The following are FAQs that we have received over time and during our development of the Core Knowledge ScienceTM (CKSciTM) program.

Will Core Knowledge develop CKSci for grades K–2 and 6–8?

The Core Knowledge Foundation is actively seeking philanthropic funding to support future work on CKSci K–2, as well as work on grades 6–8. We hope to begin developing K–2 after all 14 units in Grades 3–5 are posted online for free download.

How does the 2019 CK Science Sequence differ from the 2010 CK Science Sequence?

Changes in grade level and content: Some domains from the 2010 Sequence have been moved to different grade levels in the 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence. For example, Meteorology has moved from Grade 4 in the 2010 Sequence to Grade 3 in the 2019 Science Sequence. In this new Grade 3 unit, titled “Weather and Climate,” some new content has been added as a result of recent recommendations made by the National Academies of Science. Click here for a comparison of content in the 2010 Science Sequence to that in the 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence.

A new format: The guidelines of the 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence are presented in the form of a three-column table, rather than an ordinary list.

  • Column 1: The 2019 Core Knowledge Sequence  This first column should be familiar—like the 2010 Sequence, it identifies specific content and skills for building knowledge coherently and cumulatively from grade to grade.
  • Column 2: Suggested Learning Objectives These objectives—for example, “Describe regular patterns in an object’s motion and use data to predict future motion”—are designed to help Core Knowledge teachers in guiding students to meet current learning expectations, which describe specific cumulative learning goals for students. From the 2019 CK Science Sequence, the suggested learning objectives may be modified to meet state and local standards as well as the needs of specific schools and classrooms.
  • Column 3: Language of Instruction This word list provides a sampling of the vocabulary to which students should be repeatedly exposed during instruction. The list is not intended for use in isolated drill or memorization, but is included as a reminder of the critical “word knowledge” that students cognitively encode while their growing “world knowledge.”

If my school has already developed science lessons based on the 2010 CK Sequence, do we have to change to the 2019 CK Science Sequence?

Longtime followers of the 2010 Core Knowledge Sequence are not expected to abandon what they have been doing. Any Core Knowledge school that has already developed effective lessons and gathered high-quality materials based on the 2010 Sequence should feel free to continue following that instructional path. Core Knowledge schools in states that have adopted NGSS (or NGSS-influenced standards) will find the 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence is a useful guide to pursuing a new path aligned with those state standards. Planning, communication, and collaboration will be critical in making the transition from the 2010 Science Sequence to the 2019 Science Sequence, to avoid gaps and ensure continuity in building knowledge grade by grade.

For more information about how the 2010 Core Knowledge Sequence relates to the 2019 CKSci materials, please click here.

How does CKLA relate to the CKSci program?

CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts) offers early exposure to many of the same Disciplinary Core Ideas as CKSci, supporting a student’s learning progression toward an ever more complex understanding of science.

CKLA lays a foundation of knowledge and literacy about a topic before students are expected to investigate phenomena through the lens of scientific practices and crosscutting concepts. CKLA covers many of the same topics (e.g., light, sound, habitats, astronomy, etc.) that are part of CKSci, specifically for the purpose of building background knowledge and literacy for/with informational texts. Certain topics and content in the CKLA Knowledge Strand (a.k.a. the Listening and Learning Strand) are presented at one grade earlier than expected by the Next Generation Science Standards, but within the correct grade band progressions outlined by the National Research Council.

For a detailed look at how CKLA domains relate to the Next Generation Science Standards, review this 2014 NGSS alignment. Domain titles are specially found in the left-hand column for each grade.

What advantages does the 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence offer over the 2010 Science Sequence?

Thanks to ongoing research in the field, our understanding of how children learn continues to evolve. In the subject area of science, in particular, students benefit from not just reading about concepts and ideas, but from hands-on experiences. Following the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Core Knowledge Foundation used this opportunity to update and enhance the science portion of the 2010 Core Knowledge Sequence. The result of this effort is the revised 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence.

Relative to the 2010 Science Sequence, the 2019 Science Sequence also incorporates the NGSS emphasis on scientific practice. NGSS prescribes a multi-dimensional approach to science learning and instruction, integrating core ideas, hands-on practices, and crosscutting concepts, as well as applications of scientific knowledge in engineering and technology. Many of these NGSS principles are reflected in the 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence, which also retains, from the 2010 Sequence, the characteristic Core Knowledge emphasis on specific content carefully sequenced to build coherently from one grade to the next.

Even an experienced and scientifically-knowledgeable educator can get confused in navigating the maze of hyperlinks that make up the online NGSS guidelines. One aim of the 2019 CK Science Sequence is to offer a valid interpretation of NGSS requirements in the form of focused, user-friendly, and content-specific guidelines of practical use to teachers.

To see how you can continue to use your current Core Knowledge materials with the 2019 CKSci curriculum, please refer to the full Correlation Charts available for download.

Will the Core Knowledge Foundation provide curriculum materials based on the 2019 CK Science Sequence?

Yes! The 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence is the organizing framework for the new Core Knowledge Science program, CKSciTM. Check our Download Curriculum webpage for updates on units available for free download.

Are there plans to develop Core Knowledge Science units on the human body?

Because human anatomy and physiology are not referenced by the NGSS requirements, the 2019 CK Science Sequence does not include the human body units featured in the 2010 Sequence.

Those units, however, have long been reported as favorites by many Core Knowledge teachers. In time, and pending additional philanthropic funding, the Core Knowledge Foundation plans to update the 2010 guidelines and incorporate them into the 2019 CK Science Sequence as a coherent series of units on “Health and the Human Body.” For now, we encourage all Core Knowledge schools to continue teaching units on the human body as specified in the 2010 CK Sequence.

Why align Core Knowledge Science to the NGSS framework?

According to the National Science Teachers Association, “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. students live in states that have education standards influenced by A Framework for K-12 Science Education and/or the Next Generation Science Standards.” (The Framework, a 2012 report from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, provided the research base and structural recommendations that underlie NGSS.) Given the growing influence of NGSS, the Core Knowledge Foundation decided to update the science sections of the 2010 CK Sequence to support teachers by providing them with revised Core Knowledge guidelines and curricular materials more likely to align with their state-required standards in science.