Core Knowledge Language Arts™
A comprehensive Preschool–Grade 5 program for teaching skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, Core Knowledge Language Arts™ (CKLA) also builds students’ knowledge and vocabulary in literature, history, geography, and science.
- Research Background: Read about the research on teaching and learning that informed the development of CKLA.
- Program Design: For detailed information on CKLA goals, materials, and implementation, please read the program descriptions for the specific grade levels listed below.
- CKLA FAQ: Browse the Frequently Asked Questions specifically related to Core Knowledge Language Arts in Preschool and K-5.
Free Downloadable Resources
Purchase Printed Materials
In addition to free downloads, professionally printed and packaged CKLA classroom kits are available for purchase. Please note that CKLA materials available for free download are first editions, while CKLA materials available for purchase through Amplify are revised editions.Purchase Classroom Kits
The Core Knowledge Language Arts program provides a solid foundation for implementing Core Knowledge in your school. We offer an array of resources to support CKLA implementation based on grade level:
CKLA Preschool is a comprehensive English language arts curriculum designed to build foundational language and literacy skills and plant seeds of knowledge. The program provides engaging, developmentally appropriate plans for infusing 45 minutes of daily instruction into familiar preschool activities, such as morning circle, learning centers, small groups, whole group, book readings, and transition times. CKLA Preschool offers instructional plans for approximately 115 days of the school year.
- Read the General Overview of CKLA Preschool.
- Explore the Preschool Visual Component Guide.
- Watch a video introduction to CKLA Preschool.
- See an overview of major domains of study included in CKLA (Preschool–Grade 5).
- Learn about CKLA Preschool Implementation for additional guidance and information on professional development.
- Review CKLA Preschool FAQs.
For grades K–3, CKLA is organized in two strands: Skills and Listening & Learning.
Skills: The Skills strand teaches reading and writing in tandem. In grades K-2, children practice blending (reading) and segmenting (spelling) using the sound spellings they have learned. Decodable stories are introduced halfway into the kindergarten program. In K–2, stories are 100% decodable—made up entirely of words and sound spellings the students have been taught, or “tricky words” that also have been explicitly taught.
The Skills strand also addresses handwriting, spelling, and the writing process. In grade 3, the focus of the Skills strand shifts from decoding to grammar, spelling, and writing.
The CKLA Skills strand was designed to be fully in accord with the findings of the National Reading Panel and is aligned with the goals in the “Reading Foundational Skills” section of the Common Core State Standards.
- Read an overview of the CKLA Skills Strand.
- Download a detailed Scope and Sequence for the K-2 and grade 3 CKLA Skills Strand.
Listening & Learning: The Listening & Learning strand builds on research confirming that in the early grades students’ listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension. The engaging CKLA content goes well beyond standard early grade language arts fare to include important historical and scientific events, ideas, and people.
Listening & Learning lessons include teacher read-alouds, class discussions, vocabulary work, and extension activities. These read-alouds and exercises are organized in domains, each focused on a particular topic, such as insects, the five senses, or early Asian civilizations. The pacing is planned to keep the class focused on a domain for 10 to 15 days of instruction in order to build knowledge and reinforce vocabulary. In addition, the domains are carefully organized to build on each other within and across grades.
As in preschool through grade 3, in grades 4 and 5 CKLA presents materials rich in history, science, and literature, designed to both deepen and broaden students’ knowledge and skills. Compared to earlier grades, these CKLA units guide students through more sophisticated writing tasks.
In grades 4 and 5, CKLA is organized in domains, focused units of study ranging from 10–20 or more days of instruction. Lessons for grades 4 and 5 are planned for 90 minutes of daily instruction.
Unlike the K–3 CKLA materials, grades 4 and 5 do not have two separate strands of instruction for Skills and Listening & Learning. With the strong foundation of reading skills and knowledge acquired in the K-3 CKLA program, students in grades 4 and 5 are increasingly able to tackle complex written text with rich academic content.
While lessons vary day to day, each unit includes the following:
- Whole-group, small-group, and partner reading
- Close reading
- Literal, inferential, and evaluative comprehension questions
- Unit assessments
Core Classics® Series
In our Core Classics® series, we present stories loved for generations in abridged versions for young readers, faithful to the style, plot, and themes of the originals.
Free Downloadable Teacher Guides
You may download free Teacher Guides to support classroom use of these Core Classics®:
- Don Quixote
- Gulliver’s Travels
- King Arthur and the Round Table
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
- Robin Hood
- Robinson Crusoe
- Sherlock Holmes
- Treasure Island
The CKLA materials made available for download are freely available for anyone to use, adapt, and share (with attribution), but no one is permitted to sell either the original program, an adaptation of it, or lesson plans that reproduce any part of it. For more information, see the Guidelines to Core Knowledge and the Creative Commons License.