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CKLA Now Online for Free

CKLA Now Online for Free From student activity books to teacher guides, everything needed for preschool–third grade and several units from grades 4–5 are fully available for free using the CKLA Download Manager. More…

CKLA in Action

CKLA in Action Wondering what CKLA really looks like? Get a glimpse into CKLA classrooms, and hear from pilot teachers and principals about their experience with the program. More…

Core Knowledge Language Arts Program

Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) is a comprehensive, preschool through fifth grade program for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also building students’ vocabulary and knowledge across essential domains in literature, global and American history, and the sciences. In the early grades, CKLA focuses on oral language development through carefully sequenced read-alouds as well as systematic instruction in reading and writing skills. In later grades, CKLA continues to advance students’ knowledge and vocabulary through read-alouds and in-depth discussions while also immersing students in complex texts and advanced writing assignments that draw on the academic content they’ve been engaged in since preschool.


CKLA Preschool embeds essential skills in fun activities, putting 4-year-olds on the path to literacy. CKLA Preschool is filled with engaging read-alouds, favorite rhymes and songs, centers that boost language development while children play, and enjoyable ways to extend learning at home.


CKLA K–3 is broken into two strands—a Skills strand and a Listening & Learning strand—so that children can master sounds and letters for fluent decoding and encoding during one part of the day and then have additional time to build the knowledge, language, and vocabulary that are essential for strong comprehension.


CKLA 4–5 draws on students’ mastery of the basics as they tackle advanced grammar, morphology, spelling, and vocabulary while also being immersed in academic texts and engaged in rigorous writing across multiple genres.

Teachers Respond Enthusiastically

"While I always have high expectations in my classroom, I was a bit nervous when we started the [third grade] ancient Rome unit. The objectives are complex, the vocabulary is challenging. The content itself includes a great deal of geography and culture, plenty of politics, and an assumption that Core Knowledge kids already knew quite a bit about ancient Greece.... In CKLA, second graders spend several weeks on ancient Greece with two back-to-back units ... so I was curious to see how much they would remember.... My third graders had no problems here. Building on their existing knowledge of other cultures’ gods and goddesses made the new material easier to access.... For teachers in schools without a really rich, cumulative curriculum in which the topics build off of each other, it can be hard to understand just how much children can learn in the early grades. For example, I have a good friend who teaches third grade in another school—one that does not use Core Knowledge.... She wondered what my students’ real “take-away” would be from our unit on Rome. I shared a little anecdote from my class, showing that my students are developing sophisticated language and useful knowledge: A student was playing a dune-buggy race car computer game in my room during indoor recess. I scoffed at its total lack of educational value. He pouted at me a bit and said, “Dang, that’s what my mom said last night! Et tu, Mrs. McCarthy?”

– Bridgit McCarthy, New Dimensions, Morganton, North Carolina

Read more teachers' responses to CKLA.

CKLA Resonates

In New York

And in Louisiana