Lower Elementary Curriculum



The Lower Elementary aligns 21-Century skills with the Common Core Language Arts Standards through a reading and writing workshop model allowing students to become passionate, skilled writers and readers. Students in the Lower Elementary acquire reading, writing, and oral skills through integrated units, literacy centers, small group instruction, and independent inquiry studies. 


The Lower Elementary aligns 21-Century skills with the Common Core Math Standards. The Math program develops a familiarity with numbers, measurement, and geometry for students using a hands-on approach. It promotes problem-solving, reasoning, and the development of higher-order and critical-thinking skills. 


The Lower Elementary Science program approaches the study of the Sciences as hands-on, collaborative, investigative experiences that develop students as 21st Century Learners.  An inquiry-based approach allows learners to develop into creative, critical thinkers who work through the design thinking process to solve real world problems. Students engage in a variety of experiential learning opportunities in the Life, Earth and Physical Sciences, then apply their learning through an Engineering and Design process.  Learning progressions are based on the Next Generation Science Standards. Students learn to ask questions about phenomena, develop a simple design to solve a problem, and analyze the data. 

Social Studies

The Social Studies curriculum in the Lower Elementary creates global citizens and expands students’ awareness of the world in which they live through the American Reaches Out Social Studies Standards. The program introduces important concepts and generalizations from History, Geography, and other Social Sciences through a hands-on, integrated study of children and their families, homes, schools, neighborhoods, and communities. 


Artists gain an appreciation for Art, through exploration, practice and reflection. In lower elementary, creative individuals learn to explore art while responding with originality. Artist build a knowledge base of skills and knowledge through experiences with materials and resources when producing personal works.  

Art allows students to cultivate relationships with their classmates while developing their fine motor skills, talent, concentration, coordination, self-caring, sensibility and freedom.  Art provides students with new and rich experiences that increase their cultural panorama and encourage artistic creation as expressive media. Art must be an exciting, activity-based course able to effectively provide a healthy and creative environment within the school and throughout the entire community. 

Host Country Language

The host country language studies program emphasizes an understanding and appreciation of the Mandarin language and Chinese culture.  Students engage in an exploration of their daily experiences while living in China. These experiences provide the vocabulary and phrasing to help students’ entry into the local culture and everyday life, with a focus on oral fluency. 


Music education enables all learners to explore, create, perceive, and communicate thoughts, images, and feeling through music. Shared experiences in music also significantly contribute to the development of a healthier society through activities that respect and reflect the diversity of human experiences.   

Throughout the DAIS music curriculum, objectives progress from one grade level to the next, with growing sophistication. Lower elementary music students develop musical skills through vocal and movement exploration, musical games, and playing simple percussion instruments. DAIS students explore, create, and interpret self and global awareness through the study of music traditions of various cultures. Through experiences that require focused and sustained practice, our students develop discipline and confidence. 


Technology at DAIS is integrated into all curriculum areas, with a strong emphasis on the thinking skills that underpin effective use of technology resources. Technology lessons are collaboratively planned, and students learn how to use a wide variety of tech tools including the Microsoft 365 suite, to create, produce and present their learning. Students are encouraged to develop thinking skills that will help them learn and use new technology tools as they emerge to help them be better prepared for 21st Century life. Students in Grades K-2 are introduced to basic computer use, internet research and presentation skills while building on their natural and innate curiosity. In order to help students learn to digitally express themselves, create new and innovative ideas and solve problems, they are introduced to concepts such as Global Collaborator, Creative Communicator, and being an ethical and responsible Digital Citizen. 

Physical Education

The Elementary School incorporates the mind, body and spirit into our Physical Education Program. In lower elementary, our students are learning how to physically demonstrate basic skills, in order to begin to learn how to play Tennis, Table Tennis, Fitness, Basketball, Dance, Baseball, Soccer, Games, Swimming, and other activities throughout the year. PE is broken into three major domains: Affective, Psychomotor and Cognitive. In these areas, the PE Program follows the National Physical Education Standards for Grade Levels Pre-K through 12th Grade.  

Learning Support

Children in mainstream classes who experience learning difficulties are identified, supported and monitored by the learning support department. Learning support is individualized to the student and their current academic and social needs allowing them to develop intellect, character, and health. 


The goal of our Lower Elementary English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program is to improve the students’ level of English. EAL support provides assistance in different language skills, depending on students’ English abilities, interests, and needs. All programs teach the following: conversational and academic English, grammar, listening comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and vocabulary via a sheltered immersion program.