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Next Generation Science Standards: First Grade

Wondering what activities you can do to meet the Next Generation Science Standards for first grade? Unpack the standards and find simple NGSS experiments for first grade here!

Next Generation Science Standards for First Grade (you may also see them listed as first grade NGSS) offers a framework and criteria for teaching science in first grade.

NGSS is unique in that each year the science lessons build off of the previous year, making this set of standards one of the most cohesive and comprehensive science programs to date.

NGSS also emphasizes the importance of STEM as a complete learning system, which is why we’re big fans of NGSS at STEAMsational.

Wondering what activities you can do to meet the Next Generation Science Standards for first grade? Unpack the standards and find simple NGSS experiments for first grade here!

However, understanding NGS standards can be tricky, and finding NGSS first grade experiments can be even trickier.

Learn a little more about the NGSS 1st grade standards and some simple experiments you can use in your classroom here!

Don’t miss the NGSS kindergarten standards!

NGSS First Grade Standards

The following is a list of the NGS standards for first grade. You can learn more about the standards and how to apply them here.

elementary stem challenge cards

K-2-ETS1 Engineering Design

-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

-3 Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

1-PS4 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

-1 Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

-2 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated.

-3 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.

-4 . Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.

1-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

ngss 1st grade lesson plans

-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs

-2 Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive

1-LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

-1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

1-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe

-1 Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

-2 Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year.

What is the Next Generation Science Standard 1st Grade Breakdown?

The trouble with the NGSS system is that it gives a lot of guidance on the hows and whys of their system, but it doesn’t give a lot of practical ideas for implementing the lessons.

The NGSS system isn’t a complete curriculum, so teachers are often responsible for coming up with their own lessons and curriculum planning, which is a hassle and takes a lot of time.

Basically, in first grade, students cover:

  1. The basics of engineering and design such as how to make a model and conduct an experiment.
  2. Learning about light and sound in reference to technology.
  3. Patterns of behavior and growth in animals.
  4. Heredity and traits.
  5. Patterns in the solar system as related to light on earth.

NGSS First Grade Lesson Plans

ngss 1st grade standards

Below is a list of science experiments and activities that cover the topics in the NGSS first grade standards.

Sound Waves

First Grade Sound Experiments

Light Waves

Bend a Pencil with Light Waves

Light-Up Slime

Glow-in-the-dark Oobleck

Flashlight Constellations

Communication through Waves

Tin Can Sound Experiment

ngss first grade lessons

Animal Parenting Patterns

Observe Animal Babies and Their Parents


Heredity in elementary school.

Space Patterns

Solar System Slime

Solar System Suncatcher

Space Mobile

Flashlight Constellations

ngss for first grade

Weather Light Patterns

Solar System Slime

Lifesize Model of the Solar System

How Sunlight Warms the Earth

elementary stem challenge cards

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