First grade dra level

What Reading Level Should a First Grader Be At?Making English Fun

Throughout elementary and middle school, reading levels are a core component of education. The reading level determines what your child is capable of reading and comprehending. Knowing what level they’re at will allow you to practice with them to enhance their skills and figure out how they compare to the rest of their class.

A first grader should be at a reading level between 3 to 12. Higher reading levels indicate that they’re near the top of their class, but there’s always room for growth. In some cases, your child might fall below or rise above the range. Practice and proper tutoring will improve their reading level.

In this article, you’ll also learn the following information about what reading level a first grader should be at:

  • Basic details that determine reading levels
  • How you can help your child improve or adjust their reading skills
  • Reading concepts they will learn from the beginning to the end of first grade
  • Links to reading resources designed by teachers

What Is a Reading Level?

A reading level is a guide or resource that indicates comprehension, pronunciation, and clarity of a person’s reading. First graders shouldn’t be expected to read the same books as sixth graders, so it’s essential to go slow and steady while they’re learning new skills. This process should flow with the rest of the class, as you’ll learn in the next section.

As explained by Scholastic, there are plenty of reading level guides, including alphabetical, numerical and more. Here are the following reading level indicators: This is not a definitive list and its can be fairly confusing for teachers as well as parents. There are comparison guides, like the one below from real kids mag so that you can properly choose books across levels for your students. We are producing our own Free downloadable one for you as well this week. We have linked to one here but if you have a guided reading system of your own you should be able to find the correct comparison chart as well.

Many publishers use their own systems as well

  • Scholastic Guided Level Reading Program
  • Scholastic Guided Reading Lexile Ranges
  • CCSS Lexile Recommendations
  • DRA Level
  • PM Benchmark

Since it’s one of the most common methods, we’ll focus on the DRA Level today. As you’ve read in the introduction, a first grader should be reading between 3 to 12. It’s crucial that you remember they won’t be at a 12 right when they start first grade. The next section will detail what they’ll learn throughout the year to bring them as high on the chart as possible.

Note: While 12 is at the top of the list for first graders, you shouldn’t worry if your child isn’t there at the end of the year. It’s not a requirement until the middle of their second-grade year. If they’re already at a 12 in first grade, they’re ahead of the curve. By the beginning of second grade, your child should be around 8.

What Reading Skills They Will Learn in First Grade

Perhaps the most essential part of learning and reading in first grade is comprehension. Teachers focus on helping your first grader retell stories and understand what they’re saying rather than merely repeating what they’ve heard. For this reason, big words and long stories could prove challenging at the beginning of the year.

According to Reading Rockets, a first grader will learn how to break down long words and understand various sounds made by each word. Patience is key since English is one of the most challenging languages to read, even for those who speak it natively. Combinations such as ‘th’, ‘ough,’ and ‘sh’ will be taught throughout the year in a native classroom, in Second language it will be focusing on word construction with CVC and Blends.

Punctuation is another essential part of the year. Exclamation points, question marks, periods, and commas will be highlighted. Semicolons and colons won’t be taught until later in the year or during second grade. Your goal as a parent should be to help your child learn the four previously mentioned punctuations.

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Another reading skill will be capitalization, pronouns, starting a sentence, and other capitalized letters will be explored. Remember that, along with punctuation, capitalization likely won’t be mastered until second grade. However, your first grader will be able to start understanding stories and sentences, opening the gates to inspired, entertaining reading sessions.

Once they learn how to comprehend sentences, they’ll start to engage much quicker. They might wonder why something is one way or another, and they could begin to correct sentences if they feel something is wrong. This is a crucial stage that you could help them realize right from wrong in the world of reading and writing.

What Language Will Books at These Reading Levels Contain?

During their first grade year, the language contained in books and stories includes three to four-letter words. They range from simple words like ‘the’ or ‘and,’ but they’ll lead to bigger words that could present a challenge. Remember to sound out each letter with them so they understand the variations of vowels. suggests asking your child questions about books, stories, and sentences that they’re reading. This step will cause them to think and build on their knowledge while comprehending what they’re studying. They also recommend engaging in predictions to get your first grader to dig deeper into the reading material. We have Comprehension workbooks to help with this.

Since first graders are guided towards comprehension rather than in-depth long words, they won’t have to learn too many words over four or five letters. They should take this year to practice their understanding of the basic concepts that form a sentence, including punctuation, pronunciation, and letter combinations, as mentioned in the previous section.

Here’s an excellent way to help them learn tough words:

  1. Break down every word into individual letters. If there’s a combination (sh, th, ough), separate it into its own chunk.
  2. Focus on words that they already know how to say. If they’re familiar with the word, they’ll be able to use contextual clues to figure out how to read it.
  3. Don’t study for too long. Short 15-minute study sessions hold their interest long enough to prevent reading from becoming a boring chore.
  4. Use the resources from school and online to supplement these skills. We have 1000s on our site for free and premium downloads.

How Can Parents Help Their First Grader Develop a Love for Reading?

Helping your child become an interested reader is one of the most understood processes in schooling. You don’t want to spend hours every day, or they’ll be overwhelmed and won’t retain most of the information. As you saw in the third tip of the previous section, short study sessions are the key to success.

Here’s a list of ways that you can help your first grader develop a love for reading:

  • Find reading material that they’re interested in. For example, if they love sports or cars, choose those books over anything else. It’s not the concept that matters; It’s the words found throughout the reading that makes a big difference. We have some leveled reading material aimed at young learners here.
  • Reward them for reading a specific number of words. They’ll begin to associate a learning session with enjoyment rather than a distraction from playing with toys or friends. Remember to read with them, so they don’t feel like they’re trying to learn by themselves.
  • Picture books can keep your child’s interest for countless minutes. If you stop reading after 15 to 20 minutes, they’ll be begging to jump back into the material.

All of these suggestions point to one fact: You can make your child love reading by finding out what they’re interested in and using it to educate and elevate their reading skills. Their reading level will naturally and gradually increase as the material becomes more challenging.


Now that you know where they should be and what they’ll learn, you’re equipped to help your child with at-home education. Some children can read and comprehend faster, so you might need to spend more or less time focusing on specific words.

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • First graders typically fall between a 3 to 12 reading level.
  • You can help them by focusing on challenging words and breaking down the meaning of each sentence.
  • Find books and stories that they’ll love to improve their engagement.
  • Use additional resources and activities to engage and inspire them


  • Scholastic – Learn About Leveled Reading
  • Reading Rockets – Goals for First Grade: Early Reading and Writing
  • Parents – What Will My Kid Learn in First Grade?

Hi I’m Marc. A teacher of over 15 years, English, General Studies and Outdoor Education. Thought it was about time to sharing both what I have learnt during that time and the resources I have put together. On this site we aim to teach the theory and share our thoughts, but also go that one step further and give you access to the hard resources you need for your class or for you children

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I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

First-Grade Reading Level Defined, According To A First-Grade Educator

Good To Know

Not all learning-to-read journeys are the same, but these tips can help.

by Candace Nagy


Originally Published: 

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Got a little one making the transition from kindergarten to first grade this fall? It's a big step that will come with new learning milestones — reading independently being one of them. While they may not be ready to dive into the Harry Potter series just yet, this is the age where you might see them reading to themselves... or you! And you might also be wondering what level of reading a first grader should be at. This insider look at how a first-grade reading level is assessed in the classroom and what you can do at home to support your child's reading goals will help take the guesswork out of early literacy.

According to first-grade educator Minnie Phai, "For many districts, [...] a child's reading level is determined by doing a ‘running record.’ This is when a teacher reads a book with a student and records how they read, what their strengths are as readers, what strategies they use to decode unknown words, and their comprehension skills. A child's independent reading level is then narrowed down and matched to a corresponding grade level. The most commonly used running record system is Fountas & Pinnell."

First Grade Reading Levels

Many publishers also categorize books into "Levels" that correspond to the average reading abilities of children, including some of the "Big Five" like Random House and Harper Collins, making it easier for parents to choose books appropriate for their child's grade and age. And first-grade reading levels typically correspond with Levels 1 and 2.

"Once [children] are reading these Level 1 and Level 2 books independently (with little to no help from adults, with very high or perfect accuracy), what you're hearing is children decoding all the words with greater ease and confidence. For some children, this is when they're left to read on their own or tasked with reading to their grown-up or a sibling," says Phai.

First-Grade Reading Level Examples

Curious exactly what Level 1 and Level 2 books look like? The following are classic examples:

  • Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman (Level 1)
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
  • Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss (Level 1)
  • Garden Day! by Candice Ransom (Level 1)
  • A Pig, A Fox, And Stinky Socks by Jonathan Fenske (Level 2)
  • The Bookstore Ghost by Barbara Maitland (Level 2)
  • Richard Scarry’s Be Careful, Mr. Frumble! by Richard Scarry (Level 2)

Encouraging a First-Grade Reader

If your child is showing signs of independent reading at Levels 1 and 2, congratulations! You're off the hook for storytime, and your child will now also be responsible for teaching any younger kids in your home or in your neighborhood to read! OK, so maybe that's a stretch. But it is a great opportunity to celebrate your child's achievements and also a reminder to check in often with their reading comprehension, fluency, and stamina — encouraging and supporting their learning to read journey.

Phai says, "This may be as simple as taking note of it, such as noticing how long their child can read for before they become fatigued, or how they are able to read in a phrased and expressive way. It can also be as involved as helping [them] differentiate character voices from narrator voices, or making inferences together like guessing what the character is feeling or thinking and why they might be feeling that way. " If this sounds a little advanced for first grade, Phai points out that these less obvious skills are absolutely necessary for progressing to reading more complex texts.

Of course, every parent knows that getting their kids to do something they don't want to do can feel like pulling teeth. Your best bet is to find ways to make reading feel as comfortable and engaging as possible for your reluctant reader. A few ideas might include:

  • Create a cozy reading nook.
  • Take a trip to the library and let your kids pick out their favorite books.
  • Encourage your kids to act out a play based on the books they are reading.
  • Make connections between the characters in the books and real life.
  • Be a reading role model and show your kids how excited you are about reading.
  • Let your kid read aloud to you.

Now that you know what you might expect from your first-grader in terms of reading and how to support them, keep in mind that not every child is going to be excited about reading (ahem, remember that book that sat untouched on your nightstand for three months?). But making reading fun with these tips will definitely go a long way toward encouraging your first grader's love of reading!

Sight Words for First Graders

  1. after
  2. all
  3. and
  4. as
  5. at
  6. be
  7. big
  8. but
  9. can’t
  10. car
  11. come
  12. could
  13. day
  14. did
  15. do
  16. for
  17. form
  18. from
  19. fun
  20. give
  21. had
  22. have
  23. her
  24. his
  25. how
  26. if
  27. like
  28. look
  29. make
  30. many
  31. my
  32. new
  33. not
  34. now
  35. number
  36. numerals
  37. of
  38. on
  39. or
  40. our
  41. out
  42. play
  43. run
  44. saw
  45. should
  46. that
  47. their
  48. these
  49. this
  50. this
  51. us
  52. want
  53. was
  54. we
  55. went
  56. what
  57. when
  58. which
  59. would
  60. your

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System of lessons based on M. Gorky's play "At the Bottom"

Gorky A.M. Key dates of life and work
Works by A.M. Gorky (site library)

Portrait of A.M. Gorky by V.A. Serov, 1905

A play by Maxim Gorky written at the end of 1901-early 1902, was allowed only in the Moscow Art Theater, where the first production was carried out on December 18, 1902 by director Stanislavsky, who played one of the central roles (Satin), and Nemirovich-Danchenko. By the 60th anniversary of the first production (December 18, 1962), the play was held at the Moscow Art Theater 1451 times.
(see Characters of the play "At the Bottom" in drawings by B.D. Grigoriev)

Lesson system based on the play by M. Gorky "At the bottom"[1]

Lesson 1. Features of the genre and conflict in M. Gorky's play "At the Bottom"
Lesson 2. "What you believe in is what it is." The role of Luka in the drama "At the Bottom"
Lesson 3. The question of truth in Gorky's drama "At the Bottom"

Lesson 1. Features of the genre and conflict in M. Gorky's play "At the Bottom"
Lesson objectives: show Gorky's innovation; identify the elements of genre and conflict in a play.
Teaching methods: analytical conversation.

Course of the lesson
I. Teacher's word
Some philosophical and aesthetic ideas were reflected in Gorky's early romantic works Nietzsche . . Therefore, Danko, who sacrifices himself for the sake of people, is on a par with the drunkard and thief Chelkash, who does not perform any feats for the sake of anyone. "Strength is virtue," said Nietzsche, and for Gorky, the beauty of a person lies in strength and even aimless feat : a strong person has the right to be “beyond good and evil”, to be outside ethical principles, like Chelkash, and a feat, from this point of view, is resistance to the general flow of life.
After a series of romantic works of the 90s, full of rebellious ideas, Gorky creates a play that has become, perhaps, the most important link in the entire philosophical and artistic system of the writer - the drama "At the Bottom" (1902). Let's see what heroes inhabit the "bottom" and how they live.

II. Conversation on the content of the play "At the Bottom"
— How is the scene depicted in the play?
(The scene is described in the author's remarks. In the first act it is "a cave-like cellar", "heavy, stone vaults, sooty, with crumbling plaster" . It is important that the writer gives instructions on how the scene is illuminated: " from the viewer and from top to bottom" the light reaches the bedchambers from the basement window, as if looking for people among the basement inhabitants. Thin partitions enclose Ash's room.
“Bunk beds everywhere on the walls” . Except for Kvashnya, Baron and Nastya, who live in the kitchen, no one has their own corner. Everything is in front of each other for show, a secluded place only on the stove and behind the cotton canopy that separates the bed of the dying Anna from the others (this way she is already, as it were, separated from life). Dirt everywhere: "dirty cotton canopy" , unpainted and dirty table, benches, stool, torn cardboard, pieces of oilcloth, rags.
The third act of takes place in the early spring evening on a wasteland, "littered with various rubbish and overgrown with weeds in the yard" . Let's pay attention to the color of this place: the dark wall of the barn or stable "gray, covered with the remains of plaster" wall of the rooming house, the red wall of the brick firewall that covers the sky, the reddish light of the setting sun, black elderberry branches without buds.
Significant changes take place in the setting of the fourth act: the partitions of the former Ash room are broken, the Tick's anvil has disappeared. The action takes place at night, and the light from the outside world no longer breaks into the basement - the stage is lit by a lamp standing in the middle of the table. However, the last "act" of the drama takes place in a wasteland - the Actor strangled himself there.)0029

— What kind of people are the inhabitants of the rooming house?
(People who have sunk to the bottom of life end up in a rooming house. This is the last refuge for tramps, outcasts, "former people." All social strata of society are here: the ruined nobleman Baron, the owner of the rooming house Kostylev, policeman Medvedev, locksmith Kleshch, card maker Bubnov, the trader Kvashnya, the card sharper Satin, the prostitute Nastya, the thief Pepel. Everyone is equalized by the position of the dregs of society. Very young people live here (the shoemaker Alyoshka is 20 years old) and still not old people (the oldest, Bubnov, 45 years old). However, their life is almost over. Dying Anna appears to us as an old woman, but it turns out she is 30 years old.0039 Many shelters do not even have names, only nicknames remain, expressively describing their carriers. The appearance of the dumplings merchant Kvashnya, the character of the Mite, the ambition of the Baron are clear. The actor once bore the sonorous surname Sverchkov-Zadunaisky, but now there are almost no memories left - “I forgot everything.”)

— What is the subject of the image in the play?
(The subject of the image in the drama "At the Bottom" is the consciousness of people thrown out as a result of deep social processes, to the "bottom" of life).

— What is the conflict of the drama?
( The social conflict has several levels in the play. The social poles are clearly marked: on one, the owner of the hostel, Kostylev, and the policeman Medvedev, who supports him in power; people deprived of rights . This conflict hardly develops, because Kostylev and Medvedev are not so far from the inhabitants of the rooming house.
Each of the hostels experienced in the past their own social conflict , as a result of which they found themselves in a humiliating position.)
A sharp conflict situation that plays out before the eyes of the audience is the most important feature of drama as a kind of literature.

— What brought its inhabitants to the rooming house — Satin, Baron, Klesch, Bubnov, Actor, Nastya, Pepel? What is the backstory of these characters?

( Satin went “to the bottom” after serving time in prison for murder: “He killed a scoundrel in his temper and irritation ... because of his own sister”; Baron went bankrupt; Kleshch lost his job: “I am a working person... I have been working since I was young”; Bubnov left home out of harm's way so as not to kill his wife and her lover, although he himself admits that he is "lazy" and even a drunkard, "would have drunk the workshop"; Actor drank himself, "drank away his soul . .. died"; the fate of Ashes was predetermined already at his birth: “I am a thief from childhood ... everyone always told me: thief Vaska, thieves son Vaska!”
The Baron tells in more detail about the stages of his fall (act four): “It seems to me that all my life I have only changed clothes ... but why? I do not understand! He studied - he wore the uniform of a noble institute ... but what did he study? I don't remember... He got married - put on a tailcoat, then - a dressing gown... but he took a bad wife and - why? I don't understand... He lived everything he had - he wore some kind of gray jacket and red trousers... but how did he get mad? I didn't notice... I served in the Treasury Chamber... a uniform, a cap with a cockade... I squandered government money, they put on me a prisoner's robe... then I put on this... And that's all... as in a dream. .. a? That's funny? Each stage of the life of the thirty-three-year-old Baron seems to be marked by a certain costume. These dressings symbolize a gradual decline in social status, and there is nothing behind these "dressing up", life passed "like in a dream". )

— How is the social conflict related to the dramatic one?
(The social conflict is removed from the stage, relegated to the past, it does not become the basis of the dramaturgical conflict. We observe only the result of off-stage conflicts.)

- What kind of conflicts, besides the social one, stand out in the play?
(There is a traditional love conflict in the play . It is determined by the relationship between Vaska Pepel, Vasilisa, the wife of the owner of the hostel, Kostylev and Natasha, Vasilisa's sister. in the rooming house his wife Vasilisa, who is cheating on him with Vaska Pepel.During the development of the love conflict , it becomes clear that the relationship with Natasha revives Ash, he wants to leave with her and start a new life.
The culmination of conflict is taken offstage: at the end of the third act, we learn from Kvashnya's words that "they boiled the girl's legs with boiling water" - Vasilisa knocked over the samovar and scalded Natasha's legs.
The murder of Kostylev by Vaska Ash turns out to be the tragic outcome of a love conflict . Natasha ceases to believe Ash: “She is at the same time! Damn you! Both of you…”)

— What is the peculiarity of a love conflict?
(Love conflict becomes the edge of social conflict . He shows that anti-human conditions cripple a person, and even love does not save a person, but leads to tragedy: to death, mutilation, murder, penal servitude. As a result, one Vasilisa achieves all her goals: she takes revenge on her former lover Pepl and her sister-rival Natasha, gets rid of her unloved and disgusted husband and becomes the sole mistress of the rooming house.There is nothing human left in Vasilisa, and this shows the enormity of social conditions that have disfigured both the inhabitants of the rooming house and her The hosts do not directly participate in this conflict, they are only bystanders. )

III. Final word of the teacher
The conflict in which all the characters are involved is of a different kind. Gorky depicts the consciousness of the people of the “bottom”. The plot unfolds not so much in external action - in everyday life, but in the dialogues of the characters. It is the conversations of the roommates that determine the development of the dramatic conflict . The action is transferred to a non-event series. This is typical for the philosophical drama genre .
So, the genre of the play can be defined as a socio-philosophical drama .

Additional material for the teacher
To write at the beginning of the lesson, you can suggest the following plan for analyzing a dramatic work:
1. Time of creation and publication of the play.
2. The place occupied in the work of the playwright.
3. The theme of the play and the reflection of certain vital material in it.
4. Actors and their grouping.
5. The conflict of a dramatic work, its originality, the degree of novelty and sharpness, its deepening.
6. Development of dramatic action and its phases. Exposition, plot, ups and downs, climax, denouement.
7. Composition of the play. The role and significance of each act.
8. Dramatic characters and their connection with action.
9. Speech characteristics of characters. Relationship between character and word.
10. The role of dialogues and monologues in the play. Word and action.
11. Identification of the author's position. The role of remarks in drama.
12. Genre and specificity of the play. Correspondence of the genre to the author's predilections and preferences.
13. Comedy means (if it is a comedy).
14. Tragic coloring (in case of tragedy analysis).
15. Correlation of the play with the aesthetic positions of the author and his views on the theater. The purpose of the play for a particular scene.
16. Theatrical interpretation of the drama at the time of its creation and later. The best acting ensembles, outstanding directorial decisions, memorable incarnations of individual roles.
17. The play and its dramatic traditions.

Identify the role of Luka in the play. Write out his statements about people, about life, about truth, about faith.

Lesson 2. “What you believe is what you are.” The role of Luke in the drama "At the Bottom"
Purpose of the lesson: create a problem situation and encourage students to express their own point of view on the image of Luke and his life position.
Methodical techniques: discussion, analytical conversation.

Lesson progress
I. Analytical conversation

Let's turn to the non-event series of the drama and see how the conflict develops here.

— How do the inhabitants of the rooming house perceive their situation before the appearance of Luke?
(In exposition we see people, in essence, putting up with their humiliating position . The roommates languidly, habitually quarrel, and the Actor says to Sateen: “One day they will completely kill you ... to death ...” "- Satin snaps. "Why?" - the Actor is surprised. "Because - you can't kill twice."
These words of Satine show his attitude towards the existence that they all lead in a rooming house. This is not life, they are all already dead. Everything seems to be clear.
But the Actor's retort is interesting: "I don't understand... Why not?" Perhaps it is the Actor, who has died more than once on the stage, who understands the horror of the situation more deeply than others. He is the one who commits suicide at the end of the play.)

— What is the meaning of using past tense in the characters' self-characteristics?
(People feel like “former” :
“Satin. I was an educated person ” (the paradox is that the past tense is impossible in this case).
“Bubnov. I’m a furrier was ".
Bubnov pronounces a philosophical maxim: "It turns out - don't paint yourself outside, everything will be erased ... everything will be erased , yes!" )

— Which of the characters opposes himself to the others?
(Only one Tick has not come to terms yet with his fate. He separates himself from the rest of the roomers: “What kind of people are they? Roar, golden company... people! I'm a working man... I'm ashamed to look at them... I've been working since I was little... Do you think I won't break out of here? I'll get out... I'll rip off my skin, and I'll get out... Just wait... my wife dies...'
Klesh's dream of another life is connected with the liberation that his wife's death will bring him. He does not feel the enormity of his statement. Yes, and the dream will be imaginary.)

— Which scene is the beginning of the conflict?
( The beginning of the conflict is the appearance of Luka . He immediately announces his views on life: “I don’t care! I respect crooks, in my opinion, not a single flea is bad: everyone is black, everyone jumps .. So-and-so". And one more thing: "For an old man - where it's warm, there is a homeland..."
Luka turns out to be in the center of attention of guests : "What an interesting old man you brought, Natasha ..." - and all the development the plot focuses on him.)

— How does Luka behave with each of the inhabitants of the rooming house?
(Luka quickly finds an approach to the lodging-houses: "I'll take a look at you, brothers - your life - oh-oh!.."
He pities Alyoshka: "Oh, boy, you're confused..."
Luka becomes necessary for Anna, pities her: "How can you leave a man like that?" this rod.)

— What do we know about Luke?
(Luka says almost nothing about himself, we only learn: “They crushed a lot, that’s why he is soft . ..”)

— How does Luke affect the overnight stays?
(Luka sees a person in each of the shelters, reveals their bright sides, the essence of personality , and this produces a revolution in the life of characters.
It turns out that the prostitute Nastya dreams of beautiful and bright love; receives hope for a cure for alcoholism - Luke tells him: “A man can do anything, if only he wants to ...”;
thief Vaska Pepel plans to leave for Siberia and start a new life there with Natasha, to become a strong master.
Anna Luca gives consolation: “Nothing, dear! You - hope ... That means you will die, and you will be calm ... you will not need anything else, and there is nothing to be afraid of! Quiet, calm - lie to yourself!
Luke reveals the good in every person and inspires faith in the best. )

— Did Luka lie to the rooming houses?
(There may be different opinions on this matter.
Luka unselfishly tries to help people, instill self-confidence in them, awaken the best sides of nature.
He sincerely wishes well, shows real ways to achieve a new, better life . After all, there really are hospitals for alcoholics, indeed Siberia is the “golden side”, and not just a place of exile and hard labor.
As for the afterlife with which he beckons Anna, the question is more complicated; it is a matter of faith and religious beliefs.
What did he lie about? When Luka convinces Nastya that he believes in her feelings, in her love: “If you believe, you had true love ... then it was! Was!" - he only helps her find the strength in herself for life, for real, not fictional love.)

— How do the inhabitants of the rooming house feel about Luke's words?
(The roomers are at first distrustful of Luka’s words: “Why are you lying all the time? Luka does not deny it, he answers the question with a question: “And . .. why do you really need it painfully ... think about it! She really is , maybe, butt for you ... "
Even to a direct question about God, Luka answers evasively: "If you believe, there is; if you don't believe, no ... What you believe, that is ...")

— What groups can the heroes of the play be divided into?
(The heroes of the play can be divided into "believers" and "non-believers" .
Anna believes in God, Tatar - in Allah, Nastya - in "fatal" love, Baron - in her past, possibly invented. Tick no longer believes in anything, and Bubnov never believed in anything.)

— What is the sacred meaning of the name “Luka”?
(The name "Luke" has a dual meaning : this name resembles the Evangelist Luke , means "bright" , and at the same time is associated with the word "evil" (euphemism for "hell" ).)

— What is the author's position towards Luke?

( The author's position is expressed in the development of the plot.
After Luka's departure the murder of Kostylev, and not as a free settler.
The actor, who has lost faith in himself, in his strength, exactly repeats the fate of the hero of Luke's parable about the righteous land. that a person should not be deprived of dreams, hopes, even imaginary ones.Gorky, showing the fate of the Actor, assures the reader and0068 it is false hope that can lead a person to suicide
Gorky himself wrote about his plan: “ The main question I wanted to pose is what is better, truth or compassion. What do you need. Is it necessary to bring compassion to the point of using lies, like Luke? This is not a subjective question, but a general philosophical one.

— Gorky contrasts not truth and falsehood, but truth and compassion. How justified is this opposition?

— What is the significance of Luke's influence on the overnight stays?
(All the heroes agree that Luka gave them false hope . But they didn’t promise to raise them from the bottom of life, he just showed their own capabilities, showed that there is a way out, and now everything depends from themselves.)

— How strong is the self-confidence awakened by Luke?
(This belief did not have time to gain a foothold in the minds of the overnight shelters, it turned out to be fragile and lifeless, with the disappearance of Luke, hope goes out)

— What is the reason for the rapid fading of faith?
(Perhaps the point is in the weakness of the heroes themselves , in their inability and unwillingness to do at least something to implement new plans. Dissatisfaction with reality, a sharply negative attitude towards it, purpose to change this reality.)

— How does Luke explain the failures of the life of the overnight stays?
(Luke explains the failures of the life of the rooming-houses by external circumstances does not at all blame the heroes themselves for the failed life. Therefore, she reached out to him so much and was so disappointed, having lost external support with the departure of Luka.)

II. Final word of the teacher
Gorky does not accept the passive consciousness , of which he considers Luka to be the ideologist.
According to the writer, it can only reconcile a person with the outside world, but will not move him to change this world.
Although Gorky does not accept Luka's position, this image seems to be getting out of the author's control.
According to the memoirs of IM Moskvin, in the production of 1902, Luka appeared as a noble comforter, almost the savior of many desperate inhabitants of the rooming house. Some critics saw in Luka "Danko, who was given only real features", "expressor of the highest truth", found elements of Luka's exaltation in Beranger's verses, which the Actor shouts out:
Lord! If the truth is holy
The world does not know how to find the way -
Honor to the madman who will inspire
Mankind a golden dream!
K. S. Stanislavsky, one of the directors of the play, outlined ways of the hero's "decrease". "Luka is cunning", "glancing cunningly", "slyly smiling", "insinuatingly, softly", "it is clear that he is lying".
Luke is a living image precisely because he is contradictory and ambiguous.

Find out how the issue of truth is resolved in the play. Find statements of different characters about the truth.

Lesson 3. The question of truth in Gorky's drama "At the Bottom"
The purpose of the lesson: to identify the position of the characters in the play and the author's position in relation to the question of truth.
Methodical methods: analytical conversation, discussion.

Lesson progress
I. Teacher's word

The philosophical question that Gorky himself posed: which is better, truth or compassion? The question about the truth is multifaceted. Each person understands the truth in his own way, having in mind some final, higher truth. Let's see how the truth and lies correlate in the drama "At the Bottom".

II. Dictionary work
— What do the heroes of the play mean by “truth”?
(Discussion. This word has many meanings. We advise you to look into the explanatory dictionary and identify the meanings of the word “truth”.

Teacher’s comment:
Two levels of “truth” can be distinguished .
One is “ private truth , which the hero defends, he assures everyone, and above all himself, of the existence of extraordinary, bright love. The Baron - of the existence of his prosperous past. Klesh calls his position, which turned out to be hopeless even after the death of his wife, the truth: "There is no work ... there is no strength! Here - true! There is no refuge... there is no refuge! You have to die... here she is, really!" Such a "private" truth is at the level of fact: it was - it wasn't. 0039 Another level of "truth", "worldview" - in Luke's remarks. Luke's "truth" and his "falsehood" are expressed by the formula: "What you believe is what you are."

III. Conversation
— Is the truth really needed?

- Which character's position is opposed to Luke's position ?
(The position of Luka, compromise, consolation, is opposed by the position of Bubnov .
This is the darkest figure in the play. Bubnov enters into an argument implicitly, as if talking to himself , supporting the polyphony (polylogue) of the play.
First act, scene at the bedside of the dying Anna:
Natasha (Tick). You should, tea, treat her more kindly now .., after all, not for long ...
Tick. I know...
Natasha. You know... It's not enough to know, you understand. It's scary to die...
Ashes. And I'm not afraid...
Natasha. How! .. Courage ...
Bubnov (whistling). And the threads are rotten ...
This phrase is repeated several times throughout the play, as if commenting on what is happening from the point of view of the vulgar, skeptic and cynic Bubnov. He approaches life with an evil pessimism.)

— Find remarks that characterize Bubnov's worldview and comment on them.
(“Noise is not a hindrance to death”; “outside, no matter how you paint yourself, everything will be erased ... everything will be erased, yes!”; “What’s the conscience? I’m not rich”; trifles...”; “There are no gentlemen here... everything faded away, one naked man remained”; “all the people on earth are superfluous”; “People all live like chips floating down the river.. They build a house, and the chips go away” ; "Everything is a fairy tale"; "Everything is like this: they are born, they live, they die. And I will die ... and you ... Why be sorry?"0039 When Anna dies, he says: "That means she stopped coughing."
Bubnov's favorite song, which he picks up at the end of the play,
- "The sun rises and sets, / And it's dark in my prison!")

— What remarks characterize Bubnov?
("Calmly" - occurs many times, "drawing", "sleepy voice", "sullenly".)

— What is the position of Sateen in the play?
(Bubnov's cynical "truth" is opposed to Luke's comforting sermon.
But this sermon gave impetus to define another position in life. Satin became its spokesman.
Even at the beginning of the play, he declares: “Make my work pleasant – maybe I will work… yes! May be! When work is pleasure, life is good! When work is a duty, life is slavery!”
After Luka's departure, Satine realizes that his state of mind is a reaction to Luka's words: “Yes, it is he, the old yeast, who fermented our roommates. .. The old man is not a charlatan! What is truth? The man is true! ... Old man? He is clever!.. He... affected me like a sour and dirty coin...”
Sateen's famous monologue about a man, in which he tells about the need to respect a person : "Don't feel sorry... don't humiliate him with pity... you have to respect!" - affirms a different position in life .)

— Whose position does Satin express in his monologue about man?
(Luke's lie does not suit Satan: "Lie is the religion of slaves and masters! Truth is the god of a free man!" for love, for mind - a man pays for everything himself, and therefore he is free! .. Man - that's the truth!0039 These words in the mouth of a sharpie and a drunkard do not sound very organic. Rather, these thoughts belong to the author himself, for whom Man was at the center of the world model .
Let us recall the early romantic stories, "Tales of Italy" ("It is an excellent position to be a man on earth!"), the philosophical poem "Man", where the mind of Man and his deeds are extolled. )

IV. The final word of the teacher
Gorky singled out 2 truths: “truth-truth” and “truth-dream” . These "truths" do not coincide, even hostile to each other.
Grandiose Sateen's myth about Man : “What is a man?.. It's not you, not me, not them... no! - it's you, me, them, the old man, Napoleon, Mohammed ... in one! (He traces the figure of a man in the air with his finger) ... There is only a man, everything else is the work of his hands and his brain!
Here it is important to pay attention to note . Abstract "man in general" appears against the background of emptiness , there is nothing specific behind this image.
No one understands anyone, everyone is busy only with themselves, with their problems, everyone is at odds with themselves and with the world. Satan also lies. But his lie, unlike Luke, has an ideal justification not in the past and present, but in the future - in the perspective of the merging of humanity on the basis of a reasonable transformation of life.
Instead of "love for one's neighbor" Satin suggests "love for the distant", for an abstract Man, a man-dream . This manifests Nietzsche's views, which at that time were shared by Gorky . Heroes of Gorky reflect the duality, inconsistency, rebellious nature of the author himself . The play "At the Bottom" reflected a turning point in the entire life of the writer. The continuation of the traditions of Russian critical realism in the play will develop into the aesthetics of a new creative method, which much later, in the mid-30s, was called "socialist realism" .

Prepare for a review discussion of Gorky's novel "Mother".

Additional material for teachers.

About the play "At the Bottom" (V. Khodasevich. Necropolis.[3]) :
Its main theme is true and false . Its protagonist is the wanderer Luka , "the crafty old man." He appears in order to seduce the inhabitants of the "bottom" with a comforting lie about the realm of goodness that exists somewhere. With him it is easier not only to live, but also to die . After his mysterious disappearance, life again becomes evil and terrible.
Luka has caused trouble for Marxist criticism, which is doing its best to explain to readers that Luka is a harmful person, relaxing the destitute with dreams, distracting them from reality and from the class struggle, which alone can provide them with a better future.
The Marxists are right in their own way: Luke, with his belief in the enlightenment of society through the enlightenment of the individual, is indeed harmful from their point of view. Gorky foresaw this and therefore, in the form of a correction, he countered Luka with a certain Sateen, personifying the awakening of the proletarian consciousness . Satin is, so to speak, the official reasoner for the play . “Lies are the religion of works and masters. Truth is the god of the free man,” he proclaims. But it's worth reading the play. And we will immediately notice that the image of Sateen, in comparison with the image of Luke, is painted pale and - most importantly, unlovingly . The positive hero was less successful for Gorky than the negative one, because he endowed positive with his official ideology , and negative - with his living feeling of love and pity for people . It is remarkable that, in anticipation of future accusations against Luka, it is Satina who makes Gorky defend him. When the other characters in the play scold Luca, Satin yells at them: “Be quiet! You are all cattle! Dube... keep quiet about the old man!... The old man is not a charlatan... I understand the old man... yes! He's right... but it's out of pity for you, damn you! There are many people who lie out of pity for their neighbor. .. There is a comforting lie, a reconciling lie.” Even more remarkable is that Satine attributes his own awakening to the influence of Luke: "Old man? He is smart! He acted on me like acid on an old and dirty coin ... Let's drink to his health!
The famous phrase: “Man is great! It sounds proud! - put also in the mouth of Sateen. But the author himself knew that, in addition, it sounds very bitter. His whole life is permeated with acute pity for a man whose fate seemed hopeless to him. He saw the only salvation of man in creative energy, which is unthinkable without the incessant overcoming of reality - by hope. He did not value highly the ability of a person to realize hope, but this very ability to dream, the gift of a dream, led him to delight and awe. The creation of any dream, the ability to captivate mankind, he considered a true sign of genius, and the maintenance of this dream was a matter of great philanthropy.
Lord! If the saint
the world fails to find the way to the truth,
Honor to the madman who will inspire
a golden dream to Humanity.
These rather weak but expressive verses, uttered by one of the characters in "The Lower Depths", contain, as it were, Gorky's motto , defining his entire life, writing, social, personal. Gorky happened to live in an era when the "golden dream" consisted in the dream of a social revolution as a panacea for all human suffering . He supported this dream, he became its herald - not because he believed so deeply in the salvation of the dream itself. In another era, with the same passion, he would have defended other beliefs, other hopes. Through the Russian liberation movement, and then through the revolution, he passed as the instigator and strengthener of dreams, Luka, the crafty wanderer. From an early story written in 1893 about an exalted siskin "who lied", and about a woodpecker, an unchanging "lover of truth", all his literary, as well as all his life activity, is imbued with a sentimental love for all kinds of lies and a stubborn, consistent dislike for the truth. .
...The denunciation of petty lies caused him the same annoying boredom as the destruction of a lofty dream. The restoration of truth seemed to him a gray and vulgar triumph of prose over poetry. It is not for nothing that in the same "At the Bottom" Bubnov, a mediocre, rude and tedious character, is shown as a champion of truth. Whose last name seems to come from the verb "to mumble".
... “These are people, and that are people,” says the elder Luke, in this not entirely clear formula, undoubtedly expressing the distinct thought of the author himself. The fact is that these "people" should be printed with a capital letter. "People", that is, heroes, creators, engines of adored progress, Gorky deeply revered . People, just people with dull faces and modest biographies, he despised, called them "philistines". However, he admitted that these people also have a desire, if not to be, then at least to seem better than they really are: "All people have gray souls, they all want to brown. " He treated such browning with cordial, active sympathy, and considered it his duty not only to maintain in people a sublime idea of ​​themselves, but also to instill in them, as far as possible, such an idea. Apparently, he thought that such self-deception could serve as a starting point or the first impetus for the internal overcoming of philistinism. Therefore, he liked to serve as a kind of mirror in which everyone could see himself as loftier, nobler, smarter, more talented than he really was. Of course, the greater the difference between the image and reality, the more people were grateful to him, and this was one of the methods of his undoubted, many noticed "charisma" [4].
(V. Khodasevich. Necropolis)

1. Source: Egorova N.V. Lesson developments in Russian literature of the twentieth century: grade 11, first half of the year. - 4th ed. , revised. and additional – M.: VAKO, 2005. - 368 p. - (To help the school teacher). (back)

2. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) - German thinker, classical philologist, composer, poet, creator of an original philosophical doctrine, which has spread far beyond the scientific and philosophical community. The fundamental concept includes special criteria for evaluating reality, which called into question the fundamental principles of existing forms of morality, religion, culture and socio-political relations.
Nietzsche was one of the first to question the unity of the subject, the causality of will, truth as the unified foundation of the world, the possibility of rational justification of actions.
One of the most striking symbols captured and considered by Nietzsche's philosophy was the so-called death of God. It marks the loss of trust in the supersensible foundations of value orientations , that is, nihilism , which manifested itself in Western European philosophy and culture. This process, according to Nietzsche, comes from the unhealthiness of the very spirit of Christian teaching, which gives preference to the other world. (return)

3. Vladislav Felitsianovich Khodasevich (1886–1939) – Russian poet. He also acted as a critic, memoirist and literary historian, Pushkinist.
Khodasevich in 1922-1925 (with interruptions) lived in the Gorky family, whom he highly valued as a person (but not as a writer), recognized his authority, saw him as a guarantor of a hypothetical return to his homeland, but he also knew the weak properties of Gorky's character, of whom he considered the most vulnerable "an extremely confused attitude to truth and lies , which was indicated very early and had a decisive impact both on his work and on his whole life" . They were enemies in literature: the last classic of the Symbolists and the main proletarian writer of the country. At the same time, Khodasevich and Gorky founded (with the participation of V. Shklovsky) and edited the journal Beseda (six issues were published), which published Soviet authors.
From 1928 Khodasevich worked on his memoirs: they were included in the book “Necropolis. Memories "(1939) - about Bryusov, Bely, a close friend of young years poet Muni, Gumilyov, Sologub, Yesenin, Gorky and others. (return)

4. Charming is the behavior of a charmer.
Charmer - enchanter, sorcerer (from the French "charm"). A person of extraordinary charm who enters easily in trust, subordinates the interlocutor to his will and does with him what he wants. (return)

Gorky A.M. "At the bottom"

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Boyakov Eduard Vladislavovich

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  • Dugin Alexander Gelievich

  • Philosopher, political scientist, sociologist, translator. PhD in Philosophy, Doctor of Political and Sociological Sciences
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  • Director of "Polytheater", festivals "Big Break", "Texture", "Tradition", "Hero and Time", "Festival of the Future Theatre". Producer of the Moscow Art Theater Gorky
  • Polishchuk Galina

  • Director of the Moscow Art Theater. Gorky
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  • Sergeev Stanislav

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