centimeters.)
Estimates an object’s measurement and measures how much longer one object is than another.
Identify and model common fractions as parts of wholes/groups and on a number line. (halves, thirds, fourths)
Identify value of and represent varying amounts of coins and bills; find value of collection up to $5.00.
Begins to solve word problems involving money.
Tells time using analog and digital clocks telling time to a quarter of an hour.
Gather, organize, create/represent, and interpret data using tallies, charts, pictographs, and bar graphs.
Recognizes triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes and their defining characteristics, such as the number of angles and faces.
Describe attributes of 2-D and 3-D shapes; identify, draw, describe, and compare 2-D shapes
Compare length, weight, area, and volume of objects.
Decide most likely outcomes.

3rd Grade

Continue to demonstrate and build upon the skills previously learned (1st / 2nd grades – See above)
Name, write, model, order, and compare numbers through 9,999; identify the value of the digits.
Adds numbers up to 1,000.
Rounds numbers to the nearest tens or hundreds.
Solves word problems which require two steps and more than one mathematical action. For example: If Scott has 9 cupcakes and 12 candies, how many cupcakes and pieces of candy can he give to 3 people, so that each person has the same amount?
Multiplication: Begins to memorize the product of all one-digit numbers (Facts through 10×10), with a goal of having them memorized by the end of 3rd.
Multiplies and divides numbers up to 100 and understands the relationship between multiplication and division.
Understands that 3×5=15 and 5×3=15.
Understand attributes of length, area, and weight; find area and perimeter of rectangles.
Can figure out the area of an object using multiplication and addition and specifically by multiplying the lengths of the sides of an object
Estimate through rounding and regrouping.
Describe, create, and extend geometric, addition, and subtraction patterns.
Identify and describe angles and lines.
Identify and draw lines of symmetry.
Plot ordered pairs.
Tell time to nearest minute
Solves increasing difficult problems involving time and measurement.


Suggested product for all Math Students:
Math Glossary

Suggested products to use for students learning 1st grade Math skills and concepts
1st Grade Full Year Math Skills Bundle

Prefer to purchase individual suggested Math products? Here are MTL’s suggestions (many of these products are included in the above Math Full Year Bundle):

Fun Season Math:

Suggested products to use for students learning 2nd grade Math skills and concepts

Fun Seasonal Math

Suggested products to use for students learning 3rd grade Math skills and concepts

Suggested product for all Math Students (1st – 6th): Math Glossary
Suggested Mid-Year Review: Christmas Math for 2nd & 3rd Grades
Suggested Spring/End of Year Review: Spring Math Skills Review | 2nd-3rd Grades


Science (1st, 2nd, 3rd Grades)

We are listing all 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade Science skills and concepts together. Unlike Language Arts and Math, most Science topics do not need to be taught is a specific order but can be interest driven. Many of the skills and concepts listed can be taught within a variety of themed units! We encourage as much child-led / interest-driven Science as possible to help encourage student learning and participation.

Explores, observes and experiments with the world around him/her
Asks scientific questions and finds the answers to his/her questions.
Collects and uses data to support experiments and what he/she learns.
– Researches information on a variety of topics using texts and computers.
Records what is seen and learned through both orally and in writing.
– Displays the ability to make predictions and conclusions
– Identify tools/machines used for specific purpose (e.g. magnifying glass, magnetic compass).
– Identify and describe the safe and proper use of tools and materials.
– Classify objects as living, nonliving, or once living.
Recognize that living organisms are found on the earth’s surface.
– Recognize that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the earth years before.
– Compare the characteristics of different types of dinosaurs
– Describe what living things need to survive; identify ways in which their habitats provide for their basic needs; classify plants and animals by habitats.
Classify and group solid objects by size, shape, color, and texture and liquids by color and texture.
Describe air as a mixture of gases and wind as moving air.
Describe weather changes from day to day and over the seasons; identify factors that affect weather; describe how plants and animals adjust to seasonal weather changes.
– Differentiate between plants and animals; classify and group plants and animals by one characteristic; identify similar parts of different plants.
– Identify what plants and animals need to survive; identify ways their habitats provide for their basic needs.
– Describe parts of seeds, flowers, and plants; explain pollination.
Describe animal interactions with the environment.
– Describe how animals use parts of their bodies as tools for survival.
– Identify parts of plants and their functions.
– Sequence the life cycles of certain plants.
Classify matter as solid, liquid, or gas; describe properties of each state; recognize that solids have a definite shape and that liquid, or gases take the shape of their container.
– Understand that matter can change (e.g. water as a vapor, liquid, or solid).
Describe how water can change state; describe melting, boiling, freezing, condensing, and evaporating.
– Classify and sort objects that are attracted by and not attracted by magnets.
– Describe how a magnetic force makes objects move.
– Understand forms of light energy
Classify objects that transmit heat; describe how heat travels through different types of matter; describe how heat can change states of matter.
Identify and give examples of basic forms of energy; explain how energy can be transformed from one form to another.
Recognize earth as part of the solar system; describe characteristics of the sun and moon; explain the phases of the moon.
Understand that the earth revolves around the sun each year and rotates on its axis every 24 hours; connect this to day/night, movement of sun, moon, and stars across the sky, seasonal changes, and eclipses.

Suggested products for Science:

 The Four Seasons | Science Mini-Book 
All About Hedgehogs | 1st – 2nd Grade Unit 
Animals and their Habitats | Student Created Mini-Book
Beaver Shape Book | Student Created Mini-Book Beavers | Reader and Activities
Botany – Plants | Interactive Learning
Dinosaurs | Fact Cards
Early Science | Fun with a Magnifying Glass
Early Science | Take a Walk with your Senses
Earth Science: 8 Phases of the Moon – Nomenclature Cards
Fossils | Activity
Fossils | Copy and Learn
How Animals Use Their Body Parts | Notebooking Unit Study
How Animals Use Their Body Parts Mini-Book
Learning about Amphibians | Cursive Copy Work
Learning About Amphibians | Informational Text – Worksheets – Crossword Puzzle
Learning about Amphibians | Manuscript Copy Work Learning about Habitats Lapbook
Learning About Scientists Unit
Learning to Classify | 300 Real Picture Cards – 36 Categories
Let’s Learn about Plants | Science for 1st and 2nd Grades
Life Cycle of a Butterfly | Cross-Curricular Learning
Life Cycle of a Butterfly | Posters Flash Cards and Worksheets
Life Cycle of a Butterfly | Science Student Created Book
Life Cycle of a Flower| Science Student Created Book
Life Cycle of a Frog | Science Student Created Book
Life Cycle of a Ladybug | Science Learning for Young Students
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Unit
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Video
Light Energy MiniBook
Living vs Nonliving Classification Cards
Living vs. Nonliving Minibook
Organisms and Their Habitats 
Planet Posters | Solar System
Properties of Matter Science Unit
Science Lab Observation Worksheet | Elementary
Snow-Themed Winter Unit for Firsties! 
Solar Eclipse Paper Model 
Solar System Posters and Worksheets
What’s my Habitat? Animal File Folder Game

 Social Studies (1st, 2nd and 3rd grades)

We are listing all 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade Social Studies skills and concepts together as well. Similar to Science, most topics do not need to be taught is a specific order but can be interest driven. Many of the skills and concepts listed can be taught within a variety of themed units! We encourage as much child-led / interest-driven Social Studies as possible to help encourage student learning and participation.

– Learns and talks about his own family, different types of families in the present and in history, and his community.
– Compares his own community with others, specifically with an appreciation for valuing difference and multiculturalism.
– Develops communication and conversation skills.
– Uses and studies maps to locate his own community as well as others.
– Identify and discuss the concepts of direction and basic geographic landforms
– Gains a deeper understanding of geography and specifically that of North America, using maps to locate and identify different types of places, such as bodies of water, mountains, the equator, etc.
– Studies and uses maps to gain a deeper understanding of geography and how geography affects a community.
– Creates work to represent what has been learned, using writing, illustrations and graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams and T-charts.
– Begins to explore the role of technology and media.
– Gains an understanding of the importance of rules, citizenship and democracy in the classroom and in his community.
– Explain broad concepts of rights, responsibilities and leadership
– Learns about national holidays and important events and days.
– Discuss events with a basic understanding of chronology
– Identify and discuss basic needs for goods and services
– Identify the symbols, icons, and traditions of the United States
– Describe the life stories of notable individuals in United States History
– Learns more about government, its roles and how its officials are chosen.
– Learns about important historical figures throughout the world
– Identify and discuss basic economic principles of buying and selling
– Discuss events with an evolving understanding of chronology
– Learns about global and historical communities.
– Discuss the basic history, geography, economics and government of your local city.
– Identify and discuss local artifacts and sites as resources in understanding local and state history.
– Research the life stories of key people in your local city and state.
– Learns about the connection between a culture and its environment.
– Learns about basic financial needs, such as how different communities support and sustain themselves.
– Learns about how different communities govern themselves and their leaders.
– Compares both the similarities and differences between different cultures with an emphasis on accepting and understanding why these differences exist.
– Uses graphic organizers and charts to make comparisons between cultures and communities.
– Uses different media such as literature, art, writing, film and museum visits to deepen her understanding of concepts and portray what she has learned.

Suggested products for Social Studies:

All About Me – Student Created Mini-Book
All About Me Learning Center Activity
All about My Family | Celebration Activities
80 Graphic Organizers | All Subjects
4th of July Lapbook | Independence Day
A Day in History – Investigation Station | August 20 – President Benjamin Harrison
A Day in History – Investigation Station | October 14 Martin Luther King Jr
A Day in History – Investigation Station | October 21 Edison – Electric Light
A Day in History – Investigation Station | October 24 Pony Express
Amelia Earhart Shape Book
Biographical Sketch Worksheet | Generic
California Gold Rush | Story and Coloring Book
Central America Country Studies BUNDLE
Christopher Columbus | Poem Copy Work
Christopher Columbus | Writing and Crafts
Community Helper Flash Cards
Community Helpers – Volume 1
Community Helpers – Volume 2
Community Helpers – Volume 3
Continent Outlines for Student Work and Projects
Continents – World Geography Nomenclature Cards
Geography – Country Studies | Lapbooking
Geography | Label the Continents Worksheet
Home Geography for Primary Grades
Homes from around the World
Learning about the U.S.A. – State Maps (Outline – Capitals – Major Cities)
Learning about the U.S.A.- State Flowers | Coloring Book + Notebooking Pages
Lincoln Informational Text BUNDLE | 3rd-4th Grades
Lincoln Memorial | Informational Text and Activities
Map Skills 1 | Reading a Grid Map
Map Skills 2 | Reading a Grid Map and Key
Memorial Day Unit
Native American Unit
Oceans – World Geography Nomenclature Cards
Presidents Day Learning for Early Learners
Presidents Flip Books | Washington and Lincoln
Presidents Washington and Lincoln
South America Country Studies BUNDLE | K-2nd
State Bird Notebooking Mega BUNDLE
U.S. Elections – Classroom Poster Set
U.S. State Birds Coloring Book
U.S. State Flags Coloring Book
US Presidents Notebooking and Mini-Books | Volume 1
US Presidents Notebooking and Mini-Books | Volume 2
US Presidents Notebooking and Mini-Books | Volume 3
US Presidents Notebooking and Mini-Books | Volume 4
US States – Nomenclature Cards