Lower School

Grade One

Grade 1 is the ultimate transition between a Montessori environment and a traditional classroom, where students are exposed to novel ideas and encouraged to think critically about immediate problems and larger concepts. Students excel, thanks to the Early School foundation and an enterprising curriculum that builds self-confidence alongside academic prowess.

Grade 1 Curriculum


Emergent reading and writing skills are tackled with vigor and catered to each student’s personal learning style through the DailyCafe literacy framework. Daily 5 is a way of structuring reading so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research-based tasks will have the biggest impact on students’ reading and writing achievements and will foster the development of students who already love to read and write.

  • Wordly Wise 3000 program to develop vocabulary skills
  • Daily journaling to develop writing composition and grammar skills
  • Zaner-Bloser Spelling Connections for meaningful instruction and practice to increase spelling proficiency
  • Zaner-Bloser Manual Handwriting
  • Lexia Core5 to provide individualized reading, grammar and vocabulary instruction


Students build on both concrete and abstract processes introduced in our Montessori Early School. The Singapore Math curriculum is implemented through concrete, pictorial and abstract steps. The spiral program structure in Grades 1-5 allows students to gain a rich connection to process and procedures.

Concepts Introduced: number sense, comparing numbers, addition and subtraction, shapes and weight, counting money values, basic multiplication and division, beginning fractions, problem solving


The Grosse Pointe Academy’s unique early STEAM program integrates life sciences with larger, structural scientific and technological concepts. Hands-on experiments provide demonstrative learning experiences where students make predictions and develop conclusions themselves.

Curriculum includes:

  • Ecology, plants and life cycles, and sea life
  • The senses
  • Light and sound waves
  • Structure, function, and information processing (biomimicry)
  • Space and the solar system
  • Integrated technology sea life project


The import of responsible and informed citizenship begins early. Alongside an introduction to history and social institutions, students are taught to appreciate individual and cultural differences through thematic lessons. The course also offers community service learning opportunities to support students’ social growth and create an early understanding of global responsibility.

Curriculum includes:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Inquiry and Socratic dialogue
  • Economics
  • Civics

Specials Courses


  • Artists and art styles
  • Art history
  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and textiles


  • GPA Character Development Program
  • Holidays
  • Introduction to biblical text and stories
  • Study of biblical heroes


  • Communication
  • Comparisons
  • Cross-curriculum connections
  • Cultures


  • Book selection
  • Characteristics of books
  • Library media procedures


  • Exploration of music through movement
  • Introduction to Orff instruments
  • Musical Performance
  • Rhythm and tonal dictation


  • Develop strong cardio, respiratory, muscular endurance and flexibility
  • Participate in fun games, sports and lifelong physical activities
  • Tie health to total wellness

General Information


The Academy uses a series of informal and formal assessments throughout the year to identify each student’s individual progress, strengths, and areas for development. Reading comprehension level and progress is measured three times a year via the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment.


  • Grade 1 and 8 Buddy Program (apple picking at an orchard)
  • Sea Life Aquarium
  • Theater Trip – Literature Play


  • Buddy program
  • Chapel assembly
  • Christmas Chapel Giving assembly
  • Community service
  • After-school activities like Arts and Crafts, Catholic Formation, Chess Club, TGA Golf and Junior Chefs
  • Field Day
  • Class play/musical
  • Garden classroom
  • Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day
  • Halloween parade
  • Soccer, basketball, floor hockey and softball intramurals
  • Multi-age STEAM activities
  • Sea Life performance
  • Special assemblies and celebrations


  • Full-time school nurse
  • Academic resource specialist
  • Technology and learning specialist


  • Keyboarding skills
  • Beginner coding and programming is introduced
  • Creative programs, visual literacy and game-based learning are integrated into curriculum
  • Digital safety and citizenship
  • LEGO robotics