The Teacher Handbook series for preschool to grade 5 consists of the Teacher Handbooks, Instructional Masters, Art Resources, and Text Resources. More…
Learn how Core Knowledge schools in nearly every state are succeeding with a sequenced, solid, specific, and shared curriculum. More…
Curriculum Planning Tools
From our extensive experience working with schools, we know that the most successful Core Knowledge schools have well-documented curriculum and instructional plans. To help you effectively and collaboratively plan, we created the Core Knowledge Domain Planner, an online tool for creating, editing, and storing your school's curriculum plan, maps, units, and lesson plans.
In addition to the Domain Planner, we offer the following free templates below, as well as professional development services to support your effective development and continued refining of these curriculum planning documents.
The first step in the curriculum planning process is to define for each grade level, which Core Knowledge domains will be taught and when. The Foundation has developed a Curriculum Plan Sample/Template that defines the recommended sequencing and pacing of topics. Use this sample as a springboard to assist in the ordering and pacing of domains.
The curriculum plan is important because it:
- provides a tool for verifying that all of the Core Knowledge content is addressed
- provides an opportunity to consider the coherent sequencing of domains to ensure that knowledge is building on knowledge
- encourages consistency and communication amongst the school community
- serves as a tool for communication between the school, parents, and the community
For each domain on the curriculum plan, a detailed map serves as the basis for backward design of lessons and units by defining what will be taught in each domain. For each domain, the map includes content and skill guidelines from the Core Knowledge Sequence, associated state standards, cross-curricular connections, and other vital instructional information. This is a starting point for daily lessons.
We recommend that domain maps be developed over time, amongst grade-level team members.
The domain maps are important because they:
- establish guiding decisions regarding the depth of coverage for each domain
- provide a common starting point for backward design and grade-level lesson planning
- document cross-curricular connections and Core Knowledge titles (poetry, books, works of art and music, etc.) for each domain
- explicitly define vocabulary associated with each domain
- provide a means of orienting new teachers to the Core Knowledge content
The connection between language, background knowledge, and reading comprehension has been at the heart of the Core Knowledge movement from its inception. Through interactive read‐alouds and thought provoking discussions, paired with extension activities, students actively acquire and utilize new found knowledge and vocabulary.
The domain-based unit and lesson plans are important because they:
- document comprehensive units that address the objectives of a particular domain of study
- enable teachers to design lessons that foster language skills and build knowledge
- include at least eight lessons so students focus on one topic long enough to build knowledge and acquire domain vocabulary
Lesson & Activity Planning Tools
See also the lesson planning templates and rubrics in Domain-Based Units, above.