Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.


First Grade - Science - Lesson 22 - Measurement


Compare and classify objects as large or small, long or short.

Identify the need for standard units of measure.

Sort and classify objects according to shape and color.

Suggested Books

Barrett, Judy. I'm Too Small. You're Too Big. New York: Atheneum, 1981.

Hoban, Tana. Big Ones, Little Ones. New York: Greenwillow, 1976.

Hoban, Tana. Is It Larger? Is It Smaller? New York: Greenwillow, 1985.

Lionni, Leo. Little Blue and Little Yellow. New York: Astor, 1959.

Ziefert, Harriet. How Big Is Big? New York: Puffin, 1989.


Shapes worksheet

Several boxes that are different in size

Several large and several small objects - books, toys, pencils

Pieces of string that are different lengths


Tell the children that there are many ways to describe objects. We can describe an object by its color, the blue ball; its shape, the round ball; its size, the large ball; or even its weight, the heavy ball. Demonstrate sorting by color by having the children who are wearing a particular color stand in a corner of the classroom. Explain to the children that you have sorted the class by the color each person is wearing.

Give each child a shapes worksheet. Say: You are now going to find objects in the classroom that are the shape of a circle, square, or triangle. Draw or write the things you find in the column next to the shape on your paper. Have some of the children share their findings with the rest of the class.

In order to introduce the concepts of large and small to the class, show the children a large box and a small box. Ask: Are these boxes the same size? Which box is larger? Which box is smaller? Repeat this procedure with other objects that are different in size. Have a child arrange the objects in order from smallest to largest.

Next, have the children determine whether or not an object is longer than another object. Show the children two objects (one being longer than the other). Tell the children that we talk about the length of something by looking at an object horizontally. Show the children what is meant by the horizontal. Tell the children that when we want to tell how long something is we usually measure it.

Place a piece of masking tape on the floor. Ask: What are some ways we could measure the length of this piece of masking tape? Use some of their suggestions to measure the piece of tape. Include using your own feet to measure the tape. Walk toe to heel along the strip of masking tape and count the number of steps you used to walk the entire length of the strip. On the board, write the number of your footsteps it took. Next, invite other children to measure their feet. Make sure they walk toe to heel and are counting properly. Write the number of


First Grade - Science - Lesson 22 - Measurement

footsteps on the board. Compare the findings and discuss with the children. Ask: Why is there a difference in the number of footsteps that it took to measure the length of the piece of tape? (different-sized feet) If we were to use different people's hands would we have come up with the same numbers or different numbers? Tell the children that different people have different-sized feet and hands. In order to find accurate measurements of objects and distances, an exact way to measure things was developed called a standard unit of measurement.


Shapes Objects found in the classroom

Shapes Objects found in the classroom


First Grade - Science - Lesson 23 - Length


Review the need for standard units of measure.

Measure distances using a strip of paper 5 inches long.

Count by fives.



Measuring worm pattern

Construction paper or tagboard - use the measuring worm pattern to make enough measuring worms for each student

Measurement record sheet - one for each student

Suggested Books

Caple, Kathy. Biggest Nose. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

dePaola, Tomie. Pancakes for Breakfast. San Diego: HBJ, 1978.

Lionni, Leo. Inch By Inch. New York: Astor-Honor, 1960.


Ask: What did we learn in our last lesson about the importance of using a standard unit of measurement? Two of the standard units of measurement in the United States for length are inches and feet. Show the children a ruler. Explain that there are twelve inches marked on the ruler and that the whole ruler is a foot long. Show the children an object that is an inch in length in comparison to an object that is a foot long.

Demonstrate for the children how they are going to use the measuring worm to measure objects in the classroom (making sure to line the measuring worm up at the end of the object and holding the place where the measuring worm ended as you move the measuring worm to continue measuring). Give each child a measuring worm and a record sheet. Have them measure objects in the room using the measuring worm. Read the headings on the sheet as the children follow along. Compare the children's recorded measurements after they have completed the record sheet.

Tell the children that one measuring worm equals 5 inches, so if an object is 2 measuring worms long you would count by 5 twice to get the correct number of inches. Have the children count along as you count by fives the number of inches the object measured. For instance, if a desk is five measuring worms long, you will count 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.

Name _________________________________________________________

Record Sheet

Objects Number of measuring worms

Your leg

The top of a desk

The seat of a chair

A book

A piece of paper

A pencil

1st Grade - Science - Lesson 23 - 33b


First Grade - Science - Lesson 24 - Volume


Estimate the number of quarts in a gallon.


Per group of four

Quart-sized container

Gallon-sized container

A funnel

Bucket or large pan

Suggested Books

Allen, Pamela. Mr. Archimedes' Bath. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1980.


Show the children a container that is a quart and a container that is a gallon. Ask the children which container would hold more and which would hold less. Explain to the children that just as an inch is used as a standard unit of measurement for length, a quart is used to measure the volume of something. Volume measures how much space something takes up.

Have the children get into groups of four. Give each group of four children an empty quart-sized container, a gallon-sized container filled with water, and a funnel. Ask: Can each group predict how many times the quart-sized container can be filled with the water from the gallon-sized container? Write each group's predictions on the board.

Have the children count how many quarts are in a gallon. Tell the children to place a funnel in the opening of the quart-sized container. Each group should then pour water from the gallon into the quart, making sure to fill the quart-sized container to the top. Empty the quart-sized container into a large pan or bucket and fill again. Count how many times you fill the quart to empty the gallon. Have each group report the number at which they arrived. Each group should have about 4 quarts. Tell the children that there are in fact four quarts in a gallon.


First Grade - Science - Lesson 25 - Temperature

Adapted from STARS--"The Weather Report" Lesson 3 - What Goes Up and Down?


Identify and describe the function of a thermometer.

Observe and compare temperature differences using a thermometer.


Cups, thermometer (can be found in STARS kit)

Ice cubes, very warm water, paper towels

Suggested Books

Jennings, Terry. Hot & Cold. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.

London, Jonathan. Froggy Gets Dressed. New York: Scholastic, 1992.


Tell the children that the next thing we are going to measure is called temperature. Write the word temperature on the board. Ask: What is temperature? (How hot or cold something is.) When have you heard the word temperature? (weather reports on TV or radio, when they have a fever, when a parent is baking in the oven)

Explain to the children that temperature is measured using something called a thermometer. Write the word thermometer on the board. Say: Knowing how to accurately read a thermometer and understanding that it measures temperature is a useful skill. For instance, before we get dressed each day it helps us to know what the temperature is outside. If it is cold outside, we should wear warm clothes; if it is warm outside, we should wear lighter clothes. Tell the children to listen to the way a weather person expresses how warm or cold it is outside. Say: You will notice that the weather person will tell you how many degrees it is outside. For instance, in Baltimore during the month of January it is likely that there may be a day that is 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Have the children work in pairs of two. Before distributing the thermometers to the students, discuss the care of the thermometers. Explain to the students that the equipment is made of glass and they must be very careful. Model for the students how to handle the thermometers and where to place them on the desks.

Distribute materials: thermometers, a cup of ice water, and a cup of very warm water. Ask: What do you see inside the thermometer? (red liquid)

Ask students to place a finger in the cup of ice and describe how it feels. Then have them place a finger in the cup of very warm water and describe how it feels. Tell the students to pick up their thermometers and look at the red liquid inside the thermometer. Next, have the children place the thermometer in the cup of ice water. Ask: What happened to the red liquid in the thermometer? (It goes down.) Why do you think it went down? Next have them place the thermometer in the cup of very warm water. Ask: What happened to the red liquid in the thermometer now? (It goes up.) Why do you think it went up? Tell the students that when the temperature is hot or warm, the red liquid will go up and when it is cold, it will go down.


First Grade - Science - Lesson 25 - Temperature

Additional Activity

If possible at your school, students can place an outdoor thermometer outside the school building and check for changes each day. Keep a record of the temperature on a calendar. At the end of the month you can take notice of which day was the warmest and which was the coldest


First Grade - Science - Lesson 26 - Temperature

Adapted from STARS--"The Weather Report" Lesson 4 - Degrees If You Please


Read a thermometer in degrees Fahrenheit.


One for each student

Paper thermometer diagram (attached)

Red crayon



Have the students work with a partner to make their own paper Fahrenheit thermometers. Distribute the paper thermometer diagram to the students. Demonstrate for the students how to complete the paper thermometer.

1. Color the center of the "T" shaped strip red, from the bottom up to the line close to the top.

2. Cut out the two "T" shapes.

3. Attach the white "T" shape to the red "T" shape by gluing the white strip to where the red strip ends.

4. Cut on the four dotted lines to make slits in the thermometer. (Folding the thermometer in half lengthwise will better facilitate this.)

5. Fold the ends of the "I" toward the center.

6. Fit one end of the "I" into the first outside cut from the front.

7. Weave the "I" under and back through the next cut so that the "I" moves over the front of the thermometer.

8. Finally, weave the "I" through the thermometer in the same fashion at the other end. You should be able to move the red line up and down. Once you have demonstrated how to assemble the thermometer, have the children follow the same process.

Tell the children that the thermometer is read by looking at the number where the red line ends. Have the children locate 50 degrees on their thermometer. Tell the children that when they read the number on the thermometer they must say fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Explain to the students that when you write fifty degrees Fahrenheit, you must include the little circle that stands for degrees and the letter F to stand Fahrenheit. Write an example on the board. Have students locate several temperatures on the thermometer. Have them practice reading and writing temperatures.