Volunteers needed in August!   Click here to sign up.
 Site Areas: 
Printer-friendly version   

What to Expect from Each Grade Level

Last updated Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Every child is unique and may be more or less developed than the norm. Be flexible! Here are two general points:
  •  Children do not often answer questions right away. Usually they simply stare back without any hint of comprehension. Be patient, and wait for them to answer--usually they are just thinking. This can take up to several minutes!
  •  These are the ages where girls can be shier than boys, and they may take some prodding to be a part of the discussion--prod all the children, and don't be discouraged if it takes some of them a while. Teach them the value of all opinions.

Grade Levels:     Kindergarten   |   1st   |   2nd   |   3rd   |   4th   |   5th

Grade Educational Level Art Ability Emotional Level

Back to top
 •  Most will know alphabet by Jan., numbers to 30 by June.
 •  Can best grasp simple stories with simple logical sequence
 •  Little concept of city, state, or country
 •  Best with simple instructions, one at a time
 •  Difficulty with scissors except with simple shapes
 •  Coloring not always inside the lines
 •  Can not trace patterns
 •  Gluesticks or paste ok--trouble with liquid glue
 •  Will interrupt a lot!
 •  Very fidgety, with little concept of personal space
 •  10-15 minute attention span

Back to top
 •  Understand characters, setting, and sequence when obvious, and later, even with just clues
 •  Can start to write simple sentences
 •  Working on adding adjectives to describe nouns
 •  Have better understanding of cities--if told they live in CA they may reply, "No, I live in L.A."
 •  Can handle complex one-step instructions or two simple sets of instructions
 •  Can handle simple comprehension questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how?
 •  Somewhat increasing dexterity, but more notable in second grade
 •  Understand mixing colors will make new colors
 •  Hand-eye better for tracing simple patterns
 •  Gluesticks or paste still preferred
 •  Will still interrupt!
 •  Still fidgety
 •  20 minute attention span

Back to top
 •  Can discuss characters, setting, plot, and author's purpose
 •  Increased comprehension--can and answer some questions
 •  Can also understand prediction--have them predict what will happen next, and teach cause and effect with this
 •  Can grasp main ideas and details that support that idea
 •  Can trace difficult patterns unless too intricate
 •  Can fold, tear, cut to make a picture, but when asking to fold many times, do so slowly and one step at a time
 •  Have begun to know and explore complex colors
 •  Less fidgety, with better concept of personal space
 •  20-25 minute attention span

Back to top
 •  Can write complete thoughts in paragraphs
 •  Understand more complex thoughts, and can determine the underlying theme in a story
 •  Understand the world is made up of continents, countries, states, and so forth
 •  Can really begin breaking apart stories to create ideas of their own. They can generate alternative endings to plots, and understand why
 •  Creativity increasing--have them create 3-D models of the setting, paint the backdrop for a play they read, rewrite the ending of a story, create a story with the same characters but different plot
 •  Can trace, cut and color well
 •  May show a need to have the project be "perfect"--will want to start over a lot
 •  Should behave and be much easier to manage
 •  20-25 minute attention span

Back to top
 •  Begin to analyze things critically
 •  Much increased vocabulary, with ability to determine meaning of word from context
 •  Can evaluate new information and hypotheses by testing them against known information and ideas
 •  Can recognize figurative language (simile, metaphor, etc.) in text
 •  Pretty much capable of creating anything
 •  Creativity may be disappearing so pull it back and give them ways to be creative
 •  Will be accustomed to behaving in a classroom
 •  May express a growing need to be "cool"
 •  Half hour attention span

Back to top
 •  Can identify the main problem or conflict of the plot and explain how it is resolved
 •  Can follow multiple step instructions
 •  Understand synonyms, antonyms, figurative language
 •  Can understand complex themes
 •  Capable of most projects
 •  Again, may have forgotten how to be creative, and will be more inclined to copy others--encourage creative brainstorming.
 •  Need things that are meaningful to do or will do a poor job
 •  Need to feel it is their idea to do it and not to be forced
 •  Will be accustomed to behaving in a classroom
 •  Half hour attention span

Grade Levels:     Kindergarten   |   1st   |   2nd   |   3rd   |   4th   |   5th