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Core Knowledge

Core Knowledge

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The Core Knowledge© Foundation offers detailed curricular guidance and materials to schools, teachers, parents, and policy makers—to anyone who believes, as we do, that every child in a diverse democracy deserves access to important shared and enabling knowledge.

Why use CKF materials?

Core Knowledge© Foundation (CKF) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and author of many acclaimed books on education.

Educational excellence and equity require a coherent, cumulative, knowledge-based curriculum. This basic principle inspired the Core Knowledge Foundation to undertake the long process of research and consensus-building that led to the development of the Core Knowledge Sequence, the blueprint for knowledge-based schooling. CKF units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence.

Our materials are used all over the United States and beyond, and are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

CKF units include Teacher Guides that incorporate:

  • 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

  • unit assessments

CKF materials are available for free download. Professionally printed and bound hard copies are also available for purchase.

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.

Along with the Teacher Guides, this 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, as well as Timeline Image Cards.

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.

In addition, 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.

The Core Knowledge Language Arts™ (CKLA™) program has been carefully researched and designed to ensure students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become literate adults, as called for in the Common Core State Standards. It is a comprehensive program for teaching skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, as well as builds students’ knowledge and vocabulary in literature, history, geography, and science.

Each unit is based around a trade book or CKLA Reader that has been purposely chosen to encourage a student’s interest in reading. Helping students achieve automaticity and fluency to improve reading comprehension is an important goal in CKLA. The books selected provide additional opportunities for students to practice reading with fluency and expression, intonation, and rhythm, or prosody.

The lessons for all CKLA units feature text-dependent comprehension questions aligning to the CCSS.

The units include explicit instruction and practice in writing, grammar, morphology, and spelling.   

The Core Knowledge History and Geography units and the Core Knowledge Language Arts units have been designed to complement each other. Enrich your CKLA lessons with resources from our CKHG program!

A complete listing of all CKHG units is also available for download and easy reference.

For more information on Core Knowledge please visit our website here.