Knowledge Ignites Literacy and Learning

Knowledge about the world fuels a child’s reading comprehension and critical thinking. We share stories from schools that use “knowledge-building” curricula from the earliest grades to inspiring effect.

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Knowledge is an essential pillar of the “Science of Reading”

Broad knowledge about the natural and human world is an essential ingredient in reading comprehension, as shown by long-standing research. A group of distinguished reading researchers calls on the growing movement for evidence-based reading instruction to elevate the role of background knowledge in reading success.

Every student deserves a knowledge-building literacy curriculum

To develop students’ reading comprehension muscles from the earliest grades, leading schools use English language arts (ELA) curricula that are carefully designed to build background knowledge in science, history, literature, and the arts, alongside sound foundational skills instruction.

Introducing all young children to rich disciplinary content and vocabulary levels the playing field for learning. Knowledge is like an interest-bearing savings account: the more you know, the faster you learn. Therefore, growing knowledge about the natural and human world in the early grades is an essential equity investment, and it sets the stage for a lifetime of critical inquiry and analysis.

Follow our School Tour into classrooms

Our Knowledge Matters School Tour has traveled the country visiting schools that use knowledge-building curricula, and we have been inspired in each district!

Hear classroom stories in our collection of School Tour videos and feature articles.

Learn more about the reasons #KnowledgeMatters

We collected helpful resources for understanding the importance of background knowledge to literacy and learning.