First grade is hard work. It's the year of really learning to read. It's frequently the year of math facts. For many it's the first experience with all-day schooling. Children are being called to many "excellences" at this time, and the virtues provide support each step of the way. For additional content suggestions, compatible with Core Knowledge or classical schools, see Core Knowledge Connections.
Review key concepts of life in community, and place a special focus on respect for those who are different—whether in religion, race, language, manner or appearance. Ongoing work in courtesy and manners.
Special focus on responsibility to our communities (our school mates) and neighbor. It's a good time to introduce the concept of "duty," doing our part and living up to our obligations.
Help kids understand that effort creates ability. One of our definitions says "diligence is working your very hardest and staying with it." and another "Diligence is steady, earnest, and energetic effort." Then, there's the old saying: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
If first graders are studying the Pilgrims and first North American colonists, they are a GREAT example of diligence, perseverance, and patience.
Patience is the power to wait peacefully. That's such a challenge for a first grader, and he or she has opportunities every day to practice: lining up for recess, waiting until all are ready to begin, waiting for the bus.
Kindness & Generosity
Courage Physical and civic courage. Tie in with American Revolution.
Patience A good first grade extension of perseverance. Enduring.
"The strong shall not hurt the weak." -The Code of Hammurabi
Compassion Extension of generosity. Sensing the pain of others. Coming to the aid of the weak. Code of Hammurabi.