Core Knowledge Free Materials for Grades 1 to 8

As discussed in my posts on preschool and kindergarten materials, Core Knowledge offers an enormous amount of educational materials for preschool through eighth grade.

I’m going to provide fewer links for the material for grades 1–8 than I did for preschool and kindergarten. I’ll still walk you through the material and link to the student readers that I find valuable.

If you go to the main Core Knowledge download page, you’ll find that you can view all of the materials (on fifteen screens) or sort by subject or grade.

I have also collected 108 Core Knowledge student books and readers for all levels, including a preschool compilation, not including workbooks and other materials. (These are all Creative Commons.) I’ve put a zipped file of this content on DropBox; you’re welcome to download it.

Grade 1

The “Ancillary Materials” and “Domain” segments offer lengthy teachers’ guides along with “flip books” and “image cards.” The idea is for the teacher to read or explain material as children look at their own printed images. This is a rather clunky system for homeschool use.

The “skills” sections offer some student readers that you might be interested in. Although these readers mesh tightly with Core Knowledge’s approach to reading, I didn’t find some of the stories very compelling. But I do quite like these:

The “skills” sections also provide student workbooks. I’m not sure yet if I’ll use these in the future (my child is just now kindergarten age). Although I really like the kindergarten workbooks, the first-grade workbooks seem a little basic and boring to me. But I’ll see. I’ll link to them here (pdf files) for those interested in downloading them.

Finally we get into the informative readers (or “student books”). These I like a lot (overall).

Also, if you like, you can buy or borrow E. D. Hirsch’s What your First Grader Needs to Know (paid link).

Grade 2

I’m again skipping past the “Ancillary” and “Domain” materials. I’m also skipping the workbooks at this point. I’m pretty skeptical of their value. They contain, for example, multiple-choice questions about essays, which I think are stupid. (But if you want to try them be my guest.)

I wasn’t too impressed with most of the language arts readers for this year, but these look interesting:

I’m including all of the readers for History & Geography and Science:

You can also pick up What Your Second Grader needs to Know (paid link).

Grade 3

Skipping the “Ancillary” and “Domain” materials. . . I’ll include all the readers in Language Arts, History & Geography, and Science.

You can also pick up What Your Third Grader Needs to Know (paid link).

Grade 4

This is interesting: Core Knowledge offers “Core Classics Teacher Guides” filled with discussion and questions about various great works of literature: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Gulliver’s Travels, King Arthur, Sleepy Hollow, Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe, Sherlock Holmes, and Treasure Island. This is for grades 4–8.

Here are the readers (note that some units do not have readers and some units share readers):

You can also pick up What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know (paid link).

Grade 5

Here are the readers for this year:

You can also pick up What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know (paid link).

Grades 6–8

You can also pick up the final What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know (paid link).