Core Knowledge History and Geography™ (CKHG™) is a comprehensive curriculum in world and American history and geography, integrating topics in civics and the arts and guiding students in the upper elementary-middle school grades to build knowledge of diverse civilizations, cultures, and concepts.
CKHG is published by the Core Knowledge Foundation, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and founded in 1986 by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and author of many acclaimed books on education. The Foundation’s mission is to advance excellence and equity in education for all children.
CKHG materials provide a comprehensive, carefully sequenced, cumulative curriculum, based on ample data showing that an integrated, year-by-year curriculum in history and geography is necessary for better and fairer outcomes in our schools. Social justice demands that we give all children equal access to important shared knowledge, and the Core Knowledge Sequence—a blueprint for knowledge-based schooling—underlies CKHG.
CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources in either social studies or language arts instruction. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades 3–6 are appropriate for readers from the upper elementary grades through middle school.
CKHG consists of Student Readers, Teacher Guides (incorporating lesson plans, background information for teachers, pacing guides, an array of additional activities like virtual field trips, videos, art, literature, music listening, and educational games, digital resources, and unit assessments), and Timeline Image Cards. Our series includes Student Readers explicitly focused on geography, as well as history volumes that likewise incorporate the use of relevant maps and key references to geography.
Some of the most eminent scholars in the country have served as subject matter experts in the development of these instructional materials, providing content that is historically accurate, up-to-date, and culturally diverse. We have not flinched in exploring the histories of enslaved and native peoples.
In addition, we have been guided by the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. We incorporate relevant civics instruction in CKHG, so that by the end of Grade 5, students who have used all Grades 3-5 CKHG materials are prepared to take an analogous citizenship test to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge fundamental to becoming a participatory American citizen.