With the help of subject matter experts and experienced Core Knowledge teachers, the Core Knowledge Foundation is updating the 2010 Sequence guidelines in Science to align with the content requirements and grade-level expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards. The result is the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence—or, for short, the CK Next Gen Science Sequence.

Download Currently Available Domains

Development of the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence is now underway for grades 3-5. We will continue to develop updated Science guidelines for other grade levels after we release curricular materials for grades 3-5 in our new CKSciTM program.

We will post links to domains in the CK Next Gen Science Sequence as soon as they are ready.
Only currently available domains are linked below.

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5


1: Investigating Forces

2: Life Cycles, Traits, and Variations

3: Habitats and Change

4: Weather and Climate

1: Energy Transfer and Transformation

2: Investigating Waves

3: Structures and Functions of Living Things

4: Processes That Shape the Earth

5: Using Natural Resources for Energy

1: Investigating Matter

2: Energy and Matter in Ecosystems

3: Modeling Earth’s Systems

4: Protecting Earth’s Resources

5: Astronomy: Space Systems


If You Have Questions

We welcome your comments and questions on the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence. Send us a message by completing this contact form:

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence differ from the 2010 Science Sequence?

Changes in grade level and content:
Some domains from the 2010 Sequence have been moved to different grade levels in the CK Next Gen Science Sequence. For example, Meteorology has moved from Grade 4 in the 2010 Sequence to Grade 3 in the CK Next Gen Science Sequence. In this new grade 3 topic, titled “Weather and Climate,” some content specified in the 2010 Sequence has been removed, while some new topics have been added to align with NGSS expectations.

Click here for a comparison of domains of study in the 2010 Science Sequence to those in the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence.  

A new format:
The Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence guidelines are presented in the form of a three-column table.

  • Column 1: Core Knowledge Sequence This first column should be familiar—like the 2010 Sequence, it identifies specific content and skills for building knowledge coherently from grade to grade.
  • Column 2: Suggested Learning Objectives These objectives—for example, “Conduct an investigation to show how the speed of a moving object is related to its energy”—are designed to help Core Knowledge teachers in guiding students to meet the NGSS “Performance Expectations,” which describe specific cumulative learning goals for students. In the CK Next Gen 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 as a reminder of the critical “word knowledge” in which students cognitively encode their “world knowledge.”

Why align Core Knowledge Science to NGSS?

Given the growing influence of NGSS, the Core Knowledge Foundation decided to update the 2010 Science 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.

According to the National Science Teachers Association, “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. students live in states that have education standards influenced by the Framework for K-12 Science Education and/or the Next Generation Science Standards.” (The Framework, a 2011 report from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, provided the research base and structural recommendations that underlie NGSS.)

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

Longtime followers of the 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 Science 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 Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence is a useful guide to pursuing a new path aligned with state standards. Planning, communication, and collaboration will be critical in making the transition from the 2010 Science Sequence to the CK Next Gen Science Sequence, to avoid gaps and ensure continuity in building knowledge grade by grade.

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

For the growing number of teachers in states with standards shaped by NGSS, the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence offers content-specific curricular guidelines that align with the state’s standards.

Relative to the 2010 Science Sequence, the CK Next Gen 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 Core Knowledge Next Generation 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 CK Next Gen 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.

What about the Core Knowledge Science domains on the human body?

Because human anatomy and physiology are not included in the NGSS requirements, the Core Knowledge Next Generation Science Sequence does not include domains focused on the human body, as featured in the 2010 Sequence. Those topics, however, have long been reported as favorites by many Core Knowledge teachers. In time, the Core Knowledge Foundation plans to update those 2010 guidelines and incorporate them into the CK Next Gen Science Sequence as a coherent series of domains on “Health and the Human Body.”

For now, we encourage all Core Knowledge schools to continue teaching the human body domain as specified in the 2010 Sequence.

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

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

Print versions of CKSciTM materials for some units will be offered for pre-publication purchase in the spring of 2019.

Terms of Use

The CKSci™ 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.