Core Knowledge Language Arts/Amplify (CKLA)

CKLA is a content-rich literacy curriculum distinguished by robust and sequential knowledge building, as well as systematic foundational skills instruction. CKLA 3–5 consists of original texts systematically and coherently ordered to build broad content knowledge in science, social studies, and the arts. An intentional approach to building knowledge invites students to engage with and make connections across topics not commonly taught in elementary literacy classrooms (e.g., Ancient Greece and the War of 1812 in grade 2). In K–2, high-interest, fully decodable stories advance along with students’ foundational reading skills.

Rich, rigorous, diverse texts:

How CKLA designs for:

Deep knowledge-building

Elementary topics in history, science, literature, and the arts build on prerequisite content taught in the curriculum. For example, students examine the heart’s role in circulation and then build on that understanding in later grades when they study the circulatory system in more depth. Students learn “for keeps” through the years, gaining a firm grounding in a diverse range of topics.

Topic coherence within and across grades ensures that students both explore a diverse range of topics and go deeper into topics over the years. “Pause points” are built into all grades and provide students with time to cement or expand their learning. Lessons pay careful attention to the language students encounter in their texts. Daily writing is tightly connected to the texts and topics students explore.

Systematic foundational skills and fluency

The PreK–2 foundational reading program is thorough and well organized. Frequent assessments allow teachers to provide students with precise instruction and abundant practice. CKLA uses a collection of highly engaging decodable texts to provide practice with phonics patterns. Grade-level fluency is a feature throughout the elementary grades, supplemented with diverse short passages from various genres that are connected to topics being studied.

Equitable access to challenging texts

Topics are tightly interconnected in CKLA year-over-year as students gain knowledge to access increasingly complex texts in succeeding grades. The class works together to tackle grade-level core texts with well-organized, easy-to-access student resources. Students are empowered by what they learn about a range of topics and how they connect, fostering their confidence to persevere in their studies.

Topics of study

Learning and exhibiting deep knowledge

Foundational skills instruction

Access CKLA

CKLA was developed by the Core Knowledge Foundation, which continues to make the curriculum openly available on its website. Amplify is the distributor of CKLA and offers a digital and print version of the curriculum.

Core Knowledge/Amplify in districts

Press Release
National Campaign Celebrates Rigorous, Knowledge-Rich Literacy Instruction in New Mexico 
Knowledge Matters School Tour Makes Third Visit to State to Celebrate Use of High-Quality Curricula


Tipton County Schools, Covington, TN
Using High-Quality Curriculum Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Still Have Fun Learning


Varissa Richardson – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“How can we continue to support our kids during Tier 1 instruction? We’ve added some things during Tier 4 time that supports Tier 1 instruction.”


Monica Wilkins – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“I see students using vocab that they would not have used prior to being exposed to these read alouds and to these content-rich units.”


Michelle Cooper – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“We’ve had fewer and fewer students that are Tier 3 level in upper grades. We don’t have any 5th graders that are Tier 3 for reading.”


LaTasha Bolton – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“The things that the district and TNTP have given us allow us to actually teach the knowledge and the skills.”


LaTasha Bolton – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“We were not just given all of this and told to make it happen. We had leadership and training. When we go in by ourselves, we know what to do.”


John Combs – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“If we make a big purchase with this taxpayer money and we don’t use the materials, that is not being a good steward.”


Diana Roach – Tipton County Schools, Brighton, TN

“I am so excited. Every year it gets richer and deeper and thicker and more invigorating for the students and myself. We learn new things.”


Social Media
Hear from teachers about improved reading progress and stellar student work
Come for the knowledge-rich lessons, stay for the stories of kindergarten reading and writing progress from Lebanon teachers in this inspiring thread.


Social Media
A superb foundational skills lesson in Stefanie Walker’s first grade classroom
Watch a lesson unfold in which students explore the /k/ sound in a foundational skills lesson via this Twitter thread.


Candace Reed – Lebanon Special School District, Lebanon, TN

“I have never seen anything like this before. Kids going from no English to reading a reader. They feel success, they are bought into it.”