Online Tools Build Skills with Core Knowledge Content

Two online services are integrating Core Knowledge content into their tools for building Common Core-aligned reading and language arts skills.

Quill, an online suite of grammar and writing activities for upper elementary to high school students, provides skill-building exercises that will soon incorporate Core Knowledge content. Quill will begin by adapting content from the Core Knowledge Language Arts® (CKLA) and Core Knowledge History and GeographyTM (CKHG) series.

Launched in the fall of 2014, Quill provides more than 300 writing, grammar, and proofreading exercises of about 10-15 minutes each, all organized by the Common Core standards. Quill also offers a diagnostic assessment to identify each student’s specific learning gaps and supply an individualized plan for improvement.

A nonprofit organization especially focused on meeting the needs of low income students, Quill offers its online tools free to teachers and students. A premium service (available at no cost to qualifying low-income schools) adds “in-depth data on student progress across national writing standards.”

To improve students’ writing skills, Quill relies largely on sentence combining. This strategy, Quill’s website explains, “requires students to examine the relationships between ideas, order those ideas, and then express them logically and succinctly.” Click here for an example of a Quill exercise using content from the CKLA materials on the American Revolution.

Online tools to improve reading comprehension are offered free by According to the ReadWorks website, the service offers “the largest, highest-quality library of curated nonfiction and literary articles in the country, along with reading comprehension and vocabulary lessons, formative assessments, and teacher guidance.”

A non-profit organization, ReadWorks is incorporating Core Knowledge content into their popular “Article-A-DayTM” feature, which provides brief nonfiction texts that help build students’ “background knowledge, vocabulary, and reading stamina.” Click here for the ReadWorks Article-A-DayTM set adapted from the Core Knowledge History and Geography materials on The Age of Exploration.

The Core Knowledge Foundation welcomes both Quill and ReadWorks as partners in sharing the knowledge through educational technology, and we look forward to expanding our range of high-tech partnerships.

One comment on “Online Tools Build Skills with Core Knowledge Content”

  1. 1
    Dr. Aneatra Holland on July 17, 2017

    Building common core content in students is valuable. But what happens when the student demonstrates a delay in development? Many students are face with problems in their learning experience. I feel that Quill addresses some major elements that can assist the student, but not enough to affirm how to guide the student. Closing the gap in the learning experience should reflect aiding students who not only struggle with the content but also any developmental delays that reflect a hardship within the gap. Even though I specialize in business consulting, I also work as a business educator. Quill displays some great tools for online assessment, but it should include the ability of every student, not just mainstream students.

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